Ask a lawyer and get answers to your legal questions

Ask a Lawyer, Get an Answer ASAP!

Subpoena Questions

A subpoena is a court order that requires a person to appear before a court. Failure to appear usually places the person under contempt of court. This is usually determined by the judge and may result in a fine or arrest. The subpoena is a tool used by the court to bring all witnesses together for questioning during a trial or court session. Below are just a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding subpoenas.

How would I subpoena a video surveillance tape from a bar in San Francisco California? I was injured by bouncers in the bar and I need to prove it that it happened in the bar.

While it would be to your advantage to have the tapes that showed the acts that took place, there are no laws requiring the bar to give the tapes to you. In order to have the tapes as evidence, you will have to serve the bar owner with a subpoena. In order to serve the bar with a subpoena you will need to file a lawsuit against the bar.

You can request a copy of the tapes that have the evidence in question. You can send a certified letter with the request. If this doesn't work, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Once you do this, you will have to send discovery demands to the bar. If this also fails, a subpoena will have to be served.

I need to prove that my ex-husband is lying about his finances. How should I go about getting the required paperwork from him to prove this for the court?

The first step would be to request the documents. This is done when you send a request to produce, which is filed through the court. This would be the most inexpensive way to obtain the information you are seeking.

If your ex-husband is unwilling to comply with the request, you may have to file a motion to compel. Usually, parties are required to release all financial information that is relevant to the case at hand. When your ex-husband refuses to cooperate, the judge will probably place an order for the documents to be turned over. When the judge gets involved, people are more prepared to comply with any request.

If you still cannot produce results, you may want to consider a subpoena. Generally, every court will have template subpoenas. If your court clerk does have this type of form, you only need to fill the form out and have it served to the ex-husband. Before you prepare the form, you need to determine the requirements expected by any entity that may be involved (bank, CPA, etc.). This will save several steps and time when filing and serving the subpoena.

My intern received a subpoena from a lawyer today. It says to appear at the lawyer's office on June 19 to give a deposition and provide all client records. A court did not subpoena the records and we were not given 10 days’ notice. Should my intern respond to this subpoena? We are in Texas.

Attorneys can issue subpoenas in Texas. . Tex. R. Civ. P. 176.4(a)-(c).

The Texas Court Rules provide: 205.2 Notice.
“A party seeking discovery by subpoena from a nonparty must serve, on the nonparty and all parties, a copy of the form of notice required under the rules governing the applicable form of discovery. A notice of oral or written deposition must be served before or at the same time that a subpoena compelling attendance or production under the notice is served. A notice to produce documents or tangible things under Rule 205.3 must be served at least 10 days before the subpoena compelling production is served.”

Usually, if the person cannot make the set date/time, all they would have to do is contact the attorney and request an adjournment. They can then set a more appropriate date for the meeting.

You should never ignore a subpoena. Doing so would put you (in this case, your intern) at risk of being in contempt of court. Contempt of court can include a fine plus jail time.

I just received a subpoena issued by the lawyer in Arkansas. Upon searching county sites I find no record of the case with the supplied case number. The subpoena says to appear at the lawyer's office. Just curious if this is legal and I should contact them?

Because a subpoena is a court order, you should probably pay attention to it. Ignoring one may lead to legal action being placed against you. You should make contact with the attorney and discuss the situation as well as mentioning the case number. There may be a mistake that was made during the filing. Once you have spoken with the attorney and everything appears to be on the level, your next step would be to comply with the subpoena.

A subpoena is a court order to appear before the court. When you are faced with a subpoena and have questions, you should always consult an Expert. When you are unsure of the legalities that are associated with court subpoenas, you could be setting yourself up for trouble. To learn your legal rights and options, it is best to ask an Expert for legal insight.
Please type your question in the field below

10 verified Lawyers are online now

Lawyers on JustAnswer are verified through an extensive 8-step process including screening of licenses, certifications, education and/or employment. Learn more


Counselor at Law

Juris Doctor

24658 positive reviews


Doctoral Degree

23105 positive reviews


Doctoral Degree

2132 positive reviews
See all Lawyers
JustAnswer in the news:
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.