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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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I have received a subpoena to appear in court from a lawyer

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I have received a subpoena to appear in court from a lawyer for a debt to American Express. Do I HAVE to appear in court or is there another way to handle this ? I was unaware that I was suppose to "respond" or answer within 20 days in writing after being issued the subpoena. I have never been to court before in my life and am scared to death.
Please advise.

Hi, Kathryn, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to assist you in any way that I can, but need a bit more information, if you do not mind,


First, please do not be afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of and I will be right behind you.


From what you are telling me, it appears that you were already sued because (a) You said you did not file an Answer within 20 days; and (b) When you are sued, you are served with a Complaint, not a Subpoena.


Were you served with a Subpoena to appear for an "Asset Deposition"?


This is where a Plaintiff has already obtained judgment against a Defendant and now is trying to find out if the Plaintiff has any assets which the Judgment-Creditor can seize in order to satisfy his judgment


Could you elaborate a little on what the Subpoena says ?



Thank you,




Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It is a subpoena duces tecum and has today's date on it to bring certain documents to court. Tax returns, property I own, paycheck stub, bank statements, etc. it does not say anything about a deposition on it and it doesn't say for me to respond or answer within 20 days, I read that info online.

Thank you for your reply, Kathryn, and your additional information,


You asked,


"Do I HAVE to appear in court or is there another way to handle this ?"




A Subpoena is the equivalent of a Court Order which has to be obeyed and if it is not obeyed, the Judge can hold you in Contempt of Court, or he can issue a Bench Warrant for your arrest.


When a creditor sues a debtor and the debtor does not file a responsive pleading, here an Answer was required, everything which the Defendant does not deny, is deemed admitted and if the Defendant does not appear at the hearing the Plaintiff creditor obtains a default judgment against the Defendant. Once the creditor becomes a judgment creditor, he can compel the Defendant to disclose their assets so that the judgment creditor can seize them to satisfy his judgment.


If you did not appear at the hearing, and the creditor obtained a default judgment against you, you can try filing a Motion to set aside/Vacate the judgment and set a new hearing date so that you can present your defenses. Or, if the time within which to file an appeal has not expired, you can file an Appeal of the judgment. But, in the meantime, you should obey the Subpoena so that you do not have to face bigger problems,



I wish I could give you the Answer you want to hear, and it would have given me
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to your situation against me because you are rating my service to you and not if you like or agree with the law,


Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding,



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Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,




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