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Guidelines for Accepting Service of Subpoenas

Understand the guidelines for accepting subpoenas.

UC San Diego’s Risk Management department will not be accepting subpoenas in-person until further notice. Individuals serving subpoenas may send an electronic copy to Risk Management personnel will review the subpoena to ensure it complies with California or federal law and will notify the serving party via email if it is accepted. UC San Diego reserves the right to object to any subpoena served electronically and does not waive any protections provided to third parties under California or federal law.

Please be advised, Risk Management and other campus departments are engaged in mission-critical tasks. Therefore, our subpoena response resources are limited. UC San Diego requests that parties serving subpoenas consider providing more than the 10/15 day production deadline proscribed by law. The Risk Management department will request extensions to productions dates that provide less than 21 days to respond.

Questions regarding these subpoena procedures can be submitted to

What is a subpoena?subpoena

Subpoenas are legal documents that: 1) command attendance at a deposition, trial, or other legal proceeding; 2) the production of records; 3) or both.

How are they delivered?

Generally, subpoenas must be personally served.

If you have received a subpoena by mail or have inadvertently accepted service of a subpoena, you should notify Risk Management immediately of the existence of the subpoena and discuss the subpoena with Risk Management before responding in any way, even if no documents responsive to a subpoena for records exist or the person named in the subpoena is not available to testify. Risk Management will promptly delegate responsibility for responding to subpoenas where appropriate and/or will coordinate responses. UC San Diego must respond to subpoenas within certain legally-prescribed deadlines, so your immediate contact of Risk Management as described herein is imperative.

When should you accept service?

Generally, the only time you should accept service of a subpoena is where it names you personally and does not involve University-related business.

1. Deposition Subpoena Requiring Witness Testimony — Only Risk Management may accept service of a deposition subpoena that involves UC San Diego business (e.g., Subpoenas seeking a “Person Most Knowledgeable” or a “Person Most Qualified” from UC San Diego, subpoenas involving University departments, University procedures, events occurring at UC San Diego, etc.)

2. Subpoena for Records — Only Risk Management may accept service of a subpoena for records that involves UC San Diego business (e.g., personnel records, payroll records, department emails, workers’ compensation records, IP information, donor information, student records, etc.)  If a process server appears at your office with a subpoena for a custodian of records or a named person in your department, you may not accept the subpoena, but instead, direct the process server to contact Risk Management at (858) 534-2454. If you receive the subpoena by mail, enter the date and time of receipt on the copy received and immediately email it to Risk Management ( or for instructions regarding its disposition.

What about other types of legal documents and requests?

The above guidelines focus on subpoenas requesting certain UC San Diego business documents and/or deposition testimony. Requests for Public Records Requests fall outside of these guidelines. For a discussion of the other types of records requests and the departments responsible for responding to them, please see PPM 470-1. You may also contact Bryce Besser at with any questions, or to determine which department a request should be sent to.

Questions or need advice? Please contact Bryce Besser at or (858) 246-1857.