I have been subpoenaed to provide text, email, media images, and receipts in a highly contested divorce case. I am a friend of the plaintiff, and have not sought representation yet. Some documents don't exist and never existed. It was requested that I "immediately notify" the defense attorney if certain records will not be provided. Do I have to notify the defendants council before the 30 day submission deadline, or can I just include a responsive written document noting that certain documentation does not exist when I submit other documentation? In the subpoena it sounds like immediate notification is simply requested, but if it is not required before the subpoena deadline, I will refrain from notification.
The teeth to a subpoena is provided in the printed information on the form. IMHO, the attorney can not make yo do more or a different response than the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure provide. If you file a Protective Order, the Court may quash the subpoena and you would not have to respond at all. I strongly suggest that you consult with a local attorney licensed in your State, (perhaps selected from the AVVO website resources) with experience in this area of law, to offer a free initial consultation and perhaps assist with the process. If this information was helpful to you, even if you do not like or agree with the advice, please let me know by clicking on the “Helpful” or “Best Answer” button. Good luck!
This information is provided as general guidance only, not actual legal advice. I have not reviewed your paperwork, and I may not be licensed practice law in your state. The fine points of your question are often found in the laws of your State. So, this response is not intended to be legal advice and you should rely on this information only to give you some idea of what you should do.
No, you do not have to "immediately notify" counsel of anything. Counsel must await the time afforded to you by the Rules to provide your response, or if the requested information is excessive, overburdensome, abusive, or beyond the scope of discovery, then you can file a motion to quash or limit the request.
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