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Am I able to subpoena evidence in a small claims court civil suit.

Nashville, TN |

I am being sued by a college that I attended for a portion of the financial aid refund that I received. The charge back was triggered by an erroneous report from my professor that I never attended the class. The professor claims that he does not have the attendance records. Only the professor or the college posses the attendance records that would prove the mistake.

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Attorney answers 4



Providing general answers are meant to help the poster to understand some complex legal concepts and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship.


Technically, yes you can subpoena documents in a small claims court suit. This is rarely done in small claims court, but there are times when it may be helpful. Your case sounds like one of those rare times. If the documents will help prove you were in class, then you should have them subpoenaed.

Good Luck!

All of Ms. Riley's responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Riley is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


Yes you can subpoena documents. But be aware that Tennessee does not have a small claims court. We have General Sessions Court which has jurisdiction up to $25,000. I mention this to advise you that the rules of evidence apply in General Sessions. While judges will often bend a little to help out an individual who is unrepresented by counsel, they cannot help you prove or defend your case. It is not like Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown where you just get to "tell your side of the story". if you are defending your case with a lawyer on the other side, you might be at a disadvantage. It might be worth consulting with an attorney prior to your court date.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this service for educational purposes only. I will take no action on your behalf unless you have hired me and a written retainer agreement is signed. I am licensed only in Tennessee and I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney in your city and state as Statute of Limitation deadlines can limit your recovery.


Subpoena Duces Tecum, however, you are well advised to obtain counsel to defend you.

I am not your attorney nor is any answer I may provide legal advice. You may contact me directly for legal advice only if you are a resident of Tennessee insofar as I only practice in Tennessee.