Topic:
STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS; STATE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; SUBPOENA;
Location:
SUBPOENA;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


The Connecticut General Assembly

OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH




April 9, 1996 96-R-0654

TO:

FROM: Barbara Menard, Legislative Fellow

Scott McWilliams, Legislative Fellow

RE: Subpoena Power

You asked us to update OLR 85-R-0992, which details who has subpoena power in Connecticut.

RESPONSE

Person, Committee, Board, Commission, Officer, Council, or Agency with Authority to Issue Subpoena

CGS

Section

Freedom of Information Commission

1-21j

State Ethics Commission

1-82

General Assembly (Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speak of the House of Representatives, committee chairmen, any committee of either house)

2-46

Attorney General

4-13

Presiding officer of a UAPA related agency hearing

4-177b

Employees' Review Board

5-201

State Board of Mediation and Arbitration

5-276a

Any municipal fair rent commission

7-148b

Any municipal fair housing commission

7-148g

Any municipal ethics commission

7-148h

Any municipal discriminatory practices investigation commission

7-148i

Department of Transportation

7-273e

Chief executive officer of a municipality, clerk of the board of police commissioners, or any justice of the peace

7-279

Civil Service Board

7-409

Any member of an arbitration panel conducting a hearing in pursuit of a collective bargaining agreement between a municipality and municipal employee organization

7-473c

7-474

The appointing authority of a housing authority commissioner for the purpose of determining the cause of removal from office

8-43

Commissioner of Department of economic and Community Development and commissioner of transportation

8-278

State Elections Commission

9-7b

State referee or judge and any state's or assistant state's attorney relative to any campaign financing matter under investigation

9-346b

State Board of Education

10-4b

Board of Labor Relations

10-153e

Commissioner of higher education

10a-22

Commissioner of revenue services

12-2

12-207

12-232

12-268f

12-310

12-330k

12-357

12-395

12-405k

12-429

12-445

12-510

12-552

12-592

12-638h

12-656

12-740

Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management

12-129d

12-170cc

12-170g

16a-5

Any member of a board of arbitration holding hearings on a dispute as to a decedent's domicile

12-374

Executive director of the Division of Special Revenue or the Gaming Policy Board

12-565

Commissioner of transportation

13b-18

13b-231

14-76

14-110

14-327d

Bradley International Airport Commission

15-101s

Psychiatric Security Review Board

17a-595

Commissioner of social services

17b-60

17b-64

17b-137

17b-238

Commissioner of public safety or an enforcement officer of the Superior Court

17b-137

Commission on Hospitals and Health Care

19a-149

19a-180

Commissioner of public health

17a-450

19a-2a

19a-84

19a-498

20-99

20-141

All boards and commissions established by the Department of Public Health listed in this section

19a-14

Chief medical examiner

19a-407

19a-412

Members of Commission of Pharmacy

20-164

Commissioner of consumer protection

21a-190i

20-164

20-341x

21-71

21a-8

21a-70

21a-196

21a-200

21a-275

21a-323

42-110d

42-146

42-181

State Board of Accountancy

20-280

20-280b

20-377g

20-424

Real Estate Commission

20-455

All boards and commissions created by the Department of Consumer protection listed in this section

21a-7

Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact Commission

22-203aa

Commissioner of agriculture

22-228

26-207

Commissioner of environmental protection

15-124

22a-6

22a-424

Connecticut Hazardous Waste Management Service

22a-134ff

Mid Atlantic States Air Pollution Control Commission

22a-166

Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority

22a-265

Director of civil preparedness

28-5

Commissioner of public safety

29-310

Department of Liquor Control

30-8

Wage Board chairman

31-61

Commissioner of labor and director of minimum wage and wage enforcement

31-76a

Board of Mediation and Arbitration, Labor Department

31-95

Panel of Board of Mediation and Arbitration

31-96

31-97

31-99

State Board of Labor Relations

31-108

Chairman, employment security appeals referee, administrator, or examiner of the Employment Security Board of Review

31-245

31-246

Commissioner of labor or executive director of Employment Security Division

31-271

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

31-376

Attorney general, deputy or assistant attorney general

35-42

Commissioner of banking

36-17

36-428L

36-26

36-71

Commissioner of insurance

38-8

38-14

38-16

38-687

38-817

38-923

38-940

Commission on the Status of Women

46a-5

Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and hearing examiners

46a-54

46a-57

46a-83

Real Estate Commission

47-107

Any chairman of a standing committee on recommendations for admission to the bar

51-81

Attorney general, assistant attorney general, public defender, or assistant public defender

52-143

Judge, clerk of any court, justice of the peace, notary public, or commissioner of the Superior Court

52-148e

52-155

Attorney general

42-182

53-392d

Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

46-11

Judicial Selection Commission

51-44

State's attorneys (for witnesses in criminal cases)

51-286

Criminal Inquiries Compensation Board

54-205

Arbitrators

52-412

52-549

Fact finders

52-549

TYPES OF SUBPOENA POWERS

There are two types of subpoenas. A subpoena ad testificandum is the technical and descriptive terms for the ordinary subpoena. It is the medium for compelling the attendance of a witness in court. The subpoena duces tecum is the process by which a court requires the production before it of documents, papers, or tangible things. The object of the writ is the production of evidence to be used, so far as admissible, before the court.

ISSUANCE OF A SUBPOENA

Connecticut law does not prescribe any general procedures applicable to all issuances of subpoenas. However, the statutes do designate the persons qualified to issue subpoenas. Subpoenas may be issued in a wide variety of procedures. In criminal prosecutions, a subpoena may be issued by a judge (CGS 54-2a). In civil matters, a subpoena for a witness can be signed by the clerk of the court or a lawyer, and must be served by an indifferent person (CGS 52-143(a). Typically, a lawyer will fill out a legal form with the specifics of the case and have it served by a sheriff. A subpoena need not be to insure attendance in court, but may also be used to compel an appearance at a lawyer's office or other place for a deposition (see Practice Book 245).

In addition to subpoenas issued as part of a legal preceding before the courts, the statutes give subpoena power to a variety of state agencies and officers for investigatory and quasi-judicial functions.

The specific nature of the power and related procedures vary from statute to statute. Thus, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities can, on its own, “subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance,” while the secretary of Policy and Management must apply to the Superior Court for a subpoena. The former power is the common one. The freedom of Information Commission has the “power to subpoena witnesses under procedural rules” it adopts. Generally, grants of subpoena power make no mention of special procedural rules. Most of the statutes, but not all, delineate a procedure for an agency to follow should a subpoena be disregarded. Generally, this involves application to the Superior Court for enforcement of the subpoena (see CGS 1-3b). Violation of a court ordered subpoena is punishable as contempt. A subpoena of the General Assembly, however, need not be enforced by court order. Refusal to obey such a subpoena is a crime with a penalty of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months imprisonment.

BM:SM/pa