​​​Service of Process 

COVID-19 Temporary Service by Email & Drop Box Guidelines - Subpoenas & Summons/Complaints


In order to comply with the safety measures put in place during this time of social distancing, the Department of Health Care Services is temporarily accepting service by U.S. mail, email and drop box. The Office of Legal Services – Subpoena Desk will process requests according to the normal course of business practices. These temporary procedures will remain in place until social distancing orders are lifted.

E-Mail Service

In lieu of personal service, the Department will accept service by email. Legal documents may be scanned and emailed to: SubpoenaDesk@dhcs.ca.gov.

The email must include the following information:

  1. A scanned copy of both sides of each page of the document(s) to be served on the Department. Each scanned page and signature should be legible.
  1. If payment is required for records, include a copy of the check for payment.
    1. Please mail the original check to the Department at:
      Office of Legal Services, Subpoena Desk, P.O. Box 997413, MS 0010, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413.
    1. The Department will hold the electronically served document(s) for 5 business days pending receipt of the check for payment of records requested. If a check is not received by the Department within 5 business days, the electronically served document(s) will be returned without records.

Drop Box Service

The Department will also accept service by drop box. The drop box is located in the lobby of the Department of Health Care Services, located at 1501 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, 95814.

  1. Legal documents may be served in the drop box located at the security desk.
  1. Follow-up inquiries may be emailed to: SubpoenaDesk@dhcs.ca.gov​​.
  1. The Department will send an email confirming receipt if an email address is provided.

U.S. Mail Service

The Department will also accept service by U.S. mail. Subpoena packages may be mailed to: Department of Health Care Services, Office of Legal Services, Subpoena Desk, P.O. Box 997413, MS 0010, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413. Subpoenas received by U.S. mail may be delayed. Therefore, the Department prefers email or drop box service.

The subpoena package must include the following:

  1. The Subpoena and all appropriate legal documents. See below for list of requirements.
  2. A valid email address (if available).

    The Department will acknowledge receipt of service once it is received in one of the following ways: 
    1. The Department may send an email acknowledging receipt of the subpoena if the sender provided a valid email address with their U.S. mail package. Emails from the Subpoena Desk will be sent from: ​​ SubpoenaDesk@dhcs.ca.gov. Or,
    2. The Department may send a letter by U.S. mail acknowledging receipt of the subpoena to the senders mailing address.


The following is still required when serving subpoenas on the Department:

  1. All state court subpoenas require a check for $15.00 made​ out to the Department of Health Care Services.​
  2. State court subpoenas require a Notice to Consumer with a date no sooner than 10 days from the date of service.
  3. State court subpoenas for personal attendance of custodian of records require a check for $275 made out to the Department of Health Care Services.
  4. All subpoenas must have a Date of Birth, and complete CIN (13 or 14 digit number with a letter in the middle), or complete SSN.
  5. Federal court subpoenas do not require a check.
  6. Authorization to Release Records (request for access to PI, serving lawsuit or subpoena):
    • Copy of legible photo ID to be included.
    • $15 check is required.
    • If representative, evidence of the representative relationship (e.g. appointment of guardian ad litem or birth certificate) must be included.

Legal Documents Received Without The Information Outlined in This Notice Will Be Returned to the Requestor.

Last modified date: 4/10/2020 10:06 AM