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November 19, 2009 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Is there a word for a person who has been subpoenaed? If two people are subpoenaed, they are called co-...? They're not co-defendants. Is there an equivalent?
posted by streetdreams to Law & Government (14 answers total)
If you've been subpoenaed, you are called as a witness. So, you are called a witness. As for the co business, I don't know about that. They would just be witnesses, I believe.
posted by witchstone at 1:23 PM on November 19, 2009

Seconding witness and witnesses. If you're called to give a deposition, you might also be called a deponent, but two people called to give depositions would just be deponents, not co-anythings.
posted by zachlipton at 1:29 PM on November 19, 2009

If subpoenaed to give deposition testimony, one is called a "deponent"
posted by salsamander at 1:29 PM on November 19, 2009

You are what you are in the case. If you're a witness, you're a witness. If you're being subpoenaed to be deposed, though, you're a deponent.

Two people who receive subpoenas have no relationship to each other.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:29 PM on November 19, 2009

If you are subpoenaed to be on a jury, you are a potential juror.
posted by Pax at 1:42 PM on November 19, 2009

Co-respondent is one choice, although this would be an informal usage—respondent means something slightly different when used in its legal sense.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:26 PM on November 19, 2009

Assuming you mean what to call the person before he or she actually becomes classified as a witness or deponent, for example if the person plans to fight the subpoena instead of complying with it, I think the most common term is recipient. Obviously since the word has a pretty common non-legal meaning, this only works if you are already talking about subpoenas, as in, "Once a valid subpoena has been issued, the recipient has X days to respond."
posted by Partial Law at 2:34 PM on November 19, 2009

Another name for a potential juror is a venireman. I've sometimes heard 'em called venirepersons or veniremembers.

In the context of civil litigation, if you send a subpoena to two different people (say, A and B), they're not really co-anything. A's response could be totally separate from B's response. If these are just guys with documents or witnesses, these are usually called "third-party subpoena recipients" or just "subpoena recipients".

You can break out the Latin and talk about a subpoena duces tecum (show up and bring documents with you) or a subpoena ad testificandum (just testimony). I sometimes hear these terms but usually it's just "a subpoena" and "the recipient" or "the third-party respondent" .
posted by QuantumMeruit at 2:54 PM on November 19, 2009

Sorry for the multiple post. FWIW, if you receive a subpoena in (US) federal court, and file an opposition / motion to quash, the system will automatically call your filing something along the lines of "Respondent Streetdreams' Motion to Quash". By the act of filing the motion to quash, you've become a respondent and not just a recipient.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 2:58 PM on November 19, 2009

Subpoenant seems to have been used so infrequently that you shouldn't use it, but everyone would know what you meant.

And recipient sounds good to me, but you could also consider target.
posted by Xalf at 3:22 PM on November 19, 2009

I use "respondent."
posted by mikewas at 3:25 PM on November 19, 2009

Witness could also be "Professional Witness"--there is a difference . . .
posted by 6:1 at 4:49 PM on November 19, 2009

You don't have to be a witness to get a subpoena.
You don't have to get a subpoena to be a witness.
You either are a witness or you are not a witness.
Don't refer to yourself as a witness, because "they" might not know you are a witness.
Don't supply information that you are not explicitly asked for.
posted by charlesminus at 5:23 PM on November 19, 2009

A lot of these are awkward.

I'd go with "the subpoenaed parties", "the subpoenaed persons" or just "the two subpoenaed" or even "those subpoenaed".
posted by rokusan at 5:31 PM on November 19, 2009

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