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Office of the General Counsel

Subpoenas of Personnel/Student Records

What is a Subpoena?

A subpoena is a court order that requires a person's attendance at a particular time and place to testify as a witness and/or the production of documents in relation to a hearing or trial.

District Procedures for Releasing Records

Service

The District Human Resources Office is the custodian of most personnel records. The individual Colleges are the custodians of student records and personnel records for student employees. Subpoenas for personnel records may be served on the General Counsel or Human Resources. Subpoenas for student records should be served on the General Counsel in the Chancellor's Office at the District Office. Subpoenas are not accepted at any of the Los Rios campuses or centers.

Compliance

When served with a civil subpoena duces tecum, records should not be released unless all of the procedural requirements are met. The General Counsel's office will review each subpoena for compliance. The following is a summary of the law for civil subpoenas.

  • The subpoena must specify a date for production of the records not less than 15 days from the date the subpoena was served on the District.
  • The party requesting records must serve on the employee/student whose records are being sought a copy of the subpoena and a notice to consumer indicating that records about the employee/student are being sought; that the employment/student records may be protected by a right of privacy; that if the employee/student objects to the employer producing the records, the employee/student can file papers with the court (Motion to Quash); and that if the party seeking records does not agree in writing to cancel or limit the subpoena, the employee/student should consult an attorney about protecting his or her rights of privacy.
  • Prior to the production of records, the subpoenaing party must either serve the District proof of compliance with the requirements regarding notice to the employee/student whose records are sought, or furnish the District a written authorization to release the records signed by the employee/student or by his attorney of record.

Exceptions

Workers' Compensation subpoenas and subpoenas for Criminal/Juvenile cases do not follow the same time requirements as regular subpoenas. Additionally, requests for records that are not subpoenas should still be served on the General Counsel's Office, rather than at the campus. The District requires "wet" signatures; this means that all subpoenas must be signed by the requesting attorney/party, and all requests for records must be authorized and signed by the student. The District does not accept electronic signatures.

Updated: October 2015