Do I have a strong argument if contempt of court is filed for not obeying with subpoena?

Asked 11 months ago - Tampa, FL

My boyfriend has a custody trial this week and his ex girlfriends attorney served me last thursday with a subpoena. I booked a trip out of state 3weeks ago. I wrote a letter to the judge last Friday asking to be excused with proof of when I purchased my tickets. However, I spoke to the JA this morning and she is stating they can not get involved even though the subpoena states I may be excused by her attorney or the court. This is not an sufficient amount of time that I was served. Her attorney wants me to either appear telephonically or to postpone hearing. His attorney will more than likely object to postponement. Is there anything else I can do? What happens if I do not receive an answer by the time my flight takes off wed? Are contempt charges outrageous?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Brent Allan Rose

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . The trial is THIS WEEK? Did you have any idea you may be subpoenaed? Did your boyfriend tell you that you were on anyone's witness list? I agree with Ms. Mora; try to call the attorneys and see if you can testify by phone. Otherwise, you may need your own lawyer. Can your trip be postponed?

    The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy),... more
  2. Jeffrey B. Lampert

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . Contempt charges---this is not a department store issue. This is you being under a subpoena which is a court order telling you to be some place. The penalty for contempt is JAIL.

    Excuse me for putting my nose where it doesn't belong, but from what I read, it is YOUR boyfriend who is putting you in jeopardy. His ex's attorney seems to be working with you, by offering you alternatives to being in a courtroom. Sit for a deposition tomorrow. Call to the Courtroom at a specific time. None of that is unreasonable. So, I suspect and feel as my colleagues have mentioned that you need your OWN attorney to represent your interests. You can not rely on your boyfriend's attorney to represent YOUR interests.

    I hope you found this response to be helpful. If so, your clicking "helpful" and/or "best answer" helps my Avvo... more
  3. John Arthur Smitten

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . You are legally obligated to comply with the subpoena so call the attorney who subpoenaed you and try to appear by telephone.

  4. Tami Lane Augen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should retain an attorney to make the argument to the court that you can not appear for the subpoena. Also, you can put in writing to both side's attorneys that you are unavailable and would be happy to have your deposition taken before the time that you have to leave. Good luck to you.

    Tami L. Augen Rhodes

    This answer is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for your particular case nor... more
  5. Ophelia Genarina Bernal-Mora

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can attempt to hire an attorney, file a motion for protective order, and see if it can be heard by the judge prior to the trial, but it might be a stretch. Is there any reason you cannot appear telephonically?

    You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and... more

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