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California State Rules for service of process and licensing laws

What follows is my own summary of the statutes, which is intended only as a guide to point readers in the direction of the relevant law.   All state court papers should be served in accordance with the law of the state having original jurisdiction (where the complaint is filed).
 The Federal Law on this subject is covered in Title 18 U.S.C. � 1501, which provides in relevant part: 

Assault on a California Process Server 
Whoever knowingly and willingly obstructs, resists or opposes any officer of the United States, or other person duly authorized, in serving, or attempting to serve or execute, any legal or judicial writ or process of any court of the United States...shall, except as otherwise provided by law, be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
CALIFORNIA 
Persons who serve more than 10 papers a year are required to be registered in the county in which they operate. Registration is valid statewide. Applicants must be a resident for one year immediately preceding filing. Each applicant is required to post a $2,000 bond or cash deposit. No testing or education required. Licensed private investigators, although exempt from the registration requirement, would probably not be empowered to serve bank levies and similar documents without being registered in view of the statutory language requiring that a registered process server serve those documents.
[California Business and Professions Code �22350 and �22353] 

CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
Disclaimer: Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, there will be times when the material on this site will not be current. It is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. It should not be considered comprehensive or exhaustive and is not a substitute for advice from your attorney. We make no express or implied warranty as to the material's accuracy, reliability, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose, including applicability to your jurisdiction or circumstances. We assume no liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential damages resulting from your reliance on this material; you do so at your own risk. Seek the advice of an attorney. Comments, corrections or suggestions should be directed to info@samedayprocess.com.
§ 413.10
Except as otherwise provided by statute, a summons shall be served on a person:
(a) Within this state, as provided in this chapter.
(b) Outside this state but within the United States, as provided in this chapter or as prescribed by the law of the place where the person is served.
(c) Outside the United States, as provided in this chapter or as directed by the court in which the action is pending, or, if the court before or after service finds that the service is reasonably calculated to give actual notice, as prescribed by the law of the place where the person is served or as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory. These rules are subject to the provisions of the Convention on the "Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents" in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention).
(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 191, Sec. 1.)
§ 413.20
If a summons is served by mail pursuant to this chapter, the provisions of Section 1013 that extend the time for exercising a right or doing an act shall not extend any time specified in this title.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
§ 413.30
Where no provision is made in this chapter or other law for the service of summons, the court in which the action is pending may direct that summons be served in a manner which is reasonably calculated to give actual notice to the party to be served and that proof of such service be made as prescribed by the court.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
§ 413.40
Any service of summons which complies with the provisions of this chapter shall not be rendered invalid or ineffective because it was made by a person in violation of Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350 Bus. & Prof.) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code.
(Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1661.)
§ 414.10
A summons may be served by any person who is at least 18 years of age and not a party to the action.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
§ 415.10
A summons may be served by personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete at the time of such delivery. The date upon which personal delivery is made shall be entered on or affixed to the face of the copy of the summons at the time of its delivery. However, service of a summons without such date shall be valid and effective.
(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 789.)
§ 415.20
(a) In lieu of personal delivery of a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.10, 416.20, 416. 30, 416.40, or 416.50, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and of the complaint during usual office hours in his or her office with the person who is apparently in charge thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and of the complaint were left. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing.
(b) If a copy of the summons and of the complaint cannot with reasonable diligence be personally delivered to the person to be served as specified in Section 416.60, 416.70, 416.80, or 416.90, a summons may be served by leaving a copy of the summons and of the complaint at such person's dwelling house, usual place of abode, usual place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, in the presence of a competent member of the household or a person apparently in charge of his or her office, place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, at least 18 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof, and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint (by first-class mail, postage prepaid) to the person to be served at the place where a copy of the summons and of the complaint were left. Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after the mailing.
(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1416, Sec. 15.)
§ 415.21
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person shall be granted access to a gated community for a reasonable period of time for the purpose of performing lawful service of process, upon identifying to the guard the person or persons to be served, and upon displaying a current driver's license or other identification, and one of the following:
(1) A badge or other confirmation that the individual is acting in his or her capacity as a representative of a county sheriff or marshal.
(2) Evidence of current registration as a process server pursuant to Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350 Bus. & Prof.) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code.
(b) This section shall only apply to a gated community which is staffed at the time service of process is attempted by a guard or other security personnel assigned to control access to the community.
(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 691, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)
§ 415.30
(b) The notice specified in subdivision (a) shall be in substantially the following form:
(Title of court and cause, with action number, to be inserted by the sender prior to mailing) notice
To: (Here state the name of the person to be served.)
This summons is served pursuant to Section 415.30 Civ. Proc. of the California Code of Civil Procedure. Failure to complete this form and return it to the sender within 20 days may subject you (or the party on whose behalf you are being served) to liability for the payment of any expenses incurred in serving a summons upon you in any other manner permitted by law. If you are served on behalf of a corporation, unincorporated association (including a partnership), or other entity, this form must be signed in the name of such entity by you or by a person authorized to receive service of process on behalf of such entity. In all other cases, this form must be signed by you personally or by a person authorized by you to acknowledge receipt of summons. Section 415.30 Civ. Proc. provides that this summons is deemed served on the date of execution of an acknowledgment of receipt of summons.
_______________
Signature of sender
Acknowledgment of receipt of summons
This acknowledges receipt on (insert date) of a copy of the summons and of the complaint at (insert address).
Date:____________________________________________________________
(Date this acknowledgement is executed)
____________________________________________________________
Signature of person acknowledging receipt, with title if acknowledgment is made on behalf of another person
(c) Service of a summons pursuant to this section is deemed complete on the date a written acknowledgement of receipt of summons is executed, if such acknowledgement thereafter is returned to the sender.
(d) If the person to whom a copy of the summons and of the complaint are mailed pursuant to this section fails to complete and return the acknowledgement form set forth in subdivision (b) within 20 days from the date of such mailing, the party to whom the summons was mailed shall be liable for reasonable expenses thereafter incurred in serving or attempting to serve the party by another method permitted by this chapter, and, except for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending, upon motion, with or without notice, shall award the party such expenses whether or not he is otherwise entitled to recover his costs in the action.
(e) A notice or acknowledgment of receipt in form approved by the Judicial Council is deemed to comply with this section.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 1610.)
§ 415.40
A summons may be served on a person outside this state in any manner provided by this article or by sending a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the person to be served by first-class mail, postage prepaid, requiring a return receipt. Service of a summons by this form of mail is deemed complete on the 10th day after such mailing.
(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 249, Sec. 1.)
§ 415.45
(a) A summons in an action for unlawful detainer of real property may be served by posting if upon affidavit it appears to the satisfaction of the court in which the action is pending that the party to be served cannot with reasonable diligence be served in any manner specified in this article other than publication and that:
(1) A cause of action exists against the party upon whom service is to be made or he is a necessary or proper party to the action; or
(2) The party to be served has or claims an interest in real property in this state that is subject to the jurisdiction of the court or the relief demanded in the action consists wholly or in part in excluding such party from any interest in such property.
(b) The court shall order the summons to be posted on the premises in a manner most likely to give actual notice to the party to be served and direct that a copy of the summons and of the complaint be forthwith mailed by certified mail to such party at his last known address.
(c) Service of summons in this manner is deemed complete on the 10th day after posting and mailing.
(d) Notwithstanding an order for posting of the summons, a summons may be served in any other manner authorized by this article, except publication, in which event such service shall supersede any posted summons.
(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 625.)
§ 415.46
(a) In addition to the service of a summons and complaint in an action for unlawful detainer upon a tenant and subtenant, if any, as prescribed by this article, a prejudgment claim of right to possession may also be served on any person who appears to be or who may claim to have occupied the premises at the time of the filing of the action. Service upon occupants shall be made pursuant to subdivision (c) by serving a copy of a prejudgment claim of right to possession, as specified in subdivision (f), attached to a copy of the summons and complaint at the same time service is made upon the tenant and subtenant, if any.
(b) Service of the prejudgment claim of right to possession in this manner shall be effected by a marshal, sheriff, or registered process server.
(c) When serving the summons and complaint upon a tenant and subtenant, if any, the marshal, sheriff, or registered process server shall make a reasonably diligent effort to ascertain whether there are other adult occupants of the premises who are not named in the summons and complaint by inquiring of the person or persons who are being personally served, or any person of suitable age and discretion who appears to reside upon the premises, whether there are other occupants of the premises.
If the identity of such an occupant is disclosed to the officer or process server and the occupant is present at the premises, the officer or process server shall serve that occupant with a copy of the prejudgment claim of right to possession attached to a copy of the summons and complaint. If personal service cannot be made upon that occupant at that time, service may be effected by (1) leaving a copy of a prejudgment claim of right to possession attached to a copy of the summons and complaint addressed to that occupant with a person of suitable age and discretion at the premises, (2) affixing the same so that it is not readily removable in a conspicuous place on the premises in a manner most likely to give actual notice to that occupant, and (3) sending the same addressed to that occupant by first-class mail.
In addition to the service on an identified occupant, or if no occupant is disclosed to the officer or process server, or if substituted service is made upon the tenant and subtenant, if any, the officer or process server shall serve a prejudgment claim of right to possession for all other persons who may claim to occupy the premises at the time of the filing of the action by (1) leaving a copy of a prejudgment claim of right to possession attached to a copy of the summons and complaint at the premises at the same time service is made upon the tenant and subtenant, if any, (2) affixing the same so that it is not readily removable in a conspicuous place on the premises so that it is likely to give actual notice to an occupant, and (3) sending the same addressed to "all occupants in care of the named tenant" to the premises by first-class mail.
The person serving process shall state the date of service on the prejudgment claim of right to possession form. However, the absence of the date of service on the prejudgment claim of right to possession does not invalidate the claim.
(d) Proof of service under this section shall be filed with the court and shall include a statement that service was made pursuant to this section. Service on occupants in accordance with this section shall not alter or affect service upon the tenant or subtenant, if any.
(e) If an owner or his or her agent has directed and obtained service of a prejudgment claim of right to possession in accordance with this section, no occupant of the premises, whether or not such occupant is named in the judgment for possession, may object to the enforcement of that judgment as prescribed in Section 1174.3.
(f) The prejudgment claim of right to possession shall be made on the following form:
[NOTE FROM SERVE-EM.COM: Form not available. Please refer to Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession form as printed on pages 4 to 7 of Chapter 57, 1991 Statutes.]
(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 57, Sec. 1. Effective June 17, 1991. Note: Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession form is printed on pages 159 to 162 of the 1991 Statutes.)
§ 415.47
(a) Where the lessee has given the lessor written notice of the lessee's intent not to abandon leased real property as provided in Section 1951.3 Civ. of the Civil Code, the summons in an action for unlawful detainer of the real property may be served on the lessee by certified mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the lessee at the address stated in the lessee's notice of intent not to abandon if such summons is deposited in the mail within 60 days from the date the lessee's notice of intent not to abandon is received by the lessor. Service in this manner is deemed completed on the 10th day after such mailing.
(b) Where the lessee has given the lessor written notice of the lessee's intent not to abandon leased real property as provided in Section 1951.3 Civ. of the Civil Code, but failed to include in such notice an address at which the lessee may be served by certified mail in any action for unlawful detainer of the real property, the summons in an action for unlawful detainer of the real property may be served on the lessee by certified mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the lessee at (1) the same address or addresses to which the lessor's notice of belief of abandonment was addressed if that notice was given by mail or (2) the address of the real property if the lessor's notice of belief of abandonment was personally served on the lessee. Service may not be made pursuant to this subdivision unless the summons is deposited in the mail within 60 days from the date the lessee's notice of intent not to abandon is received by the lessor. Service in the manner authorized by this subdivision is deemed completed on the 10th day after such mailing.
(c) This section provides an alternative method of service on the lessee and does not preclude service in any other manner authorized by this chapter.
(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 332.)
§ 415.50
(a) A summons may be served by publication if upon affidavit it appears to the satisfaction of the court in which the action is pending that the party to be served cannot with reasonable diligence be served in another manner specified in this article and that:
(1) A cause of action exists against the party upon whom service is to be made or he or she is a necessary or proper party to the action; or
(2) The party to be served has or claims an interest in real or personal property in this state that is subject to the jurisdiction of the court or the relief demanded in the action consists wholly or in part in excluding the party from any interest in the property.
(b) The court shall order the summons to be published in a named newspaper, published in this state, that is most likely to give actual notice to the party to be served and direct that a copy of the summons, the complaint, and the order for publication be forthwith mailed to the party if his or her address is ascertained before expiration of the time prescribed for publication of the summons. Except as otherwise provided by statute, the publication shall be made as provided by Section 6064 Gov't of the Government Code unless the court, in its discretion, orders publication for a longer period.
(c) Service of a summons in this manner is deemed complete as provided in Section 6064 Gov't of the Government Code.
(d) Notwithstanding an order for publication of the summons, a summons may be served in another manner authorized by this chapter, in which event the service shall supersede any published summons.
(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 352, Sec. 1.)
§ 416.10
A summons may be served on a corporation by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint:
(a) To the person designated as agent for service of process as provided by any provision in Section 202, 1502, 2105 or 2107 of the Corporations Code (or Sections 3301 to 3303, inclusive, or Sections 6500 to 6504, inclusive, of the Corporations Code as in effect on December 31, 1976 with respect to corporations to which they remain applicable);
(b) To the president or other head of the corporation, a vice president, a secretary or assistant secretary, a treasurer or assistant treasurer, a general manager, or a person authorized by the corporation to receive service of process;
(c) If the corporation is a bank, to a cashier or assistant cashier or to a person specified in subdivision (a) or (b); or
(d) When authorized by any provision in Section 1701, 1702, 2110 or 2111 of the Corporations Code (or Sections 3301 to 3303, inclusive, or Sections 6500 to 6504, inclusive, of the Corporations Code as in effect on December 31, 1976, with respect to corporations to which they remain applicable), as provided by such provision.
§ 416.20
A summons may be served on a corporation that has forfeited its charter or right to do business, or has dissolved, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint:
(a) To a person who is a trustee of the corporation and of its stockholders or members; or
(b) When authorized by any provision in Sections 2011 or 2114 of the Corporations Code (or Sections 3301 to 3303, inclusive, or Sections 6500 to 6504, inclusive, of the Corporations Code as in effect on December 31, 1976, with respect to corporations to which they remain applicable), as provided by such provision.
§ 416.30
A summons may be served on a joint stock company or association by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint as provided by Section 416.10 or 416.20.
§ 416.40
A summons may be served on an unincorporated association (including a partnership) by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint:
(a) If the association is a general or limited partnership, to the person designated as agent for service of process as provided in Section 24003 of the Corporations Code or to a general partner or the general manager of the partnership;
(b) If the association is not a general or limited partnership, to the person designated as agent for service of process as provided in Section 24003 of the Corporations Code or to the president or other head of the association, a vice president, a secretary or assistant secretary, a treasurer or assistant treasurer, a general manager, or a person authorized by the association to receive service of process; (c) When authorized by Section 15700 or 24007 of the Corporations Code, as provided by the applicable section.
§ 416.50
(a) A summons may be served on a public entity by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the clerk, secretary, president, presiding officer, or other head of its governing body.
(b) As used in this section, "public entity" includes the state and any office, department, division, bureau, board, commission, or agency of the state, the Regents of the University of California, a county, city, district, public authority, public agency, and any other political subdivision or public corporation in this state.
§ 416.60
A summons may be served on a minor by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to his parent, guardian, conservator, or similar fiduciary, or, if no such person can be found with reasonable diligence, to any person having the care or control of such minor or with whom he resides or by whom he is employed, and to the minor if he is at least 12 years of age.
§ 416.70
A summons may be served on a person (other than a minor) for whom a guardian, conservator, or similar fiduciary has been appointed by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to his guardian, conservator, or similar fiduciary and to such person, but, for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending may dispense with delivery to such person.
§ 416.80
When authorized by Section 11 of the Elections Code, a summons may be served as provided by that section.
§ 416.90
A summons may be served on a person not otherwise specified in this article by delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to such person or to a person authorized by him to receive service of process.
§ 417.10
Proof that a summons was served on a person within this state shall be made:
(a) If served under Section 415.10, 415.20, or 415.30, by the affidavit of the person making such service showing the time, place, and manner of service and facts showing that such service was made in accordance with this chapter. Such affidavit shall recite or in other manner show the name of the person to whom a copy of the summons and of the complaint were delivered, and, if appropriate, his title or the capacity in which he is served, and that the notice required by Section 412.30 appeared on the copy of the summons served, if in fact it did appear. If service is made by mail pursuant to Section 415.30, proof of service shall include the acknowledgement of receipt of summons in the form provided by that section or other written acknowledgment of receipt of summons satisfactory to the court.
(b) If served by publication pursuant to Section 415.50, by the affidavit of the publisher or printer, or his foreman or principal clerk, showing the time and place of publication, and an affidavit showing the time and place a copy of the summons and of the complaint were mailed to the party to be served, if in fact mailed.
(c) If served pursuant to another statute of this state, in the manner prescribed by such statute or, if no manner is prescribed, in the manner prescribed by this section for proof of a similar manner of service.
(d) By the written admission of the party.
(e) If served by posting pursuant to Section 415.45, by the affidavit of the person who posted the premises, showing the time and place of posting, and an affidavit showing the time and place copies of the summons and of the complaint were mailed to the party to be served, if in fact mailed.
(f) All proof of personal service shall be made on a form adopted by the Judicial Council.
§ 417.20
Proof that a summons was served on a person outside this state shall be made:
(a) All proof of personal service shall be made on a form adopted by the Judicial Council.
(b) In the manner prescribed by the court order pursuant to which the service is made;
(c) Subject to any additional requirements that may be imposed by the court in which the action is pending, in the manner prescribed by the law of the place where the person is served for proof of service in an action in its courts of general jurisdiction; or
(d) By the written admission of the party.
(e) If served by posting pursuant to Section 415.45, by the affidavit of the person who posted the premises, showing the time and place of posting, and an affidavit showing the time and place copies of the summons and of the complaint were mailed to the party to be served, if in fact mailed.
§ 417.30
(a) After a summons has been served on a person, the summons must be returned together with proof of service as provided in Section 417.10 or 417.20, unless the defendant has previously made a general appearance.
(b) If a summons is lost after service has been made but before it is returned, an affidavit of the person who made the service showing the time, place, and manner of service and facts showing that such service was made in accordance with this chapter may be returned with the same effect as if the summons itself were returned.
§ 417.40
Any proof of service which is signed by a person registered under Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350 Bus. & Prof.) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code or his employee or independent contractor shall indicate the county in which he is registered and the number assigned to him pursuant to Section 22355 Bus. & Prof. of the Business and Professions Code.
§ 2015.3
The certificate of a sheriff, marshal, or the clerk of the superior or municipal court, has the same force and effect as his or her affidavit.
§ 2015.5
Whenever, under any law of this state or under any rule, regulation, order or requirement made pursuant to the law of this state, any matter is required or permitted to be supported, evidenced, established, or proved by the sworn statement, declaration, verification, certificate, oath, or affidavit, in writing of the person making the same (other than a deposition, or an oath of office, or an oath required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public), such matter may with like force and effect be supported, evidenced, established or proved by the unsworn statement, declaration, verification, or certificate, in writing of such person which recites that it is certified or declared by him or her to be true under penalty of perjury, is subscribed by him or her, and (1), if executed within this state, states the date and place of execution, or (2), if executed at any place, within or without this state, states the date of execution and that it is so certified or declared under the laws of the State of California. The certification or declaration may be in substantially the following form:
(a)
If executed within this state
"I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct":
_______
(Date and Place)

_______
(Signature)
(a)
If executed at any place, within or without this state
"I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct":
_______
(Date and Place)

_______
(Signature)
§ 1985
Subpoena
(a) The process by which the attendance of a witness is required is the subpoena. It is a writ or order directed to a person and requiring the person's attendance at a particular time and place to testify as a witness. It may also require a witness to bring any books, documents, or other things under the witness's control which the witness is bound by law to produce in evidence. When a county recorder is using the microfilm system for recording, and a witness is subpoenaed to present a record, the witness shall be deemed to have complied with the subpoena if the witness produces a certified copy thereof.
(b) A copy of an affidavit shall be served with a subpoena duces tecum issued before trial, showing good cause for the production of the matters and things described in the subpoena, specifying the exact matters or things desired to be produced, setting forth in full detail the materiality thereof to the issues involved in the case, and stating that the witness has the desired matters or things in his or her possession or under his or her control.
(c) The clerk, or a judge, shall issue a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum signed and sealed but otherwise in blank to a party requesting it, who shall fill it in before service. An attorney at law who is the attorney of record in an action or proceeding, may sign and issue a subpoena to require attendance before the court in which the action or proceeding is pending or at the trial of an issue therein, or upon the taking of a deposition in an action or proceeding pending therein; the subpoena in such a case need not be sealed. An attorney at law who is the attorney of record in an action or proceeding, may sign and issue a subpoena duces tecum to require production of the matters or things described in the subpoena.
(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 511, Sec. 1. Effective August 13, 1990.)
§ 1985.1
Any person who is subpoenaed to appear at a session of court, or at the trial of an issue therein, may, in lieu of appearance at the time specified in the subpoena, agree with the party at whose request the subpoena was issued to appear at another time or upon such notice as may be agreed upon. Any failure to appear pursuant to such agreement may be punished as a contempt by the court issuing the subpoena. The facts establishing or disproving such agreement and the failure to appear may be proved by an affidavit of any person having personal knowledge of the facts.
(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 140.)
§ 1985.2
Any subpoena which requires the attendance of a witness at any civil trial shall contain the following notice in a type face designed to call attention to the notice:
Contact the attorney requesting this subpoena, listed above, before the date on which you are required to be in court, if you have any question about the time or date for you to appear, or if you want to be certain that your presence in court is required.
(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 431.)
§ 1985.3
(a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Personal records" means the original, any copy of books, documents, other writings, or electronic data pertaining to a consumer and which are maintained by any "witness" which is a physician, dentist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, acupuncturist, podiatrist, veterinarian, veterinary hospital, veterinary clinic, pharmacist, pharmacy, hospital, medical center, clinic, radiology or MRI center, clinical or diagnostic laboratory, state or national bank, state or federal association (as defined in Section 5102 Fin. of the Financial Code), state or federal credit union, trust company, anyone authorized by this state to make or arrange loans that are secured by real property, security brokerage firm, insurance company, title insurance company, underwritten title company, escrow agent licensed pursuant to Division 6 (commencing with Section 17000 Fin.) of the Financial Code or exempt from licensure pursuant to Section 17006 Fin. of the Financial Code, attorney, accountant, institution of the Farm Credit System, as specified in Section 2002 of Title 12 of the United States Code, or telephone corporation which is a public utility, as defined in Section 216 Pub. Util. of the Public Utilities Code, or psychotherapist, as defined in Section 1010 Evid. of the Evidence Code, or a private or public preschool, elementary school, secondary school, or postsecondary school as described in Section 76244 Educ. of the Education Code.
(2) "Consumer" means any individual, partnership of five or fewer persons, association, or trust which has transacted business with, or has used the services of, the witness or for whom the witness has acted as agent or fiduciary.
(3) "Subpoenaing party" means the person or persons causing a subpoena duces tecum to be issued or served in connection with any civil action or proceeding pursuant to this code, but shall not include the state or local agencies described in Section 7465 Gov't of the Government Code, or any entity provided for under Article VI of the California Constitution in any proceeding maintained before an adjudicative body of that entity pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 6000 Bus. & Prof.) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.
(4) "Deposition officer" means a person who meets the qualifications specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 2020.
(b) Prior to the date called for in the subpoena duces tecum for the production of personal records, the subpoenaing party shall serve or cause to be served on the consumer whose records are being sought a copy of the subpoena duces tecum, of the affidavit supporting the issuance of the subpoena, if any, and of the notice described in subdivision (e), and proof of service as indicated in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).This service shall be made as follows:
(1) To the consumer personally, or at his or her last known address, or in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1010 Evid.) of Title 14 of Part 3, or, if he or she is a party, to his or her attorney of record. If the consumer is a minor, service shall be made on the minor's parent, guardian, conservator, or similar fiduciary, or if one of them cannot be located with reasonable diligence, then service shall be made on any person having the care or control of the minor or with whom the minor resides or by whom the minor is employed, and on the minor if the minor is at least 12 years of age.
(2) Not less than 10 days prior to the date for production specified in the subpoena duces tecum, plus the additional time provided by Section 1013 if service is by mail.
(3) At least five days prior to service upon the custodian of the records, plus the additional time provided by Section 1013 if service is by mail.
(c) Prior to the production of the records, the subpoenaing party shall do either of the following:
(1) Serve or cause to be served upon the witness a proof of personal service or of service by mail attesting to compliance with subdivision (b).
(2) Furnish the witness a written authorization to release the records signed by the consumer or by his or her attorney of record. The witness may presume that any attorney purporting to sign the authorization on behalf of the consumer acted with the consent of the consumer, and that any objection to release of records is waived.
(d) A subpoena duces tecum for the production of personal records shall be served in sufficient time to allow the witness a reasonable time, as provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 2020, to locate and produce the records or copies thereof.
(e) Every copy of the subpoena duces tecum and affidavit, if any, served on a consumer or his or her attorney in accordance with subdivision (b) shall be accompanied by a notice, in a typeface designed to call attention to the notice, indicating that (1) records about the consumer are being sought from the witness named on the subpoena; (2) if the consumer objects to the witness furnishing the records to the party seeking the records, the consumer must file papers with the court or serve a written objection as provided in subdivision (g) prior to the date specified for production on the subpoena; and (3) if the party who is seeking the records will not agree in writing to cancel or limit the subpoena, an attorney should be consulted about the consumer's interest in protecting his or her rights of privacy. If a notice of taking of deposition is also served, that other notice may be set forth in a single document with the notice required by this subdivision.
(f) A subpoena duces tecum for personal records maintained by a telephone corporation which is a public utility, as defined in Section 216 Pub. Util. of the Public Utilities Code, shall not be valid or effective unless it includes a consent to release, signed by the consumer whose records are requested, as required by Section 2891 Pub. Util. of the Public Utilities Code.
(g) Any consumer whose personal records are sought by a subpoena duces tecum and who is a party to the civil action in which this subpoena duces tecum is served may, prior to the date for production, bring a motion under Section 1987.1 to quash or modify the subpoena duces tecum. Notice of the bringing of that motion shall be given to the witness and deposition officer at least five days prior to production. The failure to provide notice to the deposition officer shall not invalidate the motion to quash or modify the subpoena duces tecum but may be raised by the deposition officer as an affirmative defense in any action for liability for improper release of records.
Any other consumer or nonparty whose personal records are sought by a subpoena duces tecum may, prior to the date of production, serve on the subpoenaing party the witness, and the deposition officer, a written objection that cites the specific grounds on which production of the personal records should be prohibited.
No witness or deposition officer shall be required to produce personal records after receipt of notice that the motion has been brought by consumer, or after receipt of a written objection from a nonparty consumer, except upon order of the court in which the action is pending or by agreement of the parties, witnesses, and consumers affected.
The party requesting a consumer's personal records may bring a motion under Section 1987.1 to enforce the subpoena within 20 days of service of the written objection. The motion shall be accompanied by a declaration showing a reasonable and good faith attempt at informal resolution of the dispute between the party requesting the personal records and the consumer or the consumer's attorney.
(h) Upon good cause shown and provided that the rights of witnesses and consumers are preserved, a subpoenaing party shall be entitled to obtain an order shortening the time for service of a subpoena duces tecum or waiving the requirements of subdivision (b) where due diligence by the subpoenaing party has been shown.
(i) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to apply to any subpoena duces tecum which does not request the records of any particular consumer or consumers and which requires a custodian of records to delete all information which would in any way identify any consumer whose records are to be produced.
(j) This section shall not apply to proceedings conducted under Division 1 (commencing with Section 50), Division 4 (commencing with Section 3200), Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 6100), or Division 4.7 (commencing with Section 6200 Lab.) of the Labor Code.
(k) Failure to comply with this section shall be sufficient basis for the witness to refuse to produce the personal records sought by a subpoena duces tecum.
(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 444, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)
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