Actually, the witness can demand payment of the witness fees at the same time the witness is being served with the civil subpoena.
In California state court cases, a witness subpoenaed to testify is entitled to witness fee of $35.00 plus mileage of 20 cents per mile, round trip from the witness's residence to the place of the hearing. The witness fee must be paid upon service of the subpoena if the witness requests it, or at the deposition/hearing.
In federal court cases, the fee for personal appearance is $40.00 per day, plus 55½ cents per mile, round trip from the witness's residence to the place of the hearing. The fee must be paid at the time of service.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
Attorney Chen is correct, you have your answer.
Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.
Attorney Chen's answer is correct. You can call the attorney whose name appears on the subpoena and tell him or her how many miles you will be driving so that he or she can have a check in the correct amount waiting for you at the courthouse--or mailed to you right away, if there's time before the hearing.