I am a witness to a case (not a party) involving a Plaintiff tenant (a sibling) whom is suing a Defendant landlord. I've been informed that the Defendant has sent a subpoena duces tecum to my bank for my bank statements for a period of time that is factually irrelevant to the subject incident of the lawsuit. As a witness, can I independently file a motion to quash the subpoena of which requests my bank statements? Alternatively, can I file a motion to quash of which specifically requests that the subpoena be modified to a more relevant period of time to the subject incident? If I can't do it, can the Plaintiff file the Motion to Quash on my behalf?
The answers to all of your questions are "yes". I assume that Arizona has laws similar to California, but you have rights as the person whose information is being sought. You can file a motion to "quash" the subpeona and the judge can either completely quash or limit the subpoena. Likewise, the plaintiff's attorney can file the motion. I would start by contacting the plaintiff's attorney who may have a common interest in quashing the subpoena and see if he/she is willing to file the motion. Alternatively, you can contact the bank and see if they are willing to either present their own objection or honor your objection. If the plaintiff's attorney or the bank will not pursue an objection, you will probably need to consult an attorney yourself.
A nonparty consumer (the consumer is the person whose records are sought in the subpoena) may file a motion to quash the subpoena. The motion must be served on the records custodian and the deposition officer at least five days before the date set for production. CCP 1985.3(g), 1985.6(f). A motion to quash must be accompanied by a separate statement setting forth the particular documents or demands at issue. CRC 335(a)(5).
Alternatively, the nonparty consumer may simply serve a written objections stating the specific grounds upon which the production of the records should be prohibited. Such objection must be served on the party requesting the records, the records custodian and the deposition officer. CCP 1985.3(g), 1985.6(f).
Filing a motion to quash or serving written objections automatically excuses the custodian and deposition officer from producing the subpoeaned records until the court orders such production or the parties stipulate thereto. CCP 1985.3(g), 1985.6(f).
This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.
I'm going to assume Arizona law is similar to Illinois and Georgia law with regard to this aspect of civil procedure. The answer in the states in which I am licensed would be yes, you could move to quash a subpoena for irrelevant bank records. Of course, you would have to demonstrate to the judge the basis for your motion; that they are irrelevant.
Plaintiff's counsel might also so move, and there may be good reason for him to do so. You should consider contacting him at once.
Don't delay on this.
You can and should file a motion to quash. But beware it is complicated and you need to comply with the time frames or the bank will release the information. Today it seems these banks are falling over themselves releasing records before even checking or informing their customers. It's like they have chosen sides and it's not with us. I would get a lwyer to file the motion to quash as it will be worth the expense to keep your confidential records out of the hands of these people.
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