Summonses, Court Orders, Subpoenas and other Written Requests
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) provides legal services and advice in responding to summonses, court orders, and subpoenas requiring either the personal appearance of a University employee for testimony relating to University business or the production of University documents or records. Process of court orders, summonses, subpoenas or any other legal process should be served upon the OGC, Modesto Maidique Campus, PC 511, (305) 348-2103. When a process server attempts to serve you with official court documents, please refer them to the OGC. Should you or someone in your department accidentally accept service on behalf of the University, promptly follow the procedures as outlined below. Given that these documents frequently have deadlines with which FIU must comply, it is important to follow these steps as quickly as possible to avoid the imposition of penalties.
If process is not served on the OGC, the following procedures are applicable:
- Court Orders/Summonses – University employees receiving a court order, summons or notification that a lawsuit has been filed against them (for actions taken in the course and within the scope of their job) or the University must immediately forward either the original or a copy of the court order, summons or notification to the OGC with the date received by the department indicated on the document.
- Subpoenas – Subpoenas should be immediately forwarded to the OGC, with the date received by the department indicated on the document.
- Subpoenas for Medical Records for the HCN Faculty Group Practice and Neighborhood Health Program ONLY – Subpoenas should be served on Val Aubourg, Associate General Counsel, at AHC4 212.
WHEN TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, PLEASE HAND-DELIVER OR TRANSMIT THE DOCUMENT TO THE OGC VIA FACSIMILE (305) 348-3272 AND CALL (305) 348-2103 TO CONFIRM RECEIPT.
Please note that the University is bound to follow privacy and confidentiality safeguards imposed by federal and state laws in certain instances prior to the release or disclosure of any records.
- Written Communications – The recipient of letters, correspondence or other communications from lawyers or court officials should acknowledge receipt and indicate that the letter will be forwarded to the OGC for a response. The recipient should forward the letter (with the date received by the department indicated on the document) to the OGC immediately and call (305) 348-2103 to confirm receipt.
Department’s Role in Responding to a Subpoena
When the OGC faxes/emails a subpoena to a department for records, departments are to:
- Read the subpoena and note the date of production (date attorney is requesting the records by).
- If there are records responsive to the subpoena, make a photocopy of what you will be producing (never submit originals) and submit to Lizvette Torres in MMC, PC 511 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important to respond as soon as possible to ensure compliance with the subpoena’s due date.
- If there are no records to produce, please advise Lizvette Torres via email at email@example.com.
HIV, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Psychological or Psychiatric records:
Note that records pertaining to HIV, alcohol/substance abuse or mental health have special treatment under the law. The OGC cannot confirm or deny the existence of any such records because a subpoena does not authorize the release of such records. In order for such records to be released, the subpoena must be accompanied by a court order authorizing the disclosure or a valid consent from the patient. See HIV, Alcohol or Substance Abuse, or Psychological– Authorization for the Release of Records.
If you have questions, call an OGC attorney at extension 7-2103. Please do not contact an outside attorney unless instructed to do so by the OGC. If an outside attorney calls you directly, please ask them to call the OGC.