What is a Subpoena?
A subpoena is a court order directing an individual to be present for court at the time and place stated on the summons. One may receive the subpoena by mail, electronically, or in person from a process server.
Who do I Contact with Questions?
If one has questions regarding the reason they have been subpoenaed to testify as a witness in a case, please call 707-253-4211. An individual can ask to speak with the Deputy District Attorney listed on the subpoena with any questions or concerns regarding their role as a witness. If there is a date conflict that cannot be changed, immediately notify the Deputy District Attorney that is listed in section 2C of the subpoena by calling 707-253-4211. (Monday-Friday, between 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
The Day Before the Court Hearing
To learn if court has been confirmed or cancelled after 5:00 PM on the business day preceding the date an individual has been subpoenaed to appear, call the District Attorney’s Office at 707-253-4282. As an alternative, an individual can visit the Napa County Superior Court Website after 5:00 PM on the preceding business day to search the Court Calendar information. Verifying this information may save an individual a trip to court if there are any changes to the court proceedings.
It is important to keep the District Attorney’s Office informed of updates such as current address, telephone number, and email address so the subpoenaed individual can be contacted about their case, including any changes in the appearance date or time.
What Happens if the Case Continues?
There may be times when a case will be continued (postponed) to a later date. If that happens, every effort will be made to contact the subpoenaed individual to advise them that they do not need to appear in court on the date on the subpoena. If an individual is contacted by someone from the District Attorney’s Office and advised that the date to appear has changed, they will be expected to appear at that new date and time.
What to Know About Appearing in Court
- Arrive on time on the date and location specified; plan to arrive early due to limited parking in downtown Napa.
- Bring your subpoena with you.
- Arrangements for childcare should be made in advance.
- When you appear at the Courthouse, dress neatly (no shorts, tank tops, flip flops, hats), do not talk to the jurors, judge, or the defendant, do not eat or chew gum in the courtroom, be calm and polite, avoid body and facial expressions/gestures, and ask anyone accompanying you to follow the same conduct rules.
- The Deputy District Attorney will tell you how long you will be expected to stay; you may be asked to wait in the hallway until called in to testify.