The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined a subpoena issued by an attorney was a “judicial” subpoena and defendant Patterson’s failure to appear for a deposition and produce documents was punishable by contempt without the need to first obtain a court order compelling compliance:
Critical to the resolution of this appeal is whether this type of subpoena is a “judicial” subpoena, as defined by CPLR 2308(a), or a “non-judicial” subpoena, as defined by CPLR 2308(b). … [T]he disobedience of a judicial subpoena is punishable by contempt of court, while a person served with a non-judicial subpoena cannot be held in contempt unless the court first issues an order compelling compliance with the subpoena that is then disobeyed … .
We find that the subpoena is a “judicial” subpoena, the disobedience of which is punishable by contempt … . CPLR 2308(a) embraces subpoenas issued by an officer of the court (such as an attorney) at any stage of a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the subpoena was specifically returnable in court … . Cadlerock Joint Venture, L.P. v Patterson, 2021 NY Slip Op 06535, First Dept 11-23-21