Government Investigations

Government Investigation Policy

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is a subpoena? A: A written command issued by a governmental agency or judge directing an individual to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony and/or to produce documents at a certain time or place.
Q: My department has been served with a subpoena.  What should I do? Can I accept service? A: If the subpoena is addressed to you by name or job title then you can accept the subpoena. Otherwise, the process server should be redirected to the Office of General Counsel.
Q: If I accept the subpoena because it was addressed to me by name or job title, what now? A: You will need to notify the student/employee (by mail to the last known address we have on file) to inform him/her that their personal records are being subpoenaed using the Template – Notice Advising Student or Employee re Subpoena for Personal Records regardless if the subpoena is valid or not.  Next, use this cover page to record the service information such as the date and time the subpoena was served.   Following the cover page is a checklist to determine if the subpoena is valid before complying. Cover Page and Checklist
Q: What if the subpoena is not valid? A: After completing the checklist and it is established that the subpoena is not valid then please send the attorney a letter stating the reason why we are objecting using Template – Objection Letter to Issuing Entity Regarding Defects in Subpoena or Service.
Q: What if the subpoena is valid? A: If the subpoena is valid then you will need to gather the requested documents from your department.  If you are in question that one or more of the documents requested might be privileged please contact the Office of General Counsel for guidance.
Q: What if the subpoena is addressed to a specific person but unrelated to a University matter? A: The named person should seek the advice of private legal counsel at his or her expense.
Q: What if I have any further questions? A: Please call the Office of General Counsel directly at (909)448-4753 or email

Investigative Subpoenas

Q: What is an Investigative Subpoena? A: A written command from a government agency authorizing the agency to inspect or seize evidence germane to an investigation.  Investigative subpoenas typically ask for “immediate access” to places or documents.  An investigative subpoena does not require any individual to agree to an interview.
Q: What do I do if a Government Investigator attempts to serve an Investigative Subpoena? A: Direct the person to the Office of General Counsel.
Q: What if the person refuses to go to the Office of General Counsel? A: Contact the Office of General Counsel
Q: What if the Office of General Counsel is not available? A:  If you are unable to reach someone in the Office of General Counsel, then you will want to ask for identification and obtain and record the names of the government agents, their agency affiliation, business telephone  numbers and addresses and obtain a business card, if possible.

Search Warrants

Q: What is a Search Warrant?  A: A written court order authorizing a law enforcement agent to search for and seize property that may be evidence of a crime.  The search warrant will clearly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized.