Discovery in Virginia General District Courts - How to Get Documents (subpoena duces tecum)
So you're in General District Court (GDC) and you want to know what kind of documents the other side might use in trial? Even though GDC is a lot less formal, you still have some rights to get information. This guide should help pro se litigants during their case.
Use the Right Form!Virginia provides a lot of very helpful resources on its website. Check out the link below to access all of the civil forms. You'll want to use DC-336 (Subpoena Duces Tecum) if you want to get documents from the other party or a third party who might have information.
Details MatterMake sure you properly fill out the top part of the fohrm with the court you're in and where it's located. The right side of the form is where you identify the parties and whether you're the plaintiff or defendant. The "Custodian" is the person you're serving. The "Request for Subpoena Duces Tecum" section is where you'll tell the Custodian what you want. You need to be as specific as possible. You can type directly on the two lines provided or attach a separate page with the list of documents if you need more room (make sure you check the box if you use a separate page!). Check the box on where you want the documents delivered and make sure you give enough time for the person to comply. If you're serving a third party and need the custodian to come to court so you can enter the documents, make sure you check the box. If you're subpoenaing medical records, contact the court clerk before you file it. You must have this document notarized before it's served.
Serve ItYou have to go to the courthouse at least 15 days prior to trial to have the clerk issue the subpoena. Do this sooner rather than later.