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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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My iphone was stolen and I notified my carrier and made a police

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My iphone was stolen and I notified my carrier and made a police report. My carrier now tells me that the phone was used when it was out of my possession, but they cannot tell me exactly what activity it was (so that further investigation can proceed) without a supoena. My police department is telling me they don't issue subpoenas for such cases and they are (so far) not being very helpful in pursuing this. This is technically a criminal case (albeit 'petty'), but can I use a 'civil' subpoena to get the info from my carrier (since they are not a party to the criminal case)?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

What the police are not telling you is that in order to get a subpoena, there must be a pending court action (meaning a suit must be filed in civil court or the police have to get a subpoena under their open police investigation case). You can file suit against "John Doe" for your phone value, since you do not know who has it and get a subpoena, but really this is the job of the police. Also, iPhones have a feature called "find my phone" and I am aware that several police departments have used this feature to locate people who have stolen iPhones and have made arrests on them. Why your local police department refuses to pursue the case or get a subpoena for phone records as part of their criminal case is beyond me and this is something you need to go and discuss with the district commander or even chief of police to find out as this is part of their actual investigation duties.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Find-my-Phone was not enabled. Police won't use IMEI trace without circumstances like Amber Alert etc (which makes sense). I think they're simply waiting for the serial number to show up on some pawn shop's list. I know my IPhone is not listed on CraigsList. But I have a police report, and I know there's evidence that the phone is in someone else's possession. I still have a couple of options. I'm just making sure I find as many options as possible and work to do them in the right order. Will stop in at the PD this afternoon and then maybe head to the courthouse. So thanks.

Thank you for your response.

You can file suit against John Doe for civil theft as I said, and then as part of that suit you can get a subpoena and seek the information for the phone. That is your only option to get a legal civil subpoena for the information if the police will not do so.
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