Florida personal injury lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, explains what you need to know about subpoenas.
You open your door and there is a process server that hands you a document or you open a certified letter and there is a formal document titled “ SUBPOENA ”. What does it mean? What should you do?
What is a Subpoena?
A subpoena is a court document that is either issued by the Clerk of the Court or a Lawyer (an officer of the Court) requiring testimony (ad testificandum), documents (duces tecum) or both. The Latin roots of the word are “sub” and “poena”, which means “under penalty.” That is the first thing that you need to understand – you have to comply with the subpoena.
What should you do?
When you receive the subpoena – read it carefully. If the subpoena requires the production of documents – spend a few minutes and determine if you have the documents in your possession. If you have questions about whether you should turn over the documents, check with a local lawyer. If the subpoena requires your presence in court, a hearing or deposition, you should contact the issuing party (name and number will be on the document) to discuss the logistics of your appearance.
DO NOT disregard the subpoena. It is a court document and if you are properly served and you fail to comply with the subpoena, there is a chance you can be held in contempt of court. Contempt of Court can cost you time, money or both.
If you have any questions about a Florida subpoena, you can give me a call at 352-329-0329 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right hand side of the screen.