§ 21-28-3.25. Subpoena powers.
The director of health shall have power to administer oaths, summon and examine witnesses, and order the production and examination of books, accounts, papers, records, and documents in any proceedings within the jurisdiction of the department. All subpoenas, and orders for the production of books, accounts, papers, records, and documents shall be signed and issued by the director of health and served as subpoenas in civil cases in the superior court are now served, or in lieu of that service served by an officer, agent, or representative designated by the director of health. If the person subpoenaed before the director of health fails to obey the command of the subpoena without reasonable cause, or if a person in attendance before the director of health shall, without reasonable cause, refuse to be sworn, or to be examined, or to answer a legal or pertinent question, or if any person shall fail to produce the books, accounts, papers, records, and documents material to the issue, set forth in an order duly served on him or her, the director of health may apply to any justice of the superior court of any county, upon proof of affidavit of the fact, for a rule or order returnable in not less than two (2) nor more than five (5) days, directing that person to show cause before the justice who made the order to any other justice why he or she should not be adjudged in contempt. Upon the return of the order the justice before whom the matter is brought on for a hearing shall examine under oath that person, and that person shall be given an opportunity to be heard, and if the justice shall determine that the person has refused without reasonable cause or legal excuse to be examined or to answer a legal and pertinent question, or to produce books, accounts, papers, records, and documents, material to the issue which he or she was ordered to bring or produce, he or she may immediately commit the offender to jail, there to remain until the offender submits to do the act which he or she was required to do, or is discharged according to law; provided, that no person testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him or her in his or her testimony.
(P.L. 1974, ch. 183, § 2.)