Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.
Is there a specific question with which I could assist?
I asked, is there a specific question with which I could assist? My screen is not showing a question from you, just some facts.
You can recover them back to as far as the cell phone company keeps them.
You have to have a lawsuit filed and then send a subpoena for the messages.
If you want them in admissible format you would need to subpoena them through a private court reporter and use the "business records exception" questions to "prove up" the messages.
The different companies keep the messages different lengths of time and they periodically change it.
However, what you want to do is ask for the messages for about six months past the time you actually need them so that you're sure it is covered.
Usually they have the full messages if they have anything at all.
Also, the time limits are changing now because of some laws the feds have passed or are passing. I'm not sure when they go into effect or what that is actually going to mean to the cell phone companies because they were claiming that their equipment wouldn't store the records for as long as the law was saying they had to and there was an issue as to whether the government could force them to reprogram the system. It's similar to the issue with Apple earlier this year.
No, the subpoena will only force them to give you what they have, whatever it is. Verizon used to keep the actual messages longer than the rest of the companies but it wasn't two years. I think the last time I was involved in a case that requested the actual messages the company said they only had them for a few months.
There are a lot of articles on this topic but the gist of most of them is "we don't know how long they are going to keep the records".
From what time period did you need the texts?
You may want to subpoena them and see what they respond with. However, I don't think any of the companies keep the actual texts for a year and a half now.
You're very welcome.
If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered.