Guidelines for Responding to Subpoenas
A subpoena is a writ commanding a person to appear before a court or other tribunal or it may also order the production of documents, which is usually referred to as a Subpoena Duces Tecum. In the case of academics it is usually a subpoena requesting student records. Regardless of any time constraint verbiage on the subpoena, such as "Immediate Action", "Instanter" or "Next Day", student records are subject to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), which has regulated that the System must give the student two weeks written notice before any records can be released.
All subpoenas for student records are processed through the Office of General Counsel. The server of the subpoena should contact the Office of the General Counsel if there are any questions concerning the process. Subpoenas for student records should be mailed to or served at:
Lone Star College System
Office of the General Counsel
5000 Research Forest Drive Star Building #240
The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4399
All subpoenas are screened by the Office of General Counsel before being forwarded to either Student Information Services or Human Resources for processing.
Occasionally, the process server with the subpoena will also have a signed release from the student authorizing immediate release of the information. Such a release is usually valid and compels LSCS to provide the documents as requested. Again, any subpoenas received are to be forwarded to the Office of General Counsel for appropriate response.
There are occasions where a Federal Grand Jury or Homeland Security subpoena is served, this subpoena specifically states that a student is not to be informed that their records are being requested. In the case of a subpoena specifically stating a student not be informed, refer the server to the General Counsel at the contact information above.
If the official requesting documentation is a part of an organization such as the: FBI, CIA, Postal Police, Office of Personnel Management or Department of Defense, please refer them to the Office of General Counsel.