What is Subpoena Duces Tecum?

Legal Definition
A subpoena duces tecum (pronounced /səbˈpnəˌdsəsˈtkəm/) (or subpoena for production of evidence) is a court summons ordering the recipient to appear before the court and produce documents or other tangible evidence for use at a hearing or trial.

The summons is known by various names in different jurisdictions. The term subpoena duces tecum is used in the United States, as well as some other common law jurisdictions such as South Africa and Canada. It is a Latin phrase meaning "you will bring with you under penalty of punishment". The summons is called a "subpoena for production of evidence" in some U.S. states that have sought to reduce the use of non-English words and phrases in court terminology.

The subpoena duces tecum is similar to the subpoena ad testificandum, which is a writ summoning a witness to testify orally. However, unlike the latter summons, the subpoena duces tecum instructs the witness to bring in hand books, papers, or evidence for the court. In most jurisdictions, a subpoena usually has to be served personally.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
A subpoena duces tecum is a type of subpoena that requires the witness to produce a document or documents pertinent to a proceeding. From the Latin duces tecum, meaning "you shall bring with you".

See, e.g., United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974).

See Category: Courts and Procedure
Legal Definition
Practice. A writ or process of the same kind as the subpoena ad testificandum, including a clause requiring the witness to bring with him and produce to the court, books, papers, &c., in his hands, tending to elucidate the matter in issue. 3 Bl. Com. 382.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A subpoena used, not only for the purpose of compelling wiinesses to attend in court, but also requiring them to bring with them books or documents which may be in their possession, and which may tend to elucidate the subject-matter of the trial. Brown; 3 Bl. Comm. 382.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A subpoena ordering the witness to bring with him certain books, documents or other evidence described therein.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
a Latin phrase for a subpoena that orders a person to bring documents to court.