Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45, governing civil subpoenas, changed significantly on December 1, 2013. Notably, the changes not only simplified Rule 45, but also changed which court is responsible for issuing and enforcing subpoenas. The main changes to Rule 45 include:
- A subpoena must always issue from the court where the action is pending.
- When an issuing party provides notice of the subpoena to other parties, it must include a copy of the subpoena.
- A subpoena may be issued nationwide.
- The court for the district where compliance is required is now responsible for enforcing a subpoena.
- Motions to quash should now be filed in the court for the district where compliance is required.
- The court for the district where compliance is required may transfer a motion to quash to the issuing court, and if it does, an attorney authorized to practice in the court where compliance is required can appear on the motion in the issuing court. The issuing court may then transfer its order to the court where the motion was made for enforcement. The court for the district where compliance is required – or, if a motion is transferred, the issuing court – may hold a person who does not comply with the subpoena in contempt.