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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  13 years experience in employment law, unions, contracts, workers comp law
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Does a subpoena phone records show past text message

Customer Question

Does a subpoena for cell phone records show past text message or iMessage context?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.
Hello there ---That depends upon the cell phone company itself, but, generally speaking, it is usually only the text messages that will be given over in a subpoena request because many cell companies do not generally keep records of iMessage content. If this is a criminal investigation, law enforcement might be able to get the iMessage content through the phone itself. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating. Doing so will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For AT&T, does the content of the text message get handed over or just the text log of the numbers text messaged and date?
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.
Hello again -- Generally the cell phone companies will only keep the text of the message itself for 30 or 60 days and then they are dumped and the only thing you can get from then is the date and time of the message and the number of where it went or where it came from. Some of the smaller carriers do not even save the messages at all. There is no legal requirement that any cellphone company has to save messages and so it is a hit or miss on them, depending upon the company that you are dealing with. With AT & T, because they are a larger carrier, they may be one of the ones that save content for a month or two but I cannot tell you for certain what each company is doing in your area. The subpoenas I have issued recently or been involved with did not contain the text messages at all when the report was returned and we were informed that the company does not retain content. MARY
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.
PS -- Additional information was erased because customer closed question without paying the expert for their time.