Section 12-21-2

Production of books, etc., generally - By resident nonparties; failure to comply.

(a) When any deed, writing or other document which it may be necessary to use as testimony in any case may be in the possession of any person resident in this state who is not a party to the case, the clerk of the court in which the case is pending shall, upon application of the party or his attorney desirous of using such testimony, issue a subpoena duces tecum directed to the person having such book or other document in his possession, requiring him to appear and bring with him into court the paper desired to be used as testimony. Service shall be by a sheriff, constable or some private person, and the official return of the sheriff or constable or the affidavit of such private person shall be sufficient evidence that the same was duly served; but, in all cases, the judge may require the summary production of any book or document by subpoena duces tecum where the witness is able to produce it and where the ends of justice require such summary production.

(b) When a subpoena shall be issued and served as provided in subsection (a) of this section and the person whose attendance is thereby required shall fail to comply with the requisition thereof, the court shall, on motion, issue an attachment against such defaulting person, returnable instantly or to the next term of said court, and shall fine such person in a sum not exceeding $300.00 unless he shall make a sufficient excuse for such failure, to be judged of by the court; but such person shall, nevertheless, be subject to an action at the instance of the party by whom he was subpoenaed, for any damages which such party may have sustained by reason of such failure. If the person so subpoenaed shall, within 10 days after the service of such subpoena, deliver to the party at whose instance the subpoena was issued or his attorney, or file in the office of the court from which such subpoena was issued the paper, the production of which is required by such subpoena, or shall deliver to the said party or his attorney, or shall file in the said office his affidavit that the said paper is not in his power, custody, possession or control and that it was not at the time of serving said subpoena, then such delivery and filing of the paper so sought as aforesaid or of such affidavit shall be considered a full and complete compliance with the requirements of such subpoena duces tecum.

(Code 1907, §§4060, 4061; Code 1923, §§7776, 7777; Code 1940, T. 7, §§489, 490.)