What Is a Subpoena?

You are going through a nasty divorce and have been faced with the task of responding to your current spouse who wishes to divorce you. This does not make you happy, however, your statement or response is necessary to complete this task. If you are too difficult, you may be served with a subpoena. No one likes to be subpoenaed. If you are served a subpoena, in layman’s terms you are being told to do something or appear somewhere, without much of a choice. Subpoenas are court-ordered documents that instruct you to possibly testify in court, or speak with someone specific to provide information regarding a current court case. If you, for some reason, do not follow the orders of the court you could face penalties, like incarceration or fines. 

Subpoena ad testificandum is when you are ordered to appear in court or testify.

Subpoena duces tecum is when you are ordered to provide palpable evidence as it relates to a case.

Subpoenas are typically served in cases such as civil lawsuits, divorces, or child custody battles or also. Sometimes involved parties withhold pertinent information and cause delay in conclusion of cases. Subpoenas allow for attorneys or prosecution to get as much information as they can in regards to their case. For example, a witness testimony may make all of the difference in a criminal case, but the witness does not want to come forward with what they know. An attorney can obtain a court-ordered subpoena, if absolutely necessary, to have the witness speak or make a statement.

Subpoenas are served the same as any other court ordered documents, as a lawyer like one from The Lynch Law Group can explain. Just so long as you have received it, you have been served. A receipt of you receiving the subpoena is necessary so that it can be shown that you are aware of the command. Be sure to read the details of the subpoena thoroughly and respond immediately. 

Every state has different laws so be sure to speak to someone immediately. If you or someone you know has been served with a subpoena it is wise to speak with an attorney as soon as possible so that every detail of the subpoena is understood and you are not in some way breaking the law.