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What happens if I don't go to deposition? Subpoena was served by my husband's attorney during the divorce process.

Baltimore, MD |

My husband's attorney sent a subpoena for a deposition from the morning to evening. It continues for several days until completed.

I don't have an attorney. I also don't want to attend the deposition.

How do I request the court to cancel the deposition?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Participation in discovery in good faith in a divorce is expected by the court. Failure to do so first results in a specific order to participate, and if you violate that order, sanctions including payment of the attorney's fees of your husband's attorney can be assessed. Navigating the discovery process without counsel is quite difficult. You should exhaust all means to obtain an attorney.

    Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


  2. Your husband has the legal right to take your deposition. If you fail to show up for your deposition your husband will request that you be sanctioned, which could include compelling you to appear for your deposition and/or limit your ability to tell your side of the case at your court date for the divorce. Also, your husband will likely ask that you be ordered to pay his attorney fees and the cost of the court reporter who appeared to record your deposition.

    It is common for depositions to be noted as continuing until completed but if you check the local rules/consult with a local lawyer you will find that your jurisdiction has a time limit on how long the deposition can be, likely to be one day or 7 hours of actual deposition time, and not for several days.

    If you plan on getting an attorney you should notify your husband's attorney of your intention and request that the deposition be postponed until after you obtain an attorney (assuming you do so in a reasonable amount of time). As long as there is time for the deposition to be taken at a later date but before your divorce trial date, you will likely receive cooperation from your husband's attorney.

    If you do not plan on getting an attorney then you should just work with your husband's attorney to schedule the deposition for a convenient date. And, you should be aware of the time limits so that you can end the deposition after 7 hours.

    What you say in the deposition will be used at Trial and you will be limited in your ability to change your answers at trial. You should seriously consider hiring an attorney to assist you with the deposition.


  3. First, you should look to community resources for help in obtaining a low or no cost attorney.
    Second, you must attend. If you believe you have a valid reason not to attend, then you should contact the attorney and tell him or her. If the other attorney demands that you attend, then you can file a Motion for a Protective Order, but again, there must be a valid reason.
    Maryland Rule 2-411 (b) requires leave of Court to take a deposition that will be longer than one, seven hour day.

    If you fail to appear for the deposition, your Husband will file a Motion for Sanctions, which will likely include attorney's fees. It is also likely that the Court will compel you to appear. If you are compelled to appear and do not, you will likely be further sanctioned by the Court. It is a serious matter to no-show for a depo without a reason.

    The best advice I can give you is to look for an attorney that will represent you for free or a reduced price.

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