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What is the process to get an subpoena for video from a store like Wal-mart?

Houston, TX |

A lady backed into my car at a Wal-mart Super center, i dont have full coverage on my car so I have to do everything myself. The lady doesnt own the vehicle but it is implied insured. When the insurance agency contacted the driver she denied hitting my car, but the whole thing is on video. I just need to know how to get a subpoena for the video. I've went to small claims court and they told me they only do persons subpoena's not company's. What do i need to do?

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Attorney answers 4


Only an attorney can issue a subpoena. You need to retain counsel to assist you.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.


No one can issue a subpoena until and unless there is a lawsuit on file and the Court has jurisdiction to issue a subpoena. Once a lawsuit is on file, anyone, including non-attorneys can ask the court to issue a subpoena for any and all evidence needed to prove their case.

In your case, since it does not appear that you have a lawsuit filed, you should send a request to Wal-Mart and see what their procedure in preserving videos are. If it has been a while since the accident, chances are that the videos have been erased-so you need to move quickly.

I hope this helps-

Nima Taradji

Disclaimer: I am a lawyer licensed in the State of Illinois only, and I am not your lawyer (unless you have been in my office and signed a contract). This communication is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice. This is for informational purposes only.


If you have the ability to have a subpoena issued by your Small Claims Court, it should easily be filled out for the manager of the Walmart store. You ask him to appear and produce a copy of the video. However, before going through that expense, have you personally spoken with the store manager and asked him to provide you with a copy of the tape showing the collision? I suggest you attempt the easy way first.

Legal Disclaimer:

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.


If the court won't issue a subpoena, I'm not sure what your remedy is. I would caution you I have requested dozens of surveillance tapes over the years and frequently, they have been recorded over or the cameras are inoperable or they are not as conclusive as hoped. One thing you could try is to contact a service that issues subpoenas for records. You can call a court reporting firm in your city and they will either do it or have someone who does it. Theoretically, they will only do it in a case in which it would be authorized by the court but if they issue the request and no one objects, then Wal-Mart may respond. Just a thought but if the other side has an attorney, he may object. In that case, you can just go forward with your suit and try to convince the judge you were in the right.

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