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Subpoena Response

Attorney Steve® Subpoena Response Resource Center – Our Law Firm can help you if you received a Subpoena or need to file a lawsuit and serve one.

what is a subpoena?

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A subpoena is a command from a court ordering a party to a litigation (or even a non-party) to appear and give testimony or produce documents.  How you respond is critical, and usually you have options.  To learn more about a “DMCA subpoena” click here.

What is a subpoena?

Basically a subpoena is a form Attorneys fill out and sometimes need to seek court approval to issue.  It is a legal command by a court telling someone, or a company, to do something (for example, to disclose the identity of member of a website).  If the subpoena is not followed, or quashed (see below), then a “contempt of court” could issue and jail time is possible.

How does a subpoena need to be served?

Generally a subpoena needs to be personally served.

Types of subpoenas we can help you respond to

We can help parties who have received subpoenas relating to any of the following:

Options when you are served a subpoena

One of the main options is filing a “Motion to Quash” a subpoena (some people mistakenly refer to it as Motion to Squash).  Here is some more information on this:

BURDEN OF PERSUASION:  The burden of persuasion in a motion to quash a subpoena and for a protective order is borne by the movant.” Pegoraro v. Marrero (S.D.N.Y. May 29, 2012)

DISCRETIONARY –  A determination to grant or deny a motion for a protective order or a motion to quash a subpoena is discretionary.”

F.R.C.P. RULE 45 – Motion to Quash Under Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court must quash or modify a subpoena if the subpoena “requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(c)(3)(A)(iii).

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FRCP rule 45

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PRIVACY OF INTERNET USERS – Courts in this Circuit have recognized that Internet users have a limited First Amendment privacy interest in anonymous Internet usage, including “the use of [peer-to-peer] file copying networks to download, distribute or make available for distribution copyrighted” material in electronic form. See Sony Music, 326 F.Supp.2d at 564.  “To the extent that anonymity is protected by the First Amendment, a court should quash or modify a subpoena designed to breach anonymity.” See Arista Records, 604 F.3d at 118 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(c)(3)(A)). 56 However, in the file-sharing context, First Amendment protection “is limited, and is subject to other considerations.” Sony Music, 326 F.Supp.2d at 564. In particular, “parties may not use the First Amendment to encroach upon the intellectual property rights of others.” Id. at 563 (citing In re Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., 918 F.2d 140, 143 (11th Cir.1990)).

Therefore, in analyzing whether the First Amendment requires the court to quash a subpoena for an Internet subscriber’s identifying information, courts in this Circuit have applied the five-factor test set forth in Sony Music, evaluating:

(1) the concreteness of the plaintiff’s showing of a prima facie claim of actionable harm;

(2) the specificity of the discovery request;

(3) the absence of alternative means to obtain the subpoenaed information;

(4) the need for the subpoenaed information to advance the claim;


(5) the objecting party’s expectation of privacy. See Arista Records, 604 F.3d at 119 (endorsing these factors as “an appropriate general standard for determining whether a motion to quash, to preserve the objecting party’s anonymity, should be granted”) (citing Sony Music, 326 F.Supp.2d at 564–65).

Contact a litigation and subpoena response law firm

If you received a subpoena, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced litigation law firm and discuss your legal rights and options.  If you received a subpoena we offer a free initial evaluation by calling (877) 276-5084.  We can help in a variety of real estate, business and intellectual property disputes.