Subpoenas & Depositions

What is the Difference between a Subpoena and a Deposition?

Both the subpoena and the deposition are procedural devices to obtain information and documentation from your spouse and your spouse’s attorney during a divorce action.

The deposition, also called “Examination before Trial” or EBT, is one of the pre-trial disclosure procedures by which we hope to obtain financial answers and documents from your spouse, who is under oath, in order to use the information and papers to prepare for trial or settlement. If we don’t acquire all of the answers and documents at the EBT, we then have the right to obtain further documents and information from sources other than the adverse party.

The information and documents can be requested from other sources (such as banks, employers, vendors, etc.), by serving a subpoena compelling the persons who receive it to produce financial information and documents. There are several kinds of subpoenas. In most cases, lawyers have the power to issue subpoenas without the need for permission from the court.

Are there penalties for non-compliance with a subpoena?

Non-compliance with a subpoena is punishable by the court. The offender can be held in contempt of court. Monetary fines can also be imposed by the court. Furthermore, if a party is non-compliant with a subpoena, he or she stands to lose credibility with the court.