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I live in Arizona. I am trying to subpoena records from the Texas Dept of Family Protective Services. How do I do this?

Phoenix, AZ |

My ex had multiple investigations with the TX DFPS, and did not complete their directive to take alcohol and drug treatment. I need to obtain these records to show her constant neglect for the best interests of our child. The form I found for the Maricopa County Superior Court for subpoenas has a checklist. One of the items on the checklist states: "You must be able to serve the subpoena within the state of Arizona". How do I do the interstate subpoena?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

As noted by the other author, Arizona does not have the authority to issue a subpoena for a foreign (out of state) entity. The process is complex and will involve an attorney both in Arizona and in Texas. First you need to get a formal order from the Court authorizing the Subpoena on the Texas DFPS, this will require a Motion. Once issued, the Subpoena will have to be "domesticated" in the foreign jurisdiction by filing and opening up a new case matter in Texas. The Texas Court will then approve of the Arizona Subpoena and allow it to be issued by the Texas court and served in Texas.

Your better, quicker, cheaper, route is to make a Public Records Request for the documents you seek. Since you are involved in the circumstances for which the reports were issued, you might be able to obtain those records even though they are typically protected from disclosure.

Attorney is Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado only. The opinions and comments offered are in the nature of general business advice relating to generic questions that might be raised. The use of this site is not intended to form an attorney client relationship of any kind. The reader is advised that every situation is different and you should always consult in person with a licensed attorney for the particular jurisdiction in question when your legal rights may be effected.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you. That does seem like a lot of work. I have put in a public records request, but they notified me of their heavy workload, and responded it could be 3-6 months for the request to be processed. My case is now only 5 weeks away. I might have to notify the records department of this, and see if I can talk to the right person to get my request processed quicker.

Posted

Arizona does not have authority to subpoena records from outside the stats so there are no forms for interstate subpoenas. You probably want to consult with a Texas attorney or contact Tx DFPS to determine is you are entitled to these documents and the steps necessary to obtain them.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your timely response Celia. I have contacted the TX DFPS, and they are willing to give me the case records with a subpoena. I guess I will have to contact the proper authorities in TX. But the case is in AZ and all evidence will be presented in Maricopa County.

Celia R Reed

Celia R Reed

Posted

Texas can choose to honor an out-of-state subpoena but is not required to. The form is the same so it's worth trying, especially since Texas is willing to cooperate.

Asker

Posted

It looks like will try to obtain the subpoena from a Bexar county court, as the Maricopa court has requested I do.

Celia R Reed

Celia R Reed

Posted

I hope that works out!

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