§ 9-17-5.1. Subpoena for production of documentary evidence.
(a) When a subpoena for the production of books, papers, documents, or tangible things is served on a federal or state agency, public utility, national bank, insurance company, financial institution, or a public or private institution of higher education organized under state or federal laws, it shall be deemed a sufficient response to the subpoena if the employee of the entity charged with the responsibility of being custodian of the original records promptly provides the attorney for the party causing service of the subpoena copies of all documents requested by the subpoena. All responses to the subpoena shall contain a certificate which shall be signed before a notary public by the employee of the entity charged with the responsibility of being custodian of the records and shall include a legend substantially to the following effect: "The copies of records for which this certification is made are true and complete reproductions of the original or microfilmed records which are in the possession of (name of entity). The original records were made in the regular course of business, and it was the regular course of (name of entity) to make such records at or near the time of the matter recorded. This certification is given pursuant to Rhode Island general laws § 9-17-5.1 by the custodian of the records in lieu of his or her personal appearance."
(b) Documents or records of any federal or state agency, public utility, national bank, financial institution organized under state or federal laws, a public or private institution of higher education, or of a hospital that are susceptible to photostatic reproduction may be proved as to foundation, identity, and authenticity without any preliminary testimony, by use of legible and durable copies, certified in the manner provided in subsection (a) by the employee of the entity charged with the responsibility of being custodian of the originals thereof. The copies may be used in any trial, hearing, deposition, or any other judicial or administrative action or proceeding, whether civil or criminal, in lieu of the original documents or records which, however, the entity shall hold available for inspection and comparison by the court, tribunal, or hearing officer and by the parties and their attorneys of record.
(c) In the event any of the entities are unable to provide the documents requested in the subpoena due to the timeliness of the service of the subpoena or for other legal reasons, then the employee charged with the responsibility of being custodian of the records for the entity shall set forth in the certificate required hereunder the specific reasons for the noncompliance, the time of service of the subpoena, and if appropriate the time anticipated in complying with the subpoena.
(P.L. 1988, ch. 161, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 262, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 188, § 22.)