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Does one need a subpoena to retrieve the content of very old…

Does one need a...

Does one need a subpoena to retrieve the content of very old text messages on a cell phone?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? It matters because laws vary by location.

California

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken so far?

None. I'm worried about my ex showing embarrassing messages (nothing remotely illegal). That might have been sent years ago. That's why I am curious as to whether she could even access them....without a subpoena.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

What is the cost involved?

Lawyer's Assistant: It can cost anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the type of issue and how much of the Lawyer's time your question is expected to take (how complex and lengthy an answer you require).

Is it arbitrary or can one set a price limit.

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 123,367
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Unlike on TV, most cell phone companies do not keep text message information beyond a 30 day time span. However, whether or not they have them 30 days or longer is irrelevant for this inquiry. Anyone who wants to access the text records even on their OWN account, must have a subpoena. In order to get a subpoena there must be a lawsuit filed.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Forgive this silly question but a lawsuit filed for such a subpoena request could only be obtained for a criminal reason right? Not under the argument that the texts (mine and hers) are an individuals intellectual property or simply for private personal investigative reasons?

Thank you for your reply.

It is NOT a silly question.

For a lawsuit filed, it can be for a civil suit, a family suit such a divorce or for a criminal cases.

You cannot just file a lawsuit for a fishing trip to investigate anything and she cannot claim the texts are her intellectual property, that would not be valid cause to file suit.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 123,367
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much for your thorough work and quick reply. You have put my mind at rest. All the best!
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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