28 U.S. Code § 1783 - Subpoena of person in foreign country

(a) A court of the United States may order the issuance of a subpoena requiring the appearance as a witness before it, or before a person or body designated by it, of a national or resident of the United States who is in a foreign country, or requiring the production of a specified document or other thing by him, if the court finds that particular testimony or the production of the document or other thing by him is necessary in the interest of justice, and, in other than a criminal action or proceeding, if the court finds, in addition, that it is not possible to obtain his testimony in admissible form without his personal appearance or to obtain the production of the document or other thing in any other manner.
(b) The subpoena shall designate the time and place for the appearance or for the production of the document or other thing. Service of the subpoena and any order to show cause, rule, judgment, or decree authorized by this section or by section 1784 of this title shall be effected in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to service of process on a person in a foreign country. The person serving the subpoena shall tender to the person to whom the subpoena is addressed his estimated necessary travel and attendance expenses, the amount of which shall be determined by the court and stated in the order directing the issuance of the subpoena.


(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 949; Pub. L. 88–619, § 10(a),Oct. 3, 1964, 78 Stat. 997.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§ 711, 712, and 713 (July 3, 1926, ch. 762, §§ 1–3,44 Stat. 835).
Word “resident” was substituted for “or domiciled therein.” (See reviser’s note under section 1391 of this title.)
Words “or any assistant or district attorney acting under him,” after “Attorney General” in section 712 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., were omitted, since, in any event, the approval of the Attorney General would be required. (See section 507 of this title.)
Changes were made in phraseology.
References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (b), are set out in the Appendix to this title.

1964—Pub. L. 88–619amended section generally, and among other changes, authorized a United States court to issue a subpoena to require the appearance of a witness before it or a person or body designated by it, and the production of documents or other tangible evidence, when necessary in the interest of justice, and in other than criminal actions or proceedings, if the court finds, in addition, that its not possible to obtain admissible evidence in any other manner, and provided that the procedure relating to the subpoena shall be in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and struck out provisions which authorized the issuance of a subpoena when a personally notified individual failed to appear to testify pursuant to letter rogatory, or failed to answer any question he would have to answer in any examination before the court or if such person was beyond United States jurisdiction and the testimony was desired by the Attorney General in a criminal proceeding, provided that the subpoena issue to any United States consul, that the consul make personal service of the subpoena and of any order, rule, judgment or decree, that he make return of the subpoena and tender expenses to the witness, and substituted “person” for “witness” in section catchline.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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28 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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