NJ Rule 6:7-2(b)(1) states that an information subpoena may be served upon a judgment debtor, without leave of court, accompanied by an original and copy of written questions and "a prepaid, addressed return envelope". The information subpoena and written questions shall be in the form and "limited" to those set forth in Appendix XI-L to these Rules.
1. The creditor's attorney did not include neither a copy nor "a prepaid, addressed return envelope". What rights, if any, does that give me? or do I have to respond and send by certified mail and regular mail at my oen cost?
2. The attorney did not use the exact form Appendix XI-L. He used a slightly modified version. Can I legally refuse to answer a couple of questions that are not set forth in Appendix XI-L?
If the attorney did not follow the rules, you certainly can advise them of that fact and refuse to comply with the improper pleadings. They will, undoubtedly, then send a corrected version. as for asking some "slightly modified" questions, I'd advise that you answer them - no judge is going to get that hyper-technical and say that the attorney doesn't deserve a response.
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In my opinion you should answer the questions and return at own expense and regardless of failure to provide copy. You should not try to dodge the information subpoena on such slim technical grounds. On the one hand, they can just re-serve the papers. On the other hand, the penalty for not answering is severe. According to the comments to the rule an arrest warrant may issue for failure to timely respond. I agree that questions are limited in form and substance. If there is deviation then you may state so and state you object but should only consider if more than inconsequential change. Err toward answering.
Was service made by personal or registered or certified mail (return receipt requested) and also regular mail as required by Rule 6:7(c)? Finally note that section 6 of the rules is for Special Civil Part.
This answer is not legal advice. I am not your attorney and no attorney client relationship exists between us. It is important that you retain legal counsel.
To respond to another commentator, R. 6:7-2 is in Part 6 of the Court Rules and Part 6 does apply to the Special Civil Part, which is a court of limited jurisdiction (cases under $15,000). Part 4, however, deals with the Law Division, which is a court of general jurisdiction. R. 4:59-1(e) expressly provides that a judgment creditor can use the procedures permitted under R. 6:7-2. Consequently, an information subpoena is available to aid in the enforcement of all civil judgments rendered by NJ Courts.
If you fail to timely respond, the creditor can file a Motion to Enforce a Litigant's Rights (in the lingo, an ELR Motion). If you provide responsive answers, the motion will be dismissed. In fact, you will get notice of the hearing on the motion and the creditor does not even appear. If you show up, the court will ask whether you responded and, if not, will give you the form to complete before allowing you to leave. If you don't show up or leave before filling out the form, the court can issue a civil arrest warrant. This will require the court officer to pick you and bring you before the court to answer why you haven't completed the form. If, at that time, you refuse to complete it, then the court can hold you in custody until you do.
Under the circumstances, I think you should print out the correct form, fill it in and mail it back. When you mail it back (send by certified mail), you can include a cover letter or comment that the form sent did not comply with the rule and did not include a return envelope.
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