You've received a document that might be a subpoena. Your immediate reaction may be shock and a desire to immediately obey its request. As with anything legal, it's best not to act on impulse but to carefully consider the options before you. While you will likely need to comply, there are times when a court will agree to modify the subpoena's request or even to terminate it entirely. This guide cannot give you legal advice about your situation and you should contact a lawyer for specific legal advice. However, this section should be able to answer the preliminary questions you may have about how best to respond.
1. What is a subpoena?
A subpoena is a legal order commanding the person or organization named in the subpoena to give sworn testimony at a specified time and place about a matter concerned in an investigation or a legal proceeding, such as a trial. A subpoena duces tecumsubstitutes the requirement of your appearance to testify with a requirement that you supply specific physical material in your possession. A deposition subpoena means that your sworn testimony will be taken during a phase of the trial process known as discovery, and will likely occur at a lawyer's office.
Subpoenas may be issued by the following people involved in the legal case associated with the subpoena:
the judge presiding over the legal proceedings
the clerk of the court where the lawsuit has been filed
a private lawyer representing one of the parties in the lawsuit
a government lawyer such as the Attorney General or District Attorney
(Note that the Attorney General and District Attorney can issue a subpoena during an investigation, before initiating a legal case).
Given that a subpoena is an order to produce yourself and/or tangible items in a very specific legal setting, it is imperative that you take it seriously. Failure to comply with a subpoena can have serious consequences. However, you do have certain options in how best to respond.
2. Did you receive a subpoena?
You'll first want to determine precisely what you've received. In some instances, law enforcement authorities will use a search warrant, rather than a subpoena duces tecum, to access material in your possession. If you have been served with a search warrant, you cannot interfere with the search. You should call a lawyer immediately, note the scope of the search, watch and document where the authorities performed their search, and keep a record of any items seized.
Subpoenas come in several flavors, and you may need someone trained in the law to help you determine what type of legal document you've received. However, a subpoena contains certain distinguishing characteristics. Look carefully at the document for:
the full name of a court in the document's title, or letterhead
the word "Subpoena" in bold in the top third of the document
the words "you are commanded to report," or a similar variation
a specific date, time and location for you to appear or for you to provide the requested materials
in some cases, the penalty for non-compliance will be included
Examples of subpoenas: Earthlink Subpoena, AutoAdmit Subpoena, Tice Subpoena, and IBM Subpoena.
Subpoenas are not necessarily filed with the court, so if you have doubts about the document you've received, ask a lawyer or call the person who signed the document and ask if they have in fact sent a subpoena. (An address and or telephone number should follow the signature.) If none of the above characteristics match your document, refer to our sections on Responding to Correspondence Threatening Legal Action, and Responding to Lawsuits for help figuring out what you've received.
3. Accepting a Subpoena vs. Complying with a Subpoena
Once you've determined that you have received a subpoena, you may feel that you want to contest the subpoena because you believe that it is invalid or unreasonable. You can still do so despite having received the subpoena (which in most cases arrived by registered mail, or by a person delivering it to you and requesting your signature). Acceptance of the subpoena does not constitute your assent to comply with it. However, if you object to the terms of the subpoena, then you must inform the court about your decision to challenge it.
4. Inconvenient Date & Cost of Travel
As long as you are not one of the parties in the case and you have to travel an appreciable distance, your transportation costs should be covered and you should be given an attendance fee. The costs and fees are set according to the rules of the court named in the subpoena. Generally, in a civil case you should receive the cash or check before you have to appear. After you testify in a criminal case, you should receive an attendance fee and travel reimbursement.
If appearing at the time and place specified by the subpoena is of great inconvenience, call the person who issued the subpoena, and he may be able to reschedule your appearance to a more convenient date. However, keep in mind that postponement may not be an option because a court date has been set for the trial and cannot be moved. If so, and if you would suffer extreme hardship from having to appear, consult a lawyer who may be able to help.
5. Filing an Objection to a Subpoena
The subpoena will require that you either appear, or produce documents or other material, at a specific time and location. If you want to inform the court of your objections you will need to file a Motion to Quash. Typically, a Motion to Quash contains a request to the court asking to modify or terminate the subpoena based on certain objections, and a memorandum explaining how the law supports the objections.
You should not wait until the date specified to make your objection known to the court. There are many valid reasons to object, the most common being:
The law requires that you receive (were "served") with the subpoena in a specified way. Requirements for service vary according to jurisdiction, and the subject is too complicated to address in this guide. You may want to consult with an attorney or perform your own legal research to understand whether service was proper. However, this is usually not a strong objection because in all likelihood you will merely be served once again.
Scope of Request
If you believe the subpoena you've received requests information or material that would be difficult to gather, you may be able to challenge it. Should the court agree with your objections, it may nullify the subpoena. More likely, the court will limit the scope of the subpoena, set a more reasonable deadline for you to deliver the materials, and, if a voluminous amount of documents have been requested, the court may also require the other party to compensate you for making the necessary copies of each document. (Note: you should not have to create anything new for a subpoena request; the request should only be for existing material within your possession.)
It is important to note two things here: the court does not usually monitor who and what is subpoenaed, and under rules of trial procedure, a party to a lawsuit is permitted to send a subpoena to anyone he thinks might have material useful for his case. Additionally the material doesn't even have to relate to the subject of the lawsuit. A party is entitled to request materials it thinks might have the potential to lead to relevant information concerning the subject matter of the case. Thus, unsurprisingly, many subpoenas are drafted to be broad in scope, and in some cases, to have a short deadline.
If the subpoena requires that you turn over confidential documents, or testify about confidential matters, like the identity of an anonymous source, do not immediately comply with the request.The law recognizes the importance of protecting certain communications and grants them a privileged status for purposes of a lawsuit. For example:
certain states have enacted "shield" laws protecting journalists and others from being compelled to testify about information collected during the newsgathering process, including the disclosure of anonymous sources. Refer to our section on State Shield Laws to see whether your state has this law.
both state and federal law prevents certain professionals, like doctors and lawyers, from being forced to testify or submit documents about their patients or clients.
both state and federal law grant close relatives immunity from testifying in certain situations.
Because these protections vary according to each jurisdiction you will need to consult a lawyer, or perform your own legal research, to see whether any apply to your situation.
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects an individual from being forced to testify against himself when such testimony could result in criminal liability.
In some cases, law enforcement authorities use a subpoena to a build a case against the subpoena recipient before pressing charges. If you think that you may be the focus of a criminal investigation, or worry about incriminating yourself when you testify, do not comply with the subpoena without first consulting a lawyer.
6. Hiring a Lawyer
If you haven't already made a decision at this point, you should decide whether you want to hire a lawyer. If the request is straightforward and you're comfortable with supplying the requested information, you may not need a lawyer's services. However, you will almost always be better off having a lawyer protecting your interests, even if you think you have nothing to hide. You may mischaracterize a situation and make yourself vulnerable to a lawsuit or criminal charges, and if so, will find it hard to rebut the testimony given under oath. Refer to our section on Finding Legal Help for more help.
Before contacting a lawyer, write down everything you know about the situation, including: when and how you received the subpoena, the nature of the actions that triggered the subpoena, and any relevant interactions you’ve had with either party of the lawsuit. The act of writing the summary allows you to:
record events you may later forget
evaluate your position and figure out your next steps
focus your conversation with a lawyer (should you wish to consult with one)
launch your own legal research
potentially determine the subpoena's validity
7. Adding your subpoena to the CMLP Legal Threats Database
This is an important action because creating an entry in the Legal Threats Databasewill help others who receive similar subpoenas know that they are not alone, and assist them in weighing their options regarding how to respond. You will also help the CMLP track who is sending legal threats and make it possible for our lawyers to help others in a similar position.
Responding to Subpoenas | Citizen Media Law Project
http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/ ... -subpoenas
Qui tacet consentire
- David McCarthy
- Site Admin
- Posts: 2508
- Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:09 am
- Location: New Zealand
It is especially ironic that JZ Knight pumped out the verbal diarrhea bashing Mexicans because Mexico is one of RSE's hopeful growth markets. I guess JZ must have been zoned out when her publicist was trying to coach her on that fact.
I guess what we need is for JZ to carry out some particularly patently brutal and/or colossally stupid act in order to get the attention of the press. Not that I want it, but something on the order of a child being critically injured as a result of RSE stupidity would get press attention. Nobody cares if adults get hurt doing ill advised stuff, but don't dare mess with kids.
- David McCarthy
- Site Admin
- Posts: 2508
- Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:09 am
- Location: New Zealand
Thank you for reminding everyone ItsAbuse .....She actually thinks she can shut your support site down? WHO CARES?!? Lets start another
If EMF was to be shut down it would prove to be an empty victory for JZK and her trolls...
Truth and Freedom have a way of rising up all the louder and stronger to take on those bastards that feel entitled to rob others of their rights and freedoms.
To be sure EMF always keeps a current backup as with the video evidence of JZK's brutal and cruel behavior against RSE students.
Hi Ockham,Its just a matter of time.....I'm surprised the xenophobic and basically hateful remarks in the leaked videos didn't get JZ Knight and RSE in more hot water in US and international press.
This is a huge gamble JZK and her handlers are playing out here, many have a little rowboat exit strategy should these pirates realize JZR and her R$E ship is going down.
Ironically.... R$E is going down more due to the fact of their own ineptness and cruelty, blinded by greed, power and fear.
Yes fear..these people are scared and so they should be....
The sentiment of the RSE financial corruption has been expressed by several posters in this forum as on of the factors instrumental in getting away from RSE. When you're sitting in a leaky camping caravan trailer with no heat squatting on somebody else's land and you see Knight's lavish lifestyle built from your own hard earned money, obvious questions come up. Knight sucks up all the Ramtha tribute money from the customers for her own self aggrandizement and puts hardly anything back to the benefit of the RSE corporation and even less to the benefit of the customers.
Rajneeshpuram has run its course. No doubt the days of RSE are numbered too unless Knight, the management, and the investors of RSE take a more enlightened attitude and give as much back to their customers as they take. I don’t see much chance of that happening, so I feel that RSE’s long term future is one of a failed enterprise that will eventually be only a dusty memory and little more than a side note in the collective memory of Wikipedia.
- David McCarthy
- Site Admin
- Posts: 2508
- Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:09 am
- Location: New Zealand
Some more thoughts on this problem...I'm surprised the xenophobic and basically hateful remarks in the leaked videos didn't get JZ Knight and RSE in more hot water in US and international press.
I think this falls into the Bernard Madoff syndrome! -“No One Would Listen,”
Whistle blower Harry Markopolos spoke out about Madoff for TEN YEARS before any action was taken against this monster...
The reason 'in part' that no action has ever been instigated by the local authorities against JZK, Inc and this includes 'Thurston County Police' to investigate RSE and pull her SUP
is because they are implicated..follow the money
this feeds into the “No One Would Listen,”... 'and turning a blind eye'. Virginia commented to the media that all former Whistle blowers have been decimated by JZ Knight!
I see it more of a problem that we have been totally ignored, and this has been the stance and strategy of JZK and her local 'friends' for over twenty years now.
But JZK, Inc is fast becoming a loose canon for her handlers but if they cut her loose too soon! her insider knowledge may sink their ship also.
Meanwhile her legal team are bailing out the water like crazy and trying to plug the holes to keep her afloat, but with an arrogant captain that refuses to steer away from icebergs
they must also be spying the life rafts ...
.Madoff whistle-blower: ‘No One Would Listen’ - books - Biography Memoirs - TODAY.com
http://www.today.com/id/35606057/site/t ... ld-listen/
Harry Markopolos is the whistle-blower who uncovered Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme 10 years before the rest of the world learned of the biggest financial crime in history. While a lot has been written about Madoff’s scam, few actually know the dramatic details of how Markopolos and a small group of sleuths went about investigating the fraud that reached around the globe. In “No One Would Listen,” Markopolos shares his story. An excerpt.
On the morning of December 11, 2008, a New York real estate developer on a JetBlue flight from New York to Los Angeles was watching CNBC on the small seat-back television. A crawl across the bottom of the screen reported that Bernard Madoff, a legendary Wall Street figure and the former chairman of NASDAQ had been arrested for running the largest Ponzi scheme in history. The developer sat silently for several seconds, absorbing that news. No, that couldn’t be right, he thought, but the message streamed across the screen again. Turning to his wife, he said that he knew that she wasn’t going to believe what he was about to tell her, but apparently Bernie Madoff was a crook and the millions of dollars that they had invested with him were lost. He was right — she didn’t believe him. Instead, she waved off the thought. “That’s not possible,” she said, and returned to the magazine she was reading.
The stunned developer stood up and walked to the rear of the plane, where the flight attendants had gathered in the galley. “Excuse me,” he said politely, “but I’m going to be leaving now. So would you please open the door for me? And don’t worry — I won’t need a parachute.”
At about 5:15 that December afternoon, I was at the local dojo in my small New England town watching my five-year-old twin boys trying to master the basic movements of karate. It had been a gloomy day. Rain continued intermittently, and there was a storm in the air. I noticed there were several voice mails on my cell phone. That’s curious, I thought; I hadn’t felt it vibrate. I stepped into the foyer to retrieve the messages. The first one was from a good friend named Dave Henry, who was managing a considerable amount of money as chief investment officer of DKH Investments in Boston. “Harry,” his message said clearly, “Madoff is in federal custody for running a Ponzi scheme. He’s under arrest in New York. Call me.” My heart started racing. The second message was also from a close friend, Andre Mehta, a super-quant who is a managing director of alternative investments at Cambridge Associates, a consultant to pension plans and endowments. I could hear the excitement in Andre’s voice as he said, “You were right. The news is hitting. Madoff’s under arrest. It looks like he was running a huge Ponzi scheme. It’s all over Bloomberg. Call me and I’ll read it to you. Congratulations.”
I was staggered. For several years I’d been living under a death sentence, terrified that my pursuit of Madoff would put my family and me in jeopardy. Billions of dollars were at stake, and apparently some of that money belonged to the Russian mafia and the drug cartels — people who would kill to protect their investments. And I knew all about Peter Scannell, a Boston whistleblower who had been beaten nearly to death with a brick simply for complaining about a million-dollar market-timing scam. So I wouldn’t start my car without first checking under the chassis and in the wheel wells. At night I walked away from shadows and I slept with a loaded gun nearby; and suddenly, instantly and unexpectedly, it was over. Finally, it was over. They’d gotten Madoff. I raised my fist high in the air and screamed to myself, “Yes!” My family was safe. Then I collapsed over a wooden railing. I had to grab hold of it to prevent myself from falling. I could barely breathe. In less time than the snap of my fingers I had gone from being supercharged with energy to being completely drained.
The first thing I wanted to do was return those calls. I needed to know every detail. It was only when I tried to punch in the numbers that I discovered how badly my hand was shaking. I called Dave back and he told me that the media was reporting that Bernie Madoff had confessed to his two sons that his multibillion-dollar investment firm was a complete fraud. There were no investments, he had told them; there never had been. Instead, for more than two decades, he had been running the largest Ponzi scheme in history. His sons had immediately informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and agents had shown up at Madoff’s apartment early that morning and arrested him. They’d taken him out in handcuffs. It looked like many thousands of people had lost billions of dollars.
Video: Were SEC’s Madoff probes incompetent?
It was exactly as I had warned the government of the United States approximately $55 billion earlier. And as I stood in the lobby of that dojo, my sense of relief was replaced by a new concern. The piles of documents I had in my possession would destroy reputations, end careers, and perhaps even bring down the entire Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the government’s Wall Street watchdog — unless, of course, the government got to those documents before I could get them published. I grabbed my kids and raced home.
My name is Harry Markopolos. It’s Greek. I’m a Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Fraud Examiner, which makes me a proud Greek geek. And this, then, is the complete story of how my team failed to stop the greatest financial crime in history, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. For the previous nine years I had been working secretly with three highly motivated men who worked in various positions in the financial industry to bring the Bernie Madoff fraud to the attention of the SEC. We had invested countless hours and risked our lives, and had saved no one — although eventually, after Madoff’s collapse, we would succeed in exposing the SEC as one of this nation’s most incompetent financial regulators.
For example, it was well known that Madoff operated his legitimate broker-dealer business on the 18th and 19th floors of the Lipstick Building on New York’s East Side. But what was not generally known was that his money management company, the fraud, was located on the 17th floor of that building. Months after Madoff’s collapse, the FBI would reveal to my team that based on our 2005 submission providing evidence that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, the SEC finally launched an investigation — but that its crack investigative team during the two-year-long investigation “never even figured out there was a 17th floor.” I had provided all the evidence they needed to close down Madoff — and they couldn’t find an entire floor. Instead they issued three technical deficiency notices of minor violations to Madoff’s broker-dealer arm. Now, that really is setting a pretty low bar for other government agencies to beat. But sadly, all of this nation’s financial regulators — the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision — are at best incompetent and at worst captive to the companies they are supposed to regulate. As I would later testify before Congress, “The SEC roars like a mouse and bites like a flea.” In retrospect, considering how much I have learned since then, and how much my team has learned, that probably was inaccurate: I was being too kind. Tens of thousands of lives have been changed forever because of the SEC’s failure. Countless people who relied on that agency for the promised protection have lost more than can ever be recovered. In some cases people lost everything they owned. And truthfully, the SEC didn’t even need to conduct an extensive investigation. My team had given them everything they needed. With the materials we submitted, it would have taken investigators no more than the time it took to ask Madoff three questions for his fraud to be discovered and his operation to be shut down. The magnitude of this Ponzi scheme is matched only by the willful blindness of the SEC to investigate Madoff.
Excerpted from "No One Would Listen," by Harry Markopolos. Copyright (c) 2010, reprinted with permission from Wiley
Bernard Madoff - Wikipedia,