Summonses, Subpoenas, Legal Notices, and Contacts from Attorneys

From time to time, College personnel receive official legal documents. Examples include subpoenas requiring the College to produce copies of records in court proceedings, summonses notifying the College that a lawsuit has been commenced against it, notices of bankruptcy, and notices informing the College of its right to participate in consumer class action suits. Such notices are sometimes addressed to the College itself -- "Dartmouth College" or "Trustees of Dartmouth College," the College's legal name -- or to individually named officials of the College. In some instances, legal notices are received by mail; in other instances, they may be hand-delivered by a "process server" (such as a constable or deputy sheriff).

In general, you should not accept a summons or subpoena that is addressed to another individual or department, unless that individual or department has specifically authorized you to accept it. If you do not have explicit and specific authority to accept service of a summons or subpoena addressed to another individual or department, you should tell the process server that you do not have authority to accept service of the document, that the document will not be delivered to the individual or department to whom it is addressed, and that the document should be taken to the Office of the General Counsel (63 South Main Street, Suite 301), which will determine whether it can be accepted by the College.

If you do receive a summons or subpoena involving College business, please inform the Office of the General Counsel immediately, preferably the same day. You should also keep a record of the date, time and method (by hand or mail) by which you received the notice.

If you are contacted by an attorney for any of the parties, please refer them to the Office of the General Counsel.