Category Archives: Civil Procedure

I’ve been served with a Subpoena!

You’ve been served with a subpoena.  It requires you to produce documents/information and or to appear in court to testify on a certain date and time. What’s next?

subpoenaIf you are already have an attorney, contact her first and let her know you’ve been served. She will need the subpoena to evaluate it and your next steps. Time may be of the essence, so deliver it promptly to your lawyer.

Depending on the subpoena, you may be required to provide documents and give testimony, give testimony only or provide the information only without appearing in court.

Subpoenas are usually specific on what information or documents are required. It may require copies of the last few years of tax returns, the location of certain property, a detailed list of all real or personal property, lists of accounts payable, banking records or other financials. It is best to start collecting the requested information quickly. Some records may have to be requested from your banking or other institution and may take several weeks to receive, if not longer.

Your subpoena may require to you appear in court to provide testimony regarding the documents you’ve brought with you or a matter with which you are familiar. Perhaps you witnessed a domestic incident or saw a car wreck happen on your way to the gym. Either way, serving as a witness often means a few hours at court. Just because your subpoena states to arrive at 8:45am doesn’t mean you will testify at 9:15, 11:15 or even noon. The docket must be called for all the cases and motions to be potentially heard that day.  The hearings and/or trials are then held.  Yours could be one of them.  On the other hand, the case could settle and the matter resolved before you have to testify. You never know, so be prepared to be in court much of the day, just in case.

While appearing in court for your subpoena may make you nervous, it is okay. Follow your attorney’s directions and you will be fine!

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Filed under Civil Procedure, Family Law, Litigation

Dear Facebook. I want a divorce!

You may have started your relationship online but can you end it that way too? Yes, in New York, a woman served her soon-to-be former spouse with divorce papers via facebook.

facbook messages images

Here in Tennessee, one is typically “served” in person, through their attorney, or by leaving service of process with a person of suitable age and discretion who lives with the Defendant. Note that service of process procedures can and do differ by state. After all, one needs a head’s up if your spouse is divorcing you or you have some other pending legal action against you.

But what if you can’t find you former flame or even where they live? See the article below for a woman who found herself in this position for a number of years. The only thing she did know was that her husband regularly checked facebook.

Last year, a New York court allowed her to achieve service of process for a divorce by sending the documents via facebook. The social networking site even documents if the message was read and at what time. Imagine opening your facebook private messages to find you are being sued for divorce. It is taking “You got Served!” to a whole other (electronic) level.

Is service of process for a lawsuit by facebook the coming norm?

Unlikely. Service, even through a process server, is to ensure one has personal notice of a pending legal action. The key words here are “personal” and “notice”. Our system is designed to ensure you have adequate and proper notice of the legal action so that you can prepare a defense and/or otherwise address the issue at hand.

Again, in most cases and states, while this type of service won’t be accepted anytime soon, it is a little something for you to think about the next time you check your fb inbox….

See Washington Post Article here.

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Filed under Civil Procedure, Family Law, Service of Process