(a) Committees of the General Assembly may invite witnesses to appear and testify concerning pending legislation or other matters properly before the committee and may require the attendance of witnesses by subpoena as hereinafter provided. The committee may submit questions in writing to the witness in advance of his appearance. Witnesses may be permitted, in the discretion of the committee, to submit written, sworn statements in addition to or in lieu of sworn oral testimony before the committee.
(b) Hearings and examinations of witnesses concerning pending legislation or other appropriate matter may be conducted during sessions of the General Assembly, during recesses, and in the interim period between sessions, at such times as committees are authorized to convene.
(c) A subpoena for the purpose of obtaining the testimony of a witness may be issued by the chairman of a committee, upon authorization of the Speaker of the House or the Speaker pro tempore of the House for House committees, and the President of the Senate or the President pro tempore of the Senate for Senate committees, and by majority vote of the committee. A subpoena for the purpose of obtaining the testimony of a witness before a joint committee of the House and Senate may be issued by the joint action of the cochairmen of the joint committee, upon authorization of one of the above officers from each house and by majority vote of the joint committee. The subpoena shall be signed by the committee chairman and either the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the President pro tempore of the Senate, or the Speaker pro tempore of the House and shall be directed to the witness, and state the name of the witness, and a description of any papers, documents, or records that he is required to bring with him; and the subpoena shall state the subject matter of the hearing before the committee, the name of the committee, and the name and address of the committee chairman; and the subpoena shall also clearly designate the date, time, and place at which the witness's presence is required.
(d) Any witness shall have five days' notice of hearing, unless waived by the witness, and subpoenas may be served by a member of the General Assembly Special Police, the State Bureau of Investigation, the State Highway Patrol, or within their respective jurisdiction by any sheriff or deputy, or any municipal police officer or other law-enforcement officer. Members of the General Assembly Special Police may serve subpoenas issued under this Chapter anywhere in the State. In addition, a subpoena may be served in the manner provided for service of subpoenas under the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.
(e) The form of subpoena shall generally follow the practice in the General Court of Justice in North Carolina with such additional information or modification as shall be approved by the Legislative Services Commission.
(f) Return of the subpoena shall be to the Legislative Services Officer, where a permanent record shall be maintained for five years, and one copy of the subpoena shall be immediately filed with the committee chairman and one copy transmitted to the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the President pro tempore of the Senate, or the Speaker pro tempore of the House, as the case may be. (1973, c. 543; 2011-63, s. 2.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014