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Do I have to accept a subpoena & if so or receive a drop-serve, do I have to respond/show up in court w/o out any issues?

Miramar Beach, FL |

I am a victim involved in a domestic violence case in which I am not even named as the Plaintiff is the State. The trial was held and completed in Jan '10 and the defendant sentenced. Now they are trying to serve me papers & subpoena me again for this same case. I have stated that I will not accept the papers & was told they would perform a drop-serve. If that occurs, do I have to show up in court w/o any issues legally, etc? I was told that I do not and especially since this case has already been tried. The first case I did comply and was present in court. Thank you

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Why do you think you are above the law? When millionaires, governors, congressmen and even presidents have to comply with subpoenas, you don't? Why do you think that is?

    A drop-serve works like this: The process server knows you are in the house and that you refuse to open the door. He drops the subpoena or whatever on the stoop or sticks it in the door and leaves. He goes back to his office, fills out an affidavit that says he has served you and he files it in the court file. The day arrives when you are supposed to be in court and you are not there. The judge looks at the file, sees that the process server is swearing under oath that he served you. The judge may then issue you an order to appear before him/her to show cause why you should not be held in contempt of court. He/she will then continue the action you are supposed to testify at and you will receive the order to show cause in the mail. If you do not appear this time to explain yourself to the judge he will then issue a bench warrant for your arrest. In short order, perhaps late at night, two deputies will appear at your door with handcuffs. They will take you to jail and book you in. You will wait in jail at the judge's convenience until he/she is ready to see you -- perhaps in a day or so. When the judge does see you, then it is in his/her discretion what he does next. He could sentence you to more jail time, (up to 6 months), or he could just give you time served for contempt and he will require you to testify --- anyway.

    You do not determine whether or not a case brought in the name of the people of this state will or will not proceed in court. That is done by the state attorney who is elected by the people of Broward County to act on behalf of Florida.

    So, when you decide to stand head to head with the power of the state, who do you think will win?
    Respect the legal system. Take your subpoena and do your duty as a citizen.


  2. Why do you think you are above the law? When millionaires, governors, congressmen and even presidents have to comply with subpoenas, you don't? Why do you think that is?

    A drop-serve works like this: The process server knows you are in the house and that you refuse to open the door. He drops the subpoena or whatever on the stoop or sticks it in the door and leaves. He goes back to his office, fills out an affidavit that says he has served you and he files it in the court file. The day arrives when you are supposed to be in court and you are not there. The judge looks at the file, sees that the process server is swearing under oath that he served you. The judge may then issue you an order to appear before him/her to show cause why you should not be held in contempt of court. He/she will then continue the action you are supposed to testify at and you will receive the order to show cause in the mail. If you do not appear this time to explain yourself to the judge he will then issue a bench warrant for your arrest. In short order, perhaps late at night, two deputies will appear at your door with handcuffs. They will take you to jail and book you in. You will wait in jail at the judge's convenience until he/she is ready to see you -- perhaps in a day or so. When the judge does see you, then it is in his/her discretion what he does next. He could sentence you to more jail time, (up to 6 months), or he could just give you time served for contempt and he will require you to testify --- anyway.

    You do not determine whether or not a case brought in the name of the people of this state will or will not proceed in court. That is done by the state attorney who is elected by the people of Broward County to act on behalf of Florida.

    So, when you decide to stand head to head with the power of the state, who do you think will win?
    Respect the legal system. Take your subpoena and do your duty as a citizen.


  3. It seems to me that there may be a civil and a criminal case here. It is not clear from your question. What is clear is that a subpoena is not something you accept or reject. If you get properly served, unless excused by the person who issued the subpoena, you must appear at the time and place stated on the subpoena. If it requires you to bring documents, you must bring them. It is not useful to play games with a process server. They have been there, done that. If they drop-serve, it is likely to be good service and that could cause some trouble. Just go and participate in the process as you are requested.