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Ask LawTalk Your Own Question
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34884
Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 30 years of experience in the legal field.
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I am a private investigator in Calif and want to see about subpoena

Customer Question

hi I am a private investigator in Calif and want to see about subpoena text messages for the month of March this year for a case involving a person who bought a classic car from me. There is vital information in the text messages for that month which would make the person liable in the case.
JA: OK. The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes I have a lawyer but just trying to see first of all by staying a step ahead to save him some work since I am an investigator that I can get the messages and that I am contacting the right dept
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: Just as the lawyer told me. Try to get to the correct part of the company that releases the messages.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Lawyer should know?
Customer: He already knows that it will be used in the court of law.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good afternoon,I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I wish you good luck. It is not inexpensive nor easy to get a court order for text messages, but I will explain the process and the pitfalls. First of all, you must work very fast. In order to compel a cell phone company to turn over the text messages you are seeking, you must apply to the court for a subpoena to serve on the carrier. In order to get a civil subpoena issued you must have an active lawsuit on file with the court---for example a divorce lawsuit, or a breach of contract lawsuit.I have some experience in this area and you need to know something that the cell carriers will not tell you. That is that while they do keep a record of the text messages---the messages are typically purged from their systems after about 2 to 4 weeks---so it will be literally impossible to get the messages from the cell carrier unless you have everything in place to get the subpoena.Another way to recover the texts is to file for divorce and ask the court to order that the cell phone in question be turned over to your computer forensic expert who can examine the instrument to try and recover the text messages which may have been deleted but which still may be present in the phone weeks or months later. This is often more effective than trying to compel Verizon to turn over text messages. You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.I wish you and yours the best in 2016,Doug
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good evening,Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you?In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.As I have provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?Thanks in advance,Doug
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Please refund me the full amount as I already knew what u told me. Otherwise I need to open a dispute with u on the PayPal site. I did not authorize this charge.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I went to PayPal and just before I clicked pay the cellphone company called me with answers so I did not complete the transaction. That is why I wondered how u were able to charge me so please refund. Sorry bout this.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.
Good evening, With all respect intended---- you expected me to know what you already knew------how? I re-read your question and I don't see anything to suggest that you had a clue what the law was or the process of getting a subpoena for text messages. Being a PI hardly suggests that you have the knowledge of an attorney. If you expect a very specific answer that does not include what you may already know---then you need to be a bit more specific in your query. Just a suggestion to help you avoid wasting your time. I am sorry too. Under the circumstances, I am unable to further assist you in this matter, and I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other professionals.Your question is being placed back in the question list for other professionals to see, and to respond to. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active. Should another professional pick it up, you should be alerted by email unless you actively disable this feature.There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying other professionals' access to it.I sincerely ***** ***** any inconvenience and wish you well in your future. Best of luck in your quest for the text messages.Doug