NYS CPL Law
Criminal Procedure Law
New York State Consolidated Laws
Article 610 - NY Criminal Procedure Law
SECURING ATTENDANCE OF WITNESSES BY SUBPOENA
S 610.10 Securing attendance of witnesses by subpoena; in general.
1. Under circumstances prescribed in this article, a person at
liberty within the state may be required to attend a criminal court
action or proceeding as a witness by the issuance and service upon him
of a subpoena.
2. A "subpoena" is a process of a court directing the person to whom
it is addressed to attend and appear as a witness in a designated action
or proceeding in such court, on a designated date and any recessed or
adjourned date of the action or proceeding. If the witness is given
reasonable notice of such recess or adjournment, no further process is
required to compel his attendance on the adjourned date.
3. As used in this article, "subpoena" includes a "subpoena duces
tecum." A subpoena duces tecum is a subpoena requiring the witness to
bring with him and produce specified physical evidence.
S 610.20 Securing attendance of witnesses by subpoena; when and by whom
subpoena may be issued.
1. Any criminal court may issue a subpoena for the attendance of a
witness in any criminal action or proceeding in such court.
2. A district attorney, or other prosecutor where appropriate, as an
officer of a criminal court in which he is conducting the prosecution of
a criminal action or proceeding, may issue a subpoena of such court,
subscribed by himself, for the attendance in such court or a grand jury
thereof of any witness whom the people are entitled to call in such
action or proceeding.
3. An attorney for a defendant in a criminal action or proceeding, as
an officer of a criminal court, may issue a subpoena of such court,
subscribed by himself, for the attendance in such court of any witness
whom the defendant is entitled to call in such action or proceeding. An
attorney for a defendant may not issue a subpoena duces tecum of the
court directed to any department, bureau or agency of the state or of a
political subdivision thereof, or to any officer or representative
thereof. Such a subpoena duces tecum may be issued in behalf of a
defendant upon order of a court pursuant to the rules applicable to
civil cases as provided in section twenty-three hundred seven of the
civil practice law and rules.
S 610.25 Securing attendance of witness by subpoena; possession of
1. Where a subpoena duces tecum is issued on reasonable notice to the
person subpoenaed, the court or grand jury shall have the right to
possession of the subpoenaed evidence. Such evidence may be retained by
the court, grand jury or district attorney on behalf of the grand jury.
2. The possession shall be for a period of time, and on terms and
conditions, as may reasonably be required for the action or proceeding.
The reasonableness of such possession, time, terms, and conditions shall
be determined with consideration for, among other things, (a) the good
cause shown by the party issuing the subpoena or in whose behalf the
subpoena is issued, (b) the rights and legitimate needs of the person
subpoenaed and (c) the feasibility and appropriateness of making copies
of the evidence. The cost of reproduction and transportation incident
thereto shall be borne by the person or party issuing the subpoena
unless the court determines otherwise in the interest of justice.
Nothing in this article shall be deemed to prohibit the designation of a
return date for a subpoena duces tecum prior to trial. Where physical
evidence specified to be produced will be sought to be retained in
custody, notice of such fact shall be given the subpoenaed party. In
any case where the court receives or retains evidence prior to trial, it
may, as may otherwise be authorized by law, grant the issuing party a
reasonable opportunity to inspect such evidence.
S 610.30 Securing attendance of witnesses by subpoena; where subpoena
may be served.
1. A subpoena of any criminal court, issued pursuant to section
610.20, may be served anywhere in the county of issuance or anywhere in
an adjoining county.
2. A subpoena of a superior court or of a superior court judge
sitting as a local criminal court, issued pursuant to section 610.20,
may be served anywhere in the state.
3. A subpoena of a district court or of the New York City criminal
court, issued pursuant to section 610.20, may be served anywhere in the
state; provided that, if such subpoena is issued by a prosecutor or by
an attorney for a defendant, it may be served in a county other than the
county of issuance or an adjoining county only if such court, upon
application of such prosecutor or attorney, endorses upon such subpoena
an order for the attendance of the witness.
4. A subpoena of a city court or a town court or a village court,
issued pursuant to section 610.20, may be served in a county other than
the one of issuance or an adjoining county if a judge of a superior
court, upon application of the issuing court or the district attorney or
an attorney for the defendant, endorses upon such subpoena an order for
the attendance of the witness.
S 610.40 Securing attendance of witnesses by subpoena; how and by whom
subpoena may be served.
A subpoena may be served by any person more than eighteen years old.
Service must be made in the manner provided by the civil practice law
and rules for the service of subpoenas in civil cases.
S 610.50 Securing attendance of witness by subpoena; fees.
1. A witness subpoenaed by the people in a criminal action is
entitled to the same fees and mileage as a witness in a civil action,
payable by the treasurer of the county upon the certificate of the court
or the clerk thereof, stating the number of days the witness actually
attended and the number of miles traveled by him in order to attend. In
any such action, the court may, by order, direct the county treasurer to
pay to such witness a further reasonable sum for expenses, to be
specified in the order, and the county treasurer, upon the production of
the order or a certified copy thereof, must pay the witness the sum
specified therein out of the county treasury. Such certificates shall
only be issued by the court or the clerk thereof, upon the production of
the affidavit of the witness, stating that he attended as such either on
subpoena or request of the district attorney, the number of miles
necessarily traveled and the duration of attendance. An officer in any
state department who attends as a witness under this section in his
official capacity, or in consequence of any official action taken by
him, and who receives a fixed sum in lieu of expenses, or who is
entitled to receive the actual expenses incurred by him in the discharge
of his official duties, is not entitled to the compensation herein
2. A witness subpoenaed by the defendant in a criminal action is not
entitled as of right to witness and mileage fees, but the court may in
its discretion, by order, direct the county treasurer to pay to such a
witness a reasonable sum for expenses, to be specified in the order.
Upon the production of the order or a certified copy thereof, the county
treasurer must pay the witness the sum specified therein, out of the
Top of Page
Criminal Procedure Law - Table of Contents
- A comprehensive on-line digest of New York's criminal code.