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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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If a lawyer issues subpoena to gmail trial, how does it take

Customer Question

Hi. If a lawyer issues subpoena to gmail for civil trial, how long does it take to get the records? Does gmail even comply? What info is released with subpoena? Can sign up phone number be revealed? Can you ever get rid of data like sign in email and trashed messages? Thank you so much, Sam.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 7 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

Gmail is owned by Google so everything goes directly to Google. Google will comply with subpoenas assuming they are correct and meet all of the requirements. Usually they meet whatever time limit is set forth on the subpoena, but I have seen them ask for a minimum of 30 days before with other sections of Google. If you want someone to appear at trial or a deposition for Google then they usually need at least 30 days notice as well. In addition to Google's policy there is the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA), 18 U.S.C. § 2702(a)(1), which "prohibits Internet service providers from producing e-mails in response to a civil discovery subpoena". I'm not sure how much that has been tested yet but there is always a way around those kinds of statutes if someone spends enough time and money.

Any info that they have can be revealed. However, they often require a court order and not just a subpoena if the information is something they consider private such as a social security number. I have heard that they are taking the stance now that everything is private and they only comply with proper government subpoenas or with court order, not just subpoenas in a regular civil case unless the subpoena comes from the local court where the Google headquarters is located.

They have web pages that discusses their general policy on releasing information at and at

There is also an article in the Illinois Bar Journal specifically on the topic of trying to subpoena gmail info at

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