Family Court of Western Australia

Serving a Subpoena

If the court issues the subpoena, it must be promptly served on the person named in the subpoena. If the subpoena is to produce documents, it must be served on the named person and all parties no later than 10 days before the production date, which is stated on the subpoena and in the notification letter from the court.

You need to serve:

  • the Subpoena (Form 14).
  • the notification letter from the court advising of the production date or hearing date.
  • conduct money (see below for details).
  • a copy of the brochure Information for people who have been served with a subpoena.

A subpoena for production has to be served by ordinary service, and a subpoena to give evidence requires special service by hand.

The subpoena, the notification letter from the court, and the brochure must also be served on each other party in the proceedings, (including an independent children’s lawyer if appointed), and any person who has a sufficient interest in the subpoena (for example, someone whose bank records or criminal records you are seeking to be produced).

Conduct Money

You are required to pay conduct money to the person you subpoena, which needs to cover the cost of complying with the subpoena. If you do not provide this money, the person is not required to comply with the subpoena.

The minimum amount of conduct money is $25.

The cost of complying with a subpoena for production needs to cover costs such as identifying, copying and collating the documents required.

The cost of complying with a subpoena to give evidence (or give evidence and provide documents) needs to cover:

  • return travel by public transport from the person’s place of work or residence to the Court, and
  • a reasonable allowance for accommodation and meals during the estimated time of personal attendance at the hearing or trial.

Note that a witness is also entitled to be paid a witness fee immediately after attending court in compliance with the subpoena. The witness fee is:

  • All witnesses – $75 for each day, or part of a day
  • Expert witnesses – an amount as the court allows for the preparation of a report and absence from their place of employment.

If a person incurs a substantial loss or expense greater than the set conduct money or witness fee, a court may order that the issuing party reimburse these expenses.

Additional Requirements for Service on Department of Communities

There are additional requirements when serving a subpoena on the Department of Communities.  You have to provide the Department with certain information.  See Case Management Guideline 72.1.

Last updated: 9-May-2022

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