A subpoena is a written order to compel an individual to give testimony on a particular subject, often before a court, but sometimes in other proceedings (such as a Congressional inquiry). Failure to comply with such an order to appear may be punishable as [[wex:contempt|contempt]].

The rules controlling subpoenas in Federal matters are found in Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

A subpoena can be more formally referred to as a subpoena ad testificandum, a subpoena to testify.


See also