Possible Grounds For Seeking To Quash A Subpoena
What do you do if the court orders you to testify in personal injury case of which you are not a party, and you don't want to do it? Although you cannot just ignore such a subpoena, there are legal grounds you can use to make your objection. For example, you can claim that:
The Information It Demands Is Confidential
The law recognizes the need to keep some forms of communication away from the public. For example, it allows and requires doctors to keep information about their patients private. Therefore, if you believe that the subpoena requires you to divulge confidential information, then you can object to it. Note that what is considered confidential may differ with jurisdiction, so you should consult with your lawyer first before going down this route.
It Is Oppressive
Sometimes a subpoena may require you to provide information or documents that are very difficult to get. If you believe that this is the case, then you can challenge it on the grounds that it is oppressive. Ideally, a subpoena should be made in consideration of the effort the recipient has to make to satisfy it. Therefore, if you manage to convince the court of its oppressiveness, it may nullify it. The most usual reaction, however, is for the court to direct the other party to trim down its demands to reasonable levels.
It May Incriminate You
If the testimony required by the subpoena may incriminate you, then you shouldn't comply with the request without consulting your lawyer first. The law protects you from being forced to testify against yourself, especially if the testimony can result in criminal charges against you. For example, if you were navigating an illegal turn on the highway when you witnessed an accident, then you should not be forced to tell the authorities about it while providing testimony to the accident.
That The Party Behind It Is Fishing
A subpoena is supposed to ask for information that is relevant to the case. You can object to it if you believe that the other party is looking for all kinds of information in the hope of getting something relevant from you. In that case, the court will analyze the demands of the issuing party, and he or she may be asked to justify these demands to the court. Ultimately, it is the court's prerogative to decide whether to quash the subpoena.
As you can see, you will need to back up these objections in court. It isn't just about filling a few forms and ignoring your subpoena. In fact, in some cases, the judge may direct you to obey the original summons. Therefore, consult your lawyer first and let him or her come up with the best reasons for seeking to quash the subpoena. (For more information, contact Sarkisian Law Offices)