Section 12-21-180

Subpoenas for witnesses.

(a) At the request of any party to a pending case, or the attorney of a party, the clerk of the court must issue subpoenas for witnesses, whose addresses shall be given by the person requesting the subpoena, specifying therein the time and place for their appearance, the title of the case and the party at whose instance they are summoned and commanding them to appear in conformity therewith and give testimony.

(b) No subpoena shall issue for a witness residing more than 100 miles from the place of trial, computed by the route usually traveled, unless the person requesting the subpoena makes affidavit that the personal attendance of the witness is necessary to a proper decision of the case and that the deposition of the witness would be insufficient for that purpose, and the fact that such affidavit has been made must be endorsed by the clerk upon the subpoena.

(c) A subpoena issued under this section shall be directed "To any sheriff of the State of Alabama" and, unless the person requesting the subpoena directs that it be personally served as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, at the election of the sheriff, the subpoena shall be served by either of the following methods:

(1) By serving the subpoena personally on the witness or by leaving a copy at the place of residence of the witness; or,

(2) In cases or proceedings involving misdemeanors, if any such subpoena is requested more than 10 days before the date the witness is required to appear, the subpoena may be served by placing a copy of such in the United States mail, first class, postage prepaid, addressed to the witness at the address given by the person requesting the subpoena. The envelope in which such subpoena is mailed shall indicate the return address of the sheriff and shall bear a proper notice that if it cannot be delivered at the indicated address it shall be returned to the sheriff. If the mailed subpoena is returned to the sheriff more than three days before the date the witness is required to appear, the sheriff may serve the subpoena in the manner provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection. Any witness whose mailed subpoena shall be returned to the sheriff three days or less before the date the witness is required to appear shall be reported by the sheriff "Not Found." If the subpoena is served by mail, the date of service shall be the date upon which the sheriff deposits such in the United States mail.

(d) The sheriff shall make return by endorsing on the subpoena the date and manner of service and such return shall be prima facie proof of service.

(e) A witness may acknowledge service of a subpoena by endorsing acceptance thereof on the subpoena, in writing, in which event service by the sheriff shall not be required.

(f) All subpoenas issued while the court is in session commanding the appearance of a witness in a case or proceeding then being heard or to be heard during the term of the court then in session shall be served in the manner provided in subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section, unless, on the motion of either party or upon the court's own motion, service by mail under subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section shall be directed by the court.

(Code 1852, §§2303-2305; Code 1867, §§2705-2707; Code 1876, §§3060-3062; Code 1886, §§2792-2794; Code 1896, §§1824-1826; Code 1907, §§4020-4022; Code 1923, §§7734-7736; Code 1940, T. 7, §§447-449; Acts 1980, No. 80-640, p. 1208, §2.)