Under the Maryland Uniform Interstate Discovery Act (“Interstate Discovery Act”), “when it is necessary to obtain the testimony of a person who lives in Maryland, parties to litigation in a sister state have the very same rights as parties to litigation in a Maryland court.” Forensic Advisors, Inc. v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., 170 Md. App. 520, 230 (2006); Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 9-401, et seq. In addition to deposition testimony, the Interstate Discover Act also allows foreign litigants to compel the production of documents and premises inspections in Maryland. Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 9-401(f)(2)-(3).
On April 1, 2017, Md. Rule 2-510.1 became effective and added an additional procedural requirement for obtaining interstate discovery in Maryland. Md. Rule 2-510.1(c) now requires that both the foreign party seeking discovery and its attorney execute and file a written “undertaking” by which they “submit to the jurisdiction of the circuit court for the [limited] purpose of adjudicating discovery disputes, motions to quash, enforcement of the subpoena, and discovery sanctions.” Id. The new undertaking form is available to Maryland attorneys through the judiciary’s Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) website.
The specific process for obtaining Maryland subpoenas for interstate discovery continues to vary from county to county. However, as an example, in light of the new Md. Rule 2-510.1, the process for obtaining interstate discovery in Baltimore County is as follows:
- 1. Issuance of a foreign subpoena according to the foreign jurisdiction’s rules and procedures.
- 2. Append to the foreign subpoena a list of “the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record in the proceeding to which the subpoena relates and of any party not represented by counsel.” Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 9-402(c)(2).
- 3. Execute the undertaking form.
- 4. Complete a Circuit Court for Baltimore County Statewide Uniform Subpoena form.
- 5. Request that the Clerk of the Court for the Circuit Court of Baltimore County issue a Maryland subpoena. Include all of the above-referenced documents and a check for the filing fee with the request.