Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:27 am

I was served with a subpoena to appear as a witness in a divorce case in Florida.


This seems very strange, this is a 'no fault' state.


Anyone have a similar experience ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
jetwet1
Posts: 2936
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:26 am

Yep

We have a place in Hallandale, we use it for long weekends. Friends of ours had keys to the place so they could use it on weekends when we were not there.

As there were long stretches when nobody was there, I had a video surveillance installed on the front doors and back patio. The system was hooked up to one of my servers at home, for a while I would have it on on one of my monitors, but honestly, it got boring really quickly.

Well one day I get a call from my head of security at the casino, someone is there to serve me, it turns out that the husband thinks his wife is messing around, he is asking for the surveillance recordings and for me to testify.

So I end up sending 4 x 1 TB hard drives over to them and once the court date comes around, I got to say that yes, that was my front door, yes that is the wife and some guy going in and no, I had no idea what they were doing in there as there is no coverage inside.

From what I remember, she had gone out and hired a seriously expensive attorney, as Florida law says that if one side cannot afford an attorney, the other side must provide one. Well the husband was having to foot the bill for this whole thing and was not real happy about it, in the end it's down to the judge to order the spouse to pay for the divorce, the husband was trying to convince the judge that the wife had caused the divorce and he wanted my video to prove it.

Honestly, I wasn't real happy being put in this spot, from spending a lot of time with our friends, neither were angels if you know what i mean.

the one thing I will tell you though, and I have no doubt you know this, tell the truth no matter what.
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:01 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
This seems very strange, this is a 'no fault' state.

AFAIK, all 50 states have no-fault now. Doesn't mean that's how a specific divorce is going to proceed. No-fault is just so that people who have decided they want to be divorced can do so, without inventing some fictitious reason for it.

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Anyone have a similar experience ?

You're almost certainly being deposed first, only after that might you actually be called as a witness in court.

I've been deposed several times as an employer of one of the parties in a divorce, but never actually called as a witness. It's pretty much like any other deposition. You're under oath, answer questions truthfully and specifically, and don't go anywhere you're not specifically asked to go (the classic witness prep question is "Q: Do you know the time? A: Yes.").

There will likely be a list of questions made available to you before hand, so you know roughly what's coming, but follow-up questions can range pretty far. And half the questions will appear to have been asked by imbeciles, or be mostly incoherent. Ask for clarification if you don't *fully* understand the question, don't ramble on hoping to answer it. And if you don’t understand the question, the correct response is “I don’t understand the question.”

In a deposition you can bring your own attorney (I always had my corporate guy there in those cases). They may have limited standing, but they'll certainly keep the parties' lawyers within the proper bounds, the questions as comprehensible and narrow as possible, and keep irrelevant stuff off the record (discussions about the questions, etc.). And it's quite nice to have someone there who knows what’s going on and is unequivocally on your side.

As an actual third-party witness in court, your attorney is mostly irrelevant during the proceeding, although they may well have useful advice for you before the big show.
 
User avatar
Boeing717200
Posts: 1926
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:26 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:11 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):

Yeah. Interesting it's Flodia. Mine was too. A buddy of mine got stupid and screwed around on his wife. She thought I knew about it, but I didnt. She cleaned him out anyway. She found the chick and they deposed her and she had pictures of them together. Ugly.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:27 pm

Thanks for the replies.


I believe I am being subpoena'd by the husband whose lunatic wife harassed and stalked me for almost three years
as she thought we had a 'connection'


I want nothing to do with either one of them, in fact I have a restraining order against her for five years from now and she has to stay 300 feet away from me.


If this is a court hearing, it says 'trial' on the SPoena I don't see how I can be in the same room as her with the r order in effect.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:47 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):
If this is a court hearing, it says 'trial' on the SPoena I don't see how I can be in the same room as her with the r order in effect.

A subpoena usually overrides something like a restraining order. But the judge issuing the subpoena should certainly be made aware of the restraining order; they might well arrange for extra security or something. You cannot ignore a subpoena, and pretty much the only valid excuse is that you were physically unable to comply. But you're now *definitely* in the realm where you need an attorney to advise you.

FWIW, often (but certainly not always) a deposition happens without the parties present, just their lawyers. Also, in a situation like this there's not going to be a subpoena until there's a case, so don't read too much into the mention of a trial in the document.

But get to your lawyer. Now.
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:45 am

Hiring a lawyer is good advice but seems like overkill on a case where i'm just a witness.


I may call the lawyer I used before to help get the r order but I don't see why I should spend the money on
one in this case.


I shouldn't have opened the door   
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:30 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 6):
Hiring a lawyer is good advice but seems like overkill on a case where i'm just a witness.


I may call the lawyer I used before to help get the r order but I don't see why I should spend the money on
one in this case.

There should be some contact information on the subpoena. At the very least you should provide the court with information about the restraining order, in writing (registered/certified mail), and follow up/precede with a phone call.

Unfortunately not opening the door would just have put things off a bit...
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:30 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 7):
There should be some contact information on the subpoena. At the very least you should provide the court with information about the restraining order, in writing (registered/certified mail), and follow up/precede with a phone call.

Yes, there is. I am planning on calling the lawyer listed on the S Poena later today to find out what this is all about and will inform him of the R Order.


The S Poena does specify a court appearance as a witness in front of a judge so it sounds like its not a deposition so much as a witness at trial.


Its very annoying being dragged into this bs that has nothing to do with me but I have no choice now i've been served. If it feels like i'm being 'pushed too far' I will be using a lawyer just don't want to spend the money unless I have to, i'm just a witness for **** sake !


Anyway, thanks for the input RW.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:49 pm

Subpoena overrides restraining order as it is a Court Order to appear. Failure to appear can result in sanctions up to being fined or arrested and imprisoned. Restraining Orders do not apply in court itself.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:27 pm

I have wondered how subpoenas can be used against Facebook or gmail (or the cell phone company) in divorce cases.

If the cell phone company sells marketing data on your wherabouts to advertisers (and they do), would it not be reasonable to subpoena those records in a divorce case?

If the government and/or cell phone company records all your text messages and perhaps voice data, and they probably do, can that all be subpoenaed?

If your GM Onstar in your Suburban records your wherabouts, (and it does!) can that fall under subpoena in a divorce case? I think it is a good testing ground for digital privacy issues.
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:50 am

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 9):
Subpoena overrides restraining order as it is a Court Order to appear. Failure to appear can result in sanctions up to being fined or arrested and imprisoned. Restraining Orders do not apply in court itself.

Yes, I have discovered that, guess I will be going (unwillingly)
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:52 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
I have wondered how subpoenas can be used against Facebook or gmail (or the cell phone company) in divorce cases.

If the cell phone company sells marketing data on your wherabouts to advertisers (and they do), would it not be reasonable to subpoena those records in a divorce case?

If the government and/or cell phone company records all your text messages and perhaps voice data, and they probably do, can that all be subpoenaed?

If your GM Onstar in your Suburban records your wherabouts, (and it does!) can that fall under subpoena in a divorce case? I think it is a good testing ground for digital privacy issues.


All of the commercial companies have responded to subpoenas, most have well established procedures for doing so.

http://cryptome.org/isp-spy/le-tel-spy.pdf

I'm don't know if any of those have specifically been subpoenaed in a divorce, but I would be shocked if it hasn’t happened.

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been deposed as an employer of one of the parties in a divorce. In one of the depositions they asked for phone records for the employee’s phone for certain days. At the time our phone system did not track such things, and the phones did not have dedicated lines/numbers (IOW, this was a key system), and our response was basically that the call records are not available at a finer level of granularity than the whole company, and that we would promptly respond to a subpoena for that, should they manage to get such a thing (likelihood approaching zero). Never heard another word about it. Our attorney was of the opinion that even the smaller request was problematic, unless narrowed to specific phone numbers (but since those records didn’t exist, it was moot).

FWIW, Onstar's privacy policy:

https://www2.onstar.com/web/portal/privacy?g=1

They pretty explicitly say they'll share the data as "required by law" (IOW, hit them with a valid subpoena, and it's yours).

The government has considerable discretion is responding to any such request. Certainly getting such information out of the NSA for a divorce would be effectively impossible. First they'll stonewall you on whether such data exists (and you don't actually have such evidence from a legal perspective – the government is more-or-less the only authority that could establish that such exists – Catch-22 anyone?), then on who has it (you don't know that either), then on how to identify what you need (yup, you don't know how to do that either), and then toss the whole thing on national security grounds (and if, by some miracle things proceeded to this point, you and your lawyer won't even be allowed into the hearing where it's discussed - heck the *judge* might not). And then they'll drag their feet until the whole thing is moot.
 
scamp
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:48 am

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:30 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):

Better to do so unwillingly than forcibly.
If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26503
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:58 pm

Every family court I know of has an armed bailiff, not to mention every courthouse I walk into having airport-style security.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):

If this is a court hearing, it says 'trial' on the SPoena I don't see how I can be in the same room as her with the r order in effect.

It sounds like a trial subpoena. Of course she has a right to be there - she has a right to confront all witnesses. Your safety should certainly be well protected.

Never, ever, disobey a subpoena. If you don't think you are a material witness, you can always hire a lawyer to try and quash the subpoena
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:47 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
Never, ever, disobey a subpoena. If you don't think you are a material witness, you can always hire a lawyer to try and quash the subpoena

Yes, not going to do that. I have spoken to my lawyer and he says there's no possibility of quashing it so off I will go !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
opethfan
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:35 am

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:25 pm

What is the SOP if someone lacks the financial means to appear?
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:29 pm

Quoting opethfan (Reply 16):
What is the SOP if someone lacks the financial means to appear?

Normally you get reimbursed for travel expenses, although if you're just driving 20 miles to a courthouse, it may not be worth the hassle. You might also get a stipend for your time, but in general the incidental impact on your life is your own responsibility. That's usually paid by the side that asked for the subpoena. If you simply cannot reasonably travel, they may come to you. The exact rules vary by state.

Or you can just wait for the bailiff to come pick you up. They'll do that for free... (Seriously, no. You *really* don’t want that to happen).

In most (all?) states an employer cannot retaliate against you for complying with a subpoena either. They don't have to pay you for your time off, but they have to let you take the specified time off, not charge it against your sick/vacation days, and not fire you for it. You are obligated to promptly show your employer the summons in question.

Note that this only applies to witnesses – you employer largely owes you nothing if you’re a party to a case and you have an obligation/need to show up in court.

Again, the rules vary.

And depending on the issue at hand, there may be some flexibility in scheduling. If you're just being deposed, it's usually possible to negotiate a time that meets the witnesses' and lawyer's schedules, with some reasonable limits (“I’m busy until 2025” isn’t going to work). Court appearances are tougher to reschedule, but it’s not unheard of.

And if this is all too difficult, and your testimony is minor, they may just decide it’s not worth the trouble/expense.
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:07 am

Quoting opethfan (Reply 16):
What is the SOP if someone lacks the financial means to appear?

I was handed a check for eight dollars with the Subpoena for 'gas money'         
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
opethfan
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:35 am

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:57 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 17):

Thanks for that. From OP's wording, I assumed he isn't in Florida. In situations where state lines need to be crossed, I assume it's quite the logistical issue.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 18):
I was handed a check for eight dollars with the Subpoena for 'gas money'         

If gas is $4 / gallon (is it? the gas station nearest me is $1.21 / litre)

[just looked it up... $2.30 in Pensacola, FL... Mother Father...]

If gas is $2.30 / gallon, average family sedan gets ~25 MPG, they expect you to be no more than 85 miles away?
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7798
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:26 am

Actually, gas is only $2.30 a gallon here in the Tampa bay area.


And the courthouse is only about 15 miles from me, so i've made a big profit..
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
57AZ
Posts: 2371
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:55 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:36 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 18):
Or you can just wait for the bailiff to come pick you up. They'll do that for free... (Seriously, no. You *really* don’t want that to happen).

Same thing can happen if you fail to answer a Jury Summons too. A co-worker of mine told me that his mother got picked up by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff for failure to appear and answer a jury summons a few years ago. She wasn't sanctioned by the court-the embarrassment alone was penalty enough. She knew both the deputy who picked her up as well as the judge.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Subpoena'd As A Witness In Divorce Case

Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:06 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 20):
Actually, gas is only $2.30 a gallon here in the Tampa bay area.


And the courthouse is only about 15 miles from me, so i've made a big profit..

You netted almost half the IRS's standard mileage rate! Big spenders down there in FL...

I live at the northwestern end of Cook County, IL, and if I have to go to the (civil) courthouse in downtown Chicago for jury duty, parking alone is about twice the per-diem. More commonly they send me to the big criminal court at 26th & California. They have free parking for Jurors. It's just a two+ hour drive in the morning. I usually drive (30 minutes) to the train, and then 40 minutes downtown (and another 25 to get to 26&Calif if I'm going there) - it's only marginally faster overall, but parking is cheap, and you don't spend the time staring at traffic on the Kennedy. Same $17.65 (or whatever it is) per day though. Still doesn't cover parking, two train rides and a sandwich. OTOH, if you're actually picked to serve on a jury, they'll buy you lunch and there's free coffee, and you're in the black! Good times, baby!

The biggest annoyance is that I have to pretty much drive past three courthouses on my way to either of my usual locations. In fact one is about five minutes from my house. But if you're a senior in Cook, you get dibs on which courthouse you'd like to go to. And since nobody actually wants to go to 26th & California...

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 21):
Same thing can happen if you fail to answer a Jury Summons too. A co-worker of mine told me that his mother got picked up by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff for failure to appear and answer a jury summons a few years ago. She wasn't sanctioned by the court-the embarrassment alone was penalty enough. She knew both the deputy who picked her up as well as the judge.

Definitely. Although here they usually just send you a strongly worded summons if you miss once, then have a summons delivered by a Cook County Sheriff's deputy the second time, and *then* haul you to the courthouse. The last only rarely happens - it's hard to ignore the summons when it's handed to you by a man with a gun. They're not nearly so lenient if you've been subpoenaed as a witness, or if you've actually been seated as a juror.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Number6 and 54 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos