View Full Version : I just got a Subpoena via fax

05-09-2006, 5:26 PM
My business partner just called me on the phone. He says, "We just got a fax from some lawyer." It says we have to supply information to some criminals lawyer to defend him in civil court. I want him to pay so I'm hardly impartial ;)

I have never heard of being served a subpoena via fax!

Although I'd love to go into the details of the who's and whys, I don't think I'm allowed if this stupid fax is legit. I'm going to call a lawyer customer of mine and see what he thinks tomorrow before I draft my response.

Anyone ever heard of anything like this?

50 Freak
05-09-2006, 5:43 PM
It's been many many moons since I was a process server. If a Subpoena by fax is legal, that's a new one to me.

Does the Subpoena name you as an individual or your business? If it names you as an idividual, I doubt it is legal, if it names you as a business, I don't know.

I would call the Sheriff's deptartment and ask them or better yet, just call an attorney service and ask.

Someone will steer you the right way.

05-09-2006, 6:07 PM
I thought serving a process on someone has to be done on the person. It's not valid if the papers are sent to the person's home, work, ...etc. It has to be to the person. That's what I was told when I got a subpoena in a civil case 10 years ago.

05-09-2006, 6:21 PM
I believe only a subpeona in person is legal. They have to hand it to you or a person over 18 yo at your place and have the mail a second copy if you don't personally get it.

05-09-2006, 6:53 PM
I do serve Subpoenas and the lawyer is just trying to save some money and time. That's assuming the document your partner has, is in fact a valid Subpoena.

You should ask to be served personally and arrange a time for this. This allows you to see the actual Subpoena rather than a digitized copy. This is for your protection so you don't produce documents that were never actually requested by the court. The lawyer can also arrange to have somebody copy the records at your place of business and pay you a small witness fee ($15.00) for pulling the records. You can photo copy them yourself and be reimbursed even more than that.

Resist the temptation to string the process server along. If this is a real Subpoena you will only piss people off that can have you and your documents hauled into a deposition or court personally.

05-09-2006, 6:59 PM
Well, you just screwed the pooch, and admitted that you have recieved it.

That is, afterall, if it is legit.

I probably would have shredded it, thinking it was some sort of scam, since it came over my fax machine, and I was never notified of it ahead of time (not to mention.... was there a cover sheet???). Don't know if that is legal, but unless a process server, or deputy serves me, I disregard it.

I had a divorce attorney (several years ago) try to subpena our records for a clients businesses..... via phone call, fax, what have you. We told that B*&ch to go through the process, pay a process server, or deputy, and we'll gladly comply with the court order.... but until then, piss off. She really began to bug, because she chose not to go through the entire process, since she thought she was "soooo close" with my dead father (reality was, my father had just died, and hated her guts).

In this day and age, someone could fake just about anything they want. They certainly cannot fake the court order, when it has gone through a deputy, or an established process server. I'll be damned to hell before I give up clients documents, without a warrant or court order..... and provided that I am given a chance to verify it's authenticity.

Also, I would refuse to provide certain information in a court order, unless those records were sealed. I'd hate to have my Bank Account info, Social Security info, etc. become part of a public record. I realize that this is probably a bad move, but I also know how to pick up the phone, and call the issuing judge's office. You never know what someone will do with that kind of information.

05-09-2006, 8:41 PM
I don't mind screwing the pooch, so to speak.

I haven't seen it. It's a faxed copy thats supposed to be signed by a judge, but it has corrections on it. I guess suggests was crossed out and demand was checked... I haven't seen it yet.

I take the court system very seriously so I wont hide. If I have the info I will share it with the court.

I think the whole thing is tremendously funny. Some little criminal is trying to get out of taking responsibility for his actions ...

I'll take an hour or so out of my time to make it hurt.

I just think its so damn odd and unprofessional to send me a fax.

I love spelcheck

05-09-2006, 11:32 PM
A subpoena served by fax is not legit , for one you must hold the ORIGINAL in hand because it has directions for you to follow .
Further corrections on a subpoena ? Are they initialed ? If not that is a big ooopsie on the lawyers part .
Respond to the lawyer to serve you using due process , untill then do NOT release any information .
The subpoena will also contain a case number and a precise scope of the documents to be supplied and a time frame in which to supply them .
Heck Big Mac I can whip up a subpoena in a few minutes and serve you via email if you want , maybe I can try using a pigeon as well !

05-09-2006, 11:57 PM
Assuming it's legit, can I help you comply?
If they are using words like "all" we can really have some fun at opposing counsel's expense.

You do keep gun mags in some of the drawers where you keep your business records, don't you? And a phone book?

05-10-2006, 8:44 AM
The dang thing is from the public defenders office!

Now I'm Po'd. He got this order from the judge 9 days ago and I'm just now getting it.
I have to supply about 100 pages of supporting docs that I no longer have because I thought this was all done. Good thing my insurance CO still has them.. I have 80 some pages coming in the mail..

50 Freak
05-10-2006, 9:48 AM
Send each page individually by mail. Charge them for the postage.

05-10-2006, 12:40 PM
I just think its so damn odd and unprofessional to send me a fax.
If you ask me, sounds like it might be wire-fraud :eek:

update: wow, it was for real? that public defender should've known better

05-10-2006, 3:32 PM
I think that if it is to a business it is legal (Could be completely wrong though) but if it's to an individual than that is total BS.

05-10-2006, 3:39 PM
I talked to my boss (I work at a law firm) and he said third party subpoenas are only legit if they are served in person.

05-10-2006, 3:45 PM
What about subpoenas delivered in many pieces by carrier pigeons?

05-10-2006, 3:45 PM
I was mailed a Subponea from the local DA.(I was a witness) The public defenders told me that although I received it in the mail, until I called back to confirm, they legally haven't served me a subponea yet. Its kind of like a registered letter, someone has to sign for it and they have to prove you actually received it. Hell your fax machine could have run out of ink half way through, or it was sent to the wrong number, etc.

glen avon
05-10-2006, 3:50 PM
the truth is the truth, what is your objection to it?

05-10-2006, 4:57 PM
100 pages Oh boy , well charge them 25 cents a page , Gov agencies do the same

05-10-2006, 6:20 PM
Don't send them anything, request it in person just to be sure. The buisness i work for gets a bunch of junk faxes and some try to look legitimate. We always call to verify anything we fax.

Have you been downloading mp3s? :p

05-10-2006, 9:19 PM
the truth is the truth, what is your objection to it?

None . I thought it was weird to get it by fax. I don't have a problem complying with the order. I'm actually glad to do it. I checked, the way he did it makes it the same as if he dropped them off in person. Still kinda weird. This is only a request for documents. It went like this .. we get a fax and before we can even read it we get a call on the phone.. 'hi this is me.. did you just receive a fax.. OK good. Thanks bye..

What I have to do is give the court copies of the paperwork detailing how I got to an insurance settlement. This is simple.. I ask the insurance company to give me my paperwork detailing the itemized payment. Its the same 80 to 100 pages of paperwork I had to submit to get an insurance claim paid.

I thought I was going into the gun business. Bull, I got into the clerking business.

05-10-2006, 9:23 PM
When I looked at the letterhead, I knew this was real. I thought the whole dang thing was done but it's not.

I talked with a couple of lawers today and explained I would apper in court if I couldn't satisfy the order.

Mark in Eureka
05-10-2006, 9:37 PM
I think that I would fax the information back to them.

05-11-2006, 10:41 AM
I think that I would fax the information back to them.

lol... that was my first thought...

05-11-2006, 10:57 AM
I thought I was going into the gun business. Bull, I got into the clerking business.

BigMac, you just don't have the legs to be a secretary or clerk. ;)

05-11-2006, 11:07 AM
we get a fax and before we can even read it we get a call on the phone.. 'hi this is me.. did you just receive a fax.. OK good. Thanks bye..
Interesting, he probally has you know, sort of. He still has only his testimony that the phone call occurred, and I doubt he recorded it. Sloppy, but probally, sorta, legal. Rushed as hell, typical PD slack.

Ordinarily fax is not certified communication (documents would have to be served in person, or via Certified Mail with YOU signing for recipt.)

It's probally legit, but be sure to charge him the typical document retrival fee of $2/page (the court does it to us, I damn sure do it to them.)

I thought I was going into the gun business. Bull, I got into the clerking business.
You don't have the rack!

05-11-2006, 3:47 PM
1- Since when are public defenders provided for civil suits? Don't tell me our tax dollars are involved on suits only involving private parties.

2- Why 80 documents? How many did this guy/gal purchase from you. I mean, how many documents are there per gun transation... DROS, 4473, safe affadavit, proof of residency?

3- If I was you, I would be worried about being named on the complaint as the defense lawyer maybe trying to deflect his client's responsibilities. Claimants always file with "John Does" so they can add names later as they discover things in discovery.

05-11-2006, 5:01 PM
Because it turns out it's the ATF going after restitution for the insurance CO. There asking them to pay me as well. I had a thousand dollar deductible, I missed three days work. There going to make the butt heads pay for my security upgrades ;) Not my idea.. ATF agent.

Stator... I wanted to know the same thing WTF a public defender for a civil.. then the ATF called me.. this whole thing is about my burglary. Not about a customer. I'm being ordered to prove my loss to the court. Its exactly what I gad to do for the insurance CO.

I've already got about a hundred or so pages ready.. I just asked him to send the FedEx thing..

05-11-2006, 8:46 PM
The ATF is asking the ins CO to do WHAT now? And a public defender is involved WHY?

Hey if they can make 'em pay for your security upgrades so much the better.

Watch out for the ins CO to screw you however they can (droping you, notes on your confidential ins file, etc.)

05-12-2006, 6:37 AM
The insurence CO and I hve an agreement. I upgrded securuty and added another gunsafe and they didin't drop me.

If so much as one handgun gets stolen and the safes not cut open and I'm not covered.


05-12-2006, 8:30 AM
That makes (a bit) more sense now. Still odd that a public defender is involved. Have you by chance called the court and seen what's filed and who should be handling it? (just make sure this "PD" is legit. Sounds almost like a phishing scam.)