I would like some help , I have a case in court acting for my self,I sent the defendants attorney a subpoena for records. He did not ack on the subpoena, Do I need to file something with the court.for the Judge to order him to comply or the subpoena was enough. Thanks for the help
4 Answers from Attorneys
You would not send opposing counsel a subpoena. That would be inappropriate; and without knowing any other facts, I would guess that this is the reason why he/she has not responded to ths subpoena.
There are a variety of discovery tools available to litigants. However, handling your own litigation is, in my opinion, like doing your own open heart surgery.
Get yourself a decent attorney. There are just too many pitfalls and traps for the inexperienced and unwary.
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If you're the opposing party, the appropriate document to send is a Demand for Production of Documents. See the sections in the Code of Civil Procedure that follow 2031. If opposing counsel doesn't respond in 30 days (plus 5 if you mail it), then you can bring a motion to compel and ask for monetary sanctions. If opposing counsel responds with all objections or no documents, then you need to "meet and confer" with the other attorney, explain why you need the documents -- preferably in writing -- and if documents or better responses aren't forthcoming, you need to bring a motion to compel further responses and documents. Along with the motion to compel further responses, you have to provide a separate statement of requests, answers, and discussion of why such category of documents are relevant. Not for the "faint of heart."
Mr. Guerrini is absolutely correct. You are going about this all wrong, and that is the reason that the attorney did not respond to a subpoena. If you continue representing yourself, you will lose. Contact an attorney in your area immediately to represent you before you damage your case beyond repair.
I agree with the previous answers, and would like to add a couple of thoughts.
Subpoenas are served on the persons who have the records, not opposing counsel. If your opponent's lawyer happened to have records relevant to a case against one of his or her clients, the lawyer could probably refuse to deliver them under subpoena on the basis of attorney-client privilege, or possibly the work-product doctrine.
Under rare circumstances it might be appropriate to serve a subpoena on an attorney, but not ordinarily.
Next, lawyers are allowed to fill out and sign their own subpoena forms, commanding someone to produce documents, because they are "officers of the court" and supposedly wouldn't dare abusing the privilege. In most courts, and state and Federal courts may differ on this, non-lawyers are either not allowed to issue subpoenas, or must obtain subpoena forms from the court clerk, bearing the clerk's signature or stamp, and possibly partly or fully filled out BEFORE the clerk signs them. Ask your court clerk.
Also note that you may have to pay a witness fee in advance if it is a subpoena duces tecum.
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