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

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