Deposing Witnesses in Hawaii: Streamlined Discovery Under the UIDDA
Since the Hawai‘i legislature enacted the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA) in 2012, procedures have been streamlined for attorneys in other UIDDA states to issue subpoenas and discovery requests across the Pacific Ocean. Although each state’s version of the UIDDA is not quite as “uniform” as might be expected, the UIDDA permits attorneys to coordinate with out-of-state counterparts to facilitate interstate subpoena and discovery procedures. And even though the UIDDA is several years old in Hawai‘i, not all practitioners are aware of its benefits.
Mainland counsel can use the following UIDDA guidelines to issue a subpoena or discovery request to a witness in Hawai‘i:
- Prepare the home subpoena. Check whether your state has enacted the UIDDA. If so, contact the clerk’s office in your jurisdiction to request the issuance of a subpoena, following the relevant rules of your jurisdiction. Have your clerk’s office sign the subpoena.
- Complete the Hawai‘i subpoena. Complete a new subpoena form for the county within the State of Hawai‘i in which your witness resides. Counties are organized by island (First Circuit – O‘ahu; Second Circuit – Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i; Third Circuit – Hawai‘i; Fifth Circuit – Kaua‘i). Be sure to use the same terms that appeared in the subpoena issued in your state, in addition to the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all lawyers of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by a lawyer. A Hawai‘i-based attorney or court reporter can assist you in this process.
- Attach the home subpoena and sign the Hawai‘i subpoena. Submit the completed Hawai‘i subpoena form to the appropriate clerk’s office in Hawai‘i, attaching the fully executed subpoena from your home state. The clerk will follow UIDDA procedures to issue the Hawai‘i subpoena, using the information contained in the home subpoena. A Hawai‘i-based attorney or court reporter can assist with filing the subpoena, paying the required filing fees, and arranging for service of the subpoena and deposition notice in Hawai‘i.
Need additional information? Contact the clerk’s office in your jurisdiction or Hawai‘i for additional information. The Hawai‘i Judiciary website also contains contact information and directions for Hawai‘i State Courts.
Has Your State Enacted the UIDDA? Most states have enacted the UIDDA. Find out by visiting the website of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, here.
Sources: Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 624D-1 to D-7 (2012); Unif. Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act § 3 cmt. (2015).