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Do I need to get school records using a Subpoena duces tecum for the records to be admissible in court as business records?

Port Charlotte, FL |

This is a family law case, I filed a supplemental petition to modify custody and time sharing. I'm concerned my evidence will be deemed hearsay by the court. I have a copy of attendance records for my daughter the school gave me, but don't know if I also need to get them via subpoena for them to be admissible at the final hearing.

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Attorney answers 4


Getting them via subpoena is not going to make the records any different. You need to be able to make the records admissible in court. I suggest you hire an attorney to assist you with this as the rules of evidence are not something that is easily learned.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-354-5223. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


Usually the court needs either a certified affidavit from the school stating that the records were created in the ordinary course of business and maintained by a custodian of records and that these are the true and correct blah blah blah. Or, you can subpoena in the custodian of records and have them testify that the records were made during the normal course of business and blah blah. I agree with the other attorney that you may want to consult with a trial attorney for a couple of hours because they may see other potential potholes in your matter. Good luck. Another way is to subpoena her teacher(s) and simply ask how often she misses school.


You've confused two complex problems: getting records to court and getting the judge to consider them. For you or someone to bring the records to court, you'll probably need a subpoena duces tecum issued by a lawyer or the clerk. To get the judge to consider the records, they must be admitted into evidence. That's an entire semester of complex rules in law school, so you should talk to a lawyer. If you can't afford a lawyer, go to a local library and research section 90.803 and 90.804 of the Florida Statutes. pay particular attention to 90.803(6) and 90.803(8). You may also need to subpoena someone from the school to verify the attendance records. School boards (and others) often call this person the "custodian of records."

The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!

Betty Elaine Jones

Betty Elaine Jones


Great answer!


Evidentiary questions and issues are some of the most difficult ones that are faced by laypeople as well as attorneys. Unfortunately, this is not a site designated to teach you how to practice law but rather help with generalized information. It's nearly one-third of a semester of law-school.

Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787 (Orlando/Longwood/Central Florida)

Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.

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