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Can I subpoena the bank records of someone I plan to sue in order prepare evidence for a case which I haven't filed yet?

Sacramento, CA |

I loaned a relative a large sum of cash with the promise they would repay in 5 years.I didn't make them sign a contract because I mistakenly trusted them.They are now denying this loan ever occurred. The large cash deposit into their account would prove otherwise. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Mp. A subpoena cam pm;u be ossied wotj referemce tp am imder;uomg case/

    Under correct circumstances you might consder certain allegations in your future complaint to be allege "on information and belief".

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. You cannot subpoena bank records of someone else without an active filed case. Once the case is filed, you may be able to reach these records and, even if the assets are no longer on deposit, you may be able to reconstruct the balance for the time period that you contend confirms your position.

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  3. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Doland. Mp. A subpoena cam pm;u be ossied wotj referemce tp am imder;uomg case/ :)

    That said, once you file a lawsuit, you may well be able to subpoena bank records if your request is sufficiently narrow in scope to capture the deposit of the loan money if the defendants are denying that they received the money. However, if they are denying that the money was a loan, the bank records will likely not lead to the discoverable evidence as the receipt of the money is not a material issue. Courts are careful not to allow defendants to explore another person's personal financial world unless it is clear that the discovery will lead to discoverable evidence.

    Good luck to you.

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