General Information

Subpoenas directed to UTMB or its employees usually relate to federal or state court proceedings in either criminal or civil matters. Subpoenas typically fall into one of two categories:

  1. Commanding the individual to appear and/or produce documents/evidence before a tribunal; or
  2. Commanding the individual to personally appear before a tribunal and offer testimony into evidence. Upon receipt, Legal Affairs initially examines subpoenas for validity--assuring they are properly served, timely, specific and issued under proper authority; and continues to offer support and guidance until the process is complete.

Each employee is critical to the institutional mission; each employee's time is valuable. Legal Affairs prioritizes institutional efficiency by proactively engaging parties serving subpoenas upon UTMB or its employees, as well as assisting with questions and monitoring the process as desired. Moreover, Legal Affairs requests parties subpoenaing UTMB or its employees to provide as much advance notice as possible, thereby minimizing disruption of schedules and the amount of time UTMB employees are unable to serve patients and the institution.

After reviewing the categories below, please contact Legal Affairs should you have any specific questions or concerns.

Subpoena to Appear and/or Produce Documents/Evidence

Subpoenas may command an individual to appear before a tribunal and/or produce documents, or other evidence, to the tribunal under strict temporal and procedural guidelines. This type of subpoena is often officially termed "Subpoena Duces Tecum." UTMB employees should immediately contact Legal Affairs upon service of such subpoena for assistance and further management.

Subpoena for Personal Appearance to Offer Testimony

Subpoenas may command individual employees to personally appear before a tribunal and offer sworn testimony in a civil or criminal matter. Specific time-frames and methods for service attach to such subpoenas, varying with the nature of the proceeding (criminal or civil), requiring anyone properly served to appear. Therefore, to ensure proper management and response, UTMB employees should immediately contact the Department of Legal Affairs upon service.

Subpoena for Protected Health Information

Many of the subpoenas received by UTMB relate to medical records and patient information, generally referred to as Protected Health Information (PHI). Any subpoena for PHI should be immediately sent to UTMB Health Information Management (HIM) at 409-772-1965. Very specific guidelines and processes apply to subpoenas for such information and should not be processed by anyone outside of HIM (See, IHOP 6.4.20 Disclosure of Protected Health Information in Judicial Proceedings).