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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Who can and cannot accept a subpoena on someone elses behalf

Resolved Question:

Who can and cannot accept a subpoena on someone else's behalf for a criminal trial? I am expecting to be subpoenaed from WI but live in GA with my family, I will be out of town for quite sometime and will keep my permanent address the same. Do the other people in my household have the right to refuse a subpoena on my behalf?

And are there any consequences if they are unable to serve me the subpoena to appear in court?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

Can you please tell me if this is federal or state criminal court?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Honestly I am not 100% sure....the case is in WI and the defendant was charged with substantial battery and false imprisonment which are both felonies?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. I am going to assume that this is a state matter.

Under 801.13 and 801.11, A summons is deemed served as follows:

A summons served personally upon the defendant or by substituted personal service upon another authorized to accept service of the summons for the defendant is deemed served on the day of service, or....

if with reasonable diligence the defendant cannot be served under par, then by leaving a copy of the summons at the defendant’s usual place of abode, or in the presence of some competent member of the family at least 14 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof.

Therefore, while someone may refuse a subpoena, an argument can be made that you were still served.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.

If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!

While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are morally wronged but have limited legal avenues to seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault (in other words, I prefer to tell you the truth rather than tell you what you want to hear, so if the news is not good, please do not shoot the messenger).

You can always request me for a future advice through my profile at…

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So in my household there are 5 family members who are 14+ and any of them can be served a subpoena for me? Can they refuse it? Would they or I face any possibility of charges for not appearing in court for the subpoena if I was not ever personally served with it?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
So in my household there are 5 family members who are 14+ and any of them can be served a subpoena for me Yes.

Can they refuse it? Yes, but the peace officer (the state does not use private process servers) will leave the subpoena with them anyways, or on the door. The Court will likely count it.

Would they or I face any possibility of charges for not appearing in court for the subpoena if I was not ever personally served with it? Not them, but you might be found and brought to court by police via an "attachment."

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.

If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!

While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are morally wronged but have limited legal avenues to seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault (in other words, I prefer to tell you the truth rather than tell you what you want to hear, so if the news is not good, please do not shoot the messenger).

You can always request me for a future advice through my profile at…

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-attorneyeli/

…if you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Eli…”
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
what does via an attachment mean? And what kind of charges would I be facing, as well as what possible punishments?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello friend,

Generally speaking, this means that the Court can send peace officers to come and get you, and to take you to court - not under arrest, but under "escort."

Also generally speaking, the Court has wide discretion as to whether or not to cite contempt on someone not following a subpoena. If you knowingly refuse, then you might sit in a jail cell adjacent to the Court for a few hours, but usually, a stern warning (the first time) is the case.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
but given that court is in WI and my residence is in GA do you think it is likely that the court will send peace officers to come get me for court? Same thing with if I was to knowingly refuse, is it likely that they would put me in a jail cell?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I cannot comment on the likelihood of the Court requesting that a police officer pick you up. This can be one via the Court's own motion, or the motion of the State or the Defendant. Simply because you are in another state is not as much of an issue as you believe - the Full Faith and Credit Clause requires the states to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state." In practice, this might mean as much as the Court sending over the subpoena to your local police in GA, who will come and arrange transfer for you from GA to WI. I am not saying that this will happen, and some courts forgo finding subpoenaed witnesses if they flee jurisdiction, so it really depends on many variables.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 87762
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
You are welcome. I wish you the best of luck.
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
By the way, I would like to quickly update my answer.

In Wisconsin, any subpoena may be served by any person by exhibiting and reading it to the witness, or by giving the witness a copy thereof, or by leaving such copy at the witness’s abode.

My apologies, for the previous code cited was for a summons. However, the answer still remains the same. In fact, therefore, even the peace officer simply reading it to you or leaving a copy at the house is enough.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much for your diligence

Would it be WI law or GA law that was honored? It is my understanding that the kind of subpoena the DA would have to get in WI to serve me in GA is a bit difficult to get? And that they have to go through GA courts to do so?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
No worries.

Without getting lost in code, I would like to simply say - if they want you served, you will be served. It doesn't matter if they pin it on your door or read it out loud to you. If they want you to, they will find you. Running away from a subpoena is about the worst thing you can do. If you feel that you do not want to testify, retain and attorney and discuss the possibility of using the Fifth Amendment.

No, it is not difficult to arrange if either party wants to use you as witness. You may also attempt to quash the subpoena, of course.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am the victim in the case at hand so I know for sure that the DA office will want me as a witness. How could I quash the subpoena?
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
In this case, you likely cannot, I am sorry to say.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
that really sucks....

thank you very much for your help
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Sure. Sorry for the long-winded response, and I wish you luck in this, and all your future endeavors.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
long-winded responses gives more detail and elaboration, so they were perfect, and again thank you very much
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Again, my pleasure.

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