|Definition:||California State University San Marcos will comply with the demands of correctly issued subpoenas in a timely and appropriate manner. The Office of Risk Management and Safety is charged with the responsibility to receive and coordinate responses on behalf of the campus. Cal State San Marcos colleges, departments, programs, projects, and employees are to cooperate with Risk Management and Safety to ensure legal compliance.|
|Authority:||Executive Order 796; Collective Bargaining Unit Agreements; federal and state regulations. Revision to this policy and subsequent procedures is the responsibility of Risk Management and Safety as submitted to the Chief Financial Officer/Vice President fo|
|Scope:||Applies to all employees and organizational units of the campus.|
|Responsible Division:||Finance & Administrative Services|
|Signature Page/PDF:||View Signatures for Subpoenas Policy|
California State University San Marcos is sometimes served with subpoenas in civil lawsuits, criminal cases, and other kinds of formal proceedings. Employees and students may also be served with subpoenas due to their association with Cal State San Marcos or due to personal reasons.
Subpoenas may be issued to a named defendant, or to an entity or individual, who may have important information, including records, related to the legal case. The Subpoena Handbook issued November 2001 by the Office of General Counsel serves as the general guideline to the campus. This document may be found at:
In addition, the following procedures provide information for the appropriate management of subpoenas by Cal State San Marcos.
II. GENERAL CAMPUS PROTOCOL
A. Accepting a Subpoena
- Any individual attempting to serve a subpoena for student or employee records is to be sent to the Office of Risk Management and Safety located at 570 Rancheros, ste. 240, San Marcos. That office's telephone number is (760) 750-4502. The individual attempting to serve such a subpoena should be sent to the Office of Risk Management and Safety even if the subpoena identifies a specific person as the custodian of records.
- All subpoenas are to be directed to the Office of Risk Management and Safety unless the subpoena is being served to a specific individual who is identified by name on the subpoena.
(a) If the subpoena is being served to a specific individual, identified on the subpoena by name.
The individual identified by name is the only person who may accept the subpoena, expect in specific circumstances as outlined in i), ii), and iii) below. Members of the campus are not to accept a subpoena which is being served to another individual. Persons other than the individual identified on the subpoena may accept service only as follows:
i) If the subpoenaed person is a peace officer who is subpoenaed to testify about an event or transaction which he/she witnessed or investigated as a peace officer, the subpoena may be served by delivering two copies to his/her immediate superior or an agent designated to receive subpoenas, who must then deliver a copy to the peace officer.
ii) If the subpoenaed person is a state employee who is subpoenaed to testify about something he/she has gained expertise in during the course of his/her duties, a subpoena may be served by delivering two copies to the employee's immediate superior or an agent designated to receive subpoenas.
iii) State employees who are being subpoenaed to testify about matters they personally observed must be personally served.
(b) If the subpoena is being served to the California State University or The Trustees of the California State University. Anyone who attempts to serve a subpoena to these entities will be directed to the Chancellor's Office at 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach, CA 90802-4210. The general telephone number of the Chancellor's Office is (562) 951-4000. In the event an individual attempts to serve such a subpoena at Cal State San Marcos, please notify the Cal State San Marcos Office of Risk Management and Safety at 760-750-4502
- Contact the Office of Risk Management and Safety at ext. 4502 immediately if an individual serving a subpoena leaves the subpoena in your office, with someone other than the identified individual, or with a person not authorized to accept service of the subpoena.
- The law requires personal service of every subpoena. Do not accept service of a subpoena in any other manner, such as by fax or mail.
B. Complying with a Subpoena
The Office of Risk Management and Safety is responsible to ensure that the campus complies with correct subpoenas served to the campus. To accomplish this, Risk Management and Safety will take the following action.
- Risk Management and Safety will request the assistance of the Office of General Counsel to review a subpoena for correctness and to advise on complying with the demands of the subpoena.
- Subpoenas managed by the campus typically demand copies of an individual student's records or individual employee's employment records. Unless prevented from doing so by an appropriate court order, Risk Management and Safety will make a reasonable attempt to contact that individual to inform them of the demand as follows:
(a) In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Cal State San Marcos will make a reasonable attempt to notify a student whose records are subpoenaed, or the student's parent or legal guardian, in advance of compliance to give the student/parent sufficient time to move to quash the subpoena if he or she so chooses. Such notification will be by telephone, facsimile, regular mail, or certified mail, as may be appropriate under the circumstances. Risk Management and Safety shall maintain a record of the efforts to notify the student.
(b) Cal State San Marcos will make a reasonable attempt to contact current employees, whose personnel records are subpoenaed, at their listed telephone extension on campus and former employees at their last known telephone number or address.
- Risk Management and Safety will send copies of the subpoena, via facsimile, to the appropriate campus departments, which may maintain records and/or other documents relevant to the demands of the subpoena. The departments most often contacted regarding subpoenas are: Enrollment Services/Registration and Records, the Dean of Students, the individual units of Health, Counseling and Disability Services, and Human Resources and Equal Opportunity. Other campus offices may be contacted as determined by Risk Management and Safety and/or legal counsel. A copy of the cover facsimile memorandum is attached for your reference. (See Attachment A)
- Risk Management and Safety will be responsible for obtaining all documents requested by a subpoena.
(a) When a subpoena requests original documents. If original documents are required for reviewing and/or copying on site by the attorney's legal representative, this will be done in the Office of Risk Management and Safety. The department responsible for the requested documents will deliver them in a sealed envelope to Risk Management and Safety, who will give the sealed envelope to the attorney's representative to review and/or copy the contents. A member of Risk Management and Safety will be present during all review and/or copying of original documents to ensure the documents are preserved in original form. Risk Management and Safety will request that the originals be returned to the sealed envelope before receiving them back from the attorney's representative. The sealed envelope will be hand delivered to the responsible department by Risk Management and Safety.
(b) When a subpoena requests copies of original documents. The department responsible for the documents will copy them and deliver them in a sealed envelope to Risk Management and Safety. Risk Management and Safety will forward the sealed envelope to the court's representative as directed by the subpoena.
- To facilitate a coordinated response, the Director of Risk Management and Safety and the Risk Manager are each designated as a signatory of a received subpoena's Declaration of Custodian of Records form. Either the Director of Risk Management and Safety or the Risk Manager will sign the Declaration on behalf of the "Custodians of Educational Records" identified in Cal State San Marcos' Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act policy and procedure (Section III), and provide it to the court's representative.