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What's the next step when a subpoena has deliberately gone unanswered/unacknowledged?

Worcester, MA |

For recent child support review court date, i subpoena a shop where my X frequents hoping to provide proof of $ spent on leisure expenses vs. child support received. Shop didn't reply only stating verbally that they couldn't assist. In meantime, shop has informed X of such action & reassured him that they would not give info- in the presence of my 11 yr old child. Had child document incident in her words just in case. But now not only has shop purposely not complied, X hasn't complied either by working under table, paying only ~$10/mo vs. actual MA minimums for 2 children solely for sake of avoiding license suspension. Im contemplating new contempt order and/or new CS modification. Is that correct course of action? What about shop who did not comply, & child's statement? Thx

Attorney Answers 3


It is a bit difficult to understand where you are procedurally, but I think you are saying there was a review hearing and the subpoenaed person did not attend. If you showed the judge the Subpoena with the Return of Service signed by the sheriff or constable, ideally, the judge should have had the sheriff bring that person to a subsequent continued hearing. I cannot advise about a Contempt or a Modification action without knowing more about the facts of your situation, but it seems that theses actions should be considered if you can show that he is, in fact, under-reporting income and (for Modification purposes) you can show that his and/or your current income has changed. No longer does there have to be a substantial change in circumstances to modify child support - there only has to be a different amount after applying the Child Support Guidelines. You really need to consult an attorney so that you can carefully explore your options. And remember, in a Contempt matter you can request that the Court pay for your attorney's fees (but you can't count on the Court granting your request). I hope this helps to get your started thinking about what you might do.

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Was it properly served?

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It sounds like the person failed to appear in court in response to a subpoena. You should ask the Judge for a bench warrant for the civil arrest of the person served. You then have to pay a sheriff or constable to arrest the person. You may be able to recover the money for the sheriff but you must pay the money up front.

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