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

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?

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Attorney answers 5


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 is it intended as legal advice. I have not reviewed your case nor have I met with you and the answer to this question does not in any manner whatsoever establish an attorney/client relationship.


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 not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a divorce and family law firm located in Orlando, Florida. Communication through Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to our office until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


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?

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No one had any idea that I was being subpoenaed until I received it last week. I have little time to request anything as my flight departs early morning wed and tickets are non refundable. Judge just agreed to a hearing tomorrow with both attorneys. Can it be left up to the judge that this is not a sufficient amount of time? or is it likely he will schedule by phone?



There wasn't a witness list filed.

Brent Allan Rose

Brent Allan Rose


The judge will probably agree that you can appear by telephone. In the meantime, if you can reschedule your trip, you should look into it.


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.

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

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