24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

What to Do if a Subpoena Was Not Served Correctly

What to Do if a Subpoena Was Not Served Correctly

Getting slapped with a subpoena can really ruin your day. One minute you’re going about your business, the next you’re expected to drop everything for a court date. But don’t stress too much if you think the subpoena wasn’t delivered properly. You may be able to get out of it.

Subpoenas 101

First, let’s cover the basics. A subpoena is a legal document from a court demanding you show up and testify or hand over evidence. There are two kinds:

  • A subpoena ad testificandum – you have to appear in court as a witness
  • A subpoena duces tecum – you have to turn over physical evidence

These suckers are used in both civil and criminal cases. The court needs them to force people to cooperate with legal proceedings.

How Subpoenas Are Supposed to Be Served

For a subpoena to fly, it’s gotta be served properly. The rules depend on whether it’s for an individual or company.

Serving a Person

To serve an individual, the process server has to:

  • Hand it directly to the person named
  • Leave it with someone at their home who’s old enough to understand
  • Or give it to an authorized agent like a lawyer

Mailing or emailing a subpoena doesn’t cut it. The server has to hand it over in person.

Serving a Company

For companies, partnerships, etc. the subpoena has to be given to:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • An officer or head honcho
  • A managing agent
  • Registered agent for service of process

Again, it can’t just be tossed in the mail. The rules vary a bit by state, but personal service is key.

When Should Service Happen?

In most states, you need to be served at least 10-15 days before the court date. That gives you time to clear your schedule and get your ducks in a row.

What If Service Was Screwed Up?

If something smells fishy about how you got the subpoena, you might be able to get it tossed out. Some common reasons include:

  • It was mailed instead of served in person
  • Left with someone at your home who shouldn’t have accepted it
  • You didn’t get it 10-15 days before the court date
  • Given to someone not authorized to take it

The rules vary by state, so look up the requirements where you live. Even small mistakes could make the subpoena invalid.

How to Fight a Bad Subpoena

If you want to challenge the subpoena, you’ll need to file a motion to quash with the court that issued it. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Draft the motion – follow your state’s format rules
  2. File the motion – submit it to the court clerk, pay any fees
  3. Serve the motion – send it to the lawyer or party who subpoenaed you
  4. Wait for a response – they might defend how it was served
  5. Request a hearing – ask the judge to hear arguments
  6. Attend the hearing – explain why the subpoena is no good
  7. Get the court’s order – judge decides whether to quash it

The process varies by court, so talk to the clerk to make sure you do it right.

What If You Ignore It?

It’s tempting to pretend you never got the subpoena, but that can seriously backfire. If you ditch a court date, the judge could hold you in contempt of court. That can mean fines or even jail time.

Take the legal route and file the motion to quash. That way if the subpoena gets tossed, you’re in the clear.

Should You Hire a Lawyer?

This stuff can get complicated, especially if you don’t have a law degree. Having a lawyer handle it for you is highly recommended. They can:

  • Review the subpoena and verify service was improper
  • File the right paperwork
  • Represent you at hearings
  • Advise you on the best move

Even if you think you can swing it solo, a lawyer can give you guidance and peace of mind.

What If You’re Crunched for Time?

If there’s no time to file the motion to quash before the court date, you can ask the judge for an extension. Explain in writing why you need more time.

If that fails, show up on the date listed and tell the judge you intend to challenge service. They may pause things to let you file the motion.

Can You Recover Costs?

If you get the subpoena quashed, ask the court to make the other party pay for expenses like:

  • Lawyer fees
  • Lost wages from dealing with it
  • Transportation and filing costs

Keep good records so you can prove the amounts.

Getting Legal Help

Fighting a subpoena takes knowledge of court procedures.

Schedule Your Consultation Now