HOUSE BILL NO. 559
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend Chapter 23, Title 19, Delaware Code, Section 2320 by deleting (a) and (b) in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
At the request of any party, subpoenas shall be issued under authority of the Department of Labor. The party requesting the subpoena shall obtain a blank subpoena from the Department and shall complete the necessary information.
(a). Every subpoena shall:
(1) state the name of the Industrial Accident Board;
(2) state the title of the action and the IAB hearing number;
(3) state the last known address of the person(s) to be served;
(4) command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony or to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents, or tangible things in the possession, custody or control of that person, or to permit inspection of premises, at a time and place therein specified;
(5) command each person directed to give testimony, to appear at hearing or at deposition at a time and place therein specified;
(6) identify the name, address, and phone number of the person issuing the subpoena;
(7) state the following in boldface:
“If you object to this subpoena you must immediately contact the Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation and request a hearing to present your objections. Objections may be made if the subpoena (a) fails to allow reasonable time for compliance; (b) requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter and no exception or waiver applies; or (c) subjects a person to undue burden.”
(b). The following shall apply to the service of a subpoena:
(1) A party issuing a subpoena shall be responsible for service of the subpoena and shall provide a copy of the completed subpoena to the Department of Labor.
(2) A subpoena may be served by the Sheriff or by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age or by certified/return receipt requested mail to the last known address of the person listed on the subpoena.
(3) Proof of service when necessary shall be made by filing with the Department of Labor a statement of the date and manner of service and of the names of the persons served.
(4) A party or an attorney responsible for the issuance and service of a subpoena shall take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to that subpoena. The Board shall enforce this duty and impose upon the party or attorney in breach of this duty an appropriate sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, lost earnings and a reasonable attorney’s fee.
(c). Response to subpoena(s):
(1) A person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying may
object to the inspection or copying of any or all designated materials or of the premises. If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena may, upon notice to the person commanded to produce, move at anytime for an order to compel production.
(2) If a party objects to a subpoena they must immediately contact the Department of Labor and request a hearing before the Board to present the objection. The Board may quash or modify a subpoena if it (a) fails to allow reasonable time for compliance; (b) requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter and no exception or waiver applies; or (c) subjects a person to undue burden.
(3) A person responding to a subpoena to produce documents shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the demand.
(4) When information subject to a subpoena is withheld on a claim that it is privileged or subject to protection as trial preparation materials, the claim shall be made expressly and shall be supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced that is sufficient to enable the demanding party to contest the claim.
(d) The Board may administer oaths in any proceedings and in all other cases where it is necessary in the exercise of its powers and duties. The Board may examine persons as witnesses, take evidence, require production of documents and do all other things conformable to law which are necessary to effectively discharge the duties of office.
(e) Any process or order of the Department or any notice or paper requiring service may be served by any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or any employee of the Department and return thereof made to the Department. Such officer shall receive the same fees as are provided by law for like service in civil actions, except that if service is made by an employee of the Department, the employee shall not receive any fee but shall be paid the employee’s actual expenses."
Section 2. Amend Section 2320, Chapter 23, Title 19, Delaware Code by re-lettering (c) through (h) to read (f) through (k).
Approved July 18,2000