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Limit or quash a subpoena

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New member
What is the name of your state? Oregon.

I have been subpoenaed for a case by the defense lawyer. I lived in the same house and knew the victim and the accused. I may or may not have been home during the day of the crime. I stay mainly in my room and interact very little with my roommates and watch TV or play videogames or both at the same time. I was not aware of the crime till after both parties were no longer living in the house. The rundown I have heard all hearsay was that it occurred in the garage on the other side of the house and other side of a TV that is rarely off. I doubt I would be able to hear anything or recognize anything happening even if I was not watching TV and the rest of the house was silent.

I have work and really can't provide more then a general character description of the victim and the accused. I would be happy to send in a letter answering any questions they might have but I do not see any benefit of going in person to say... I don't know. I don't remember... Or I saw nothing heard nothing.

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
Contact the defense lawyer and tell him/her that you didn't see anything that occurred and see if the attorney will drop the subpoena. But understand that sending in a letter wouldn't work because that letter is not admissible. If any of your statements are going to be used, it has to be with you testifying on the stand so that the prosecutor has the chance to cross examine you. The prosecutor cannot cross examine a letter. What the defense attorney may want is testimony regarding the defendant's general character or something else other than what you saw of the alleged crime.


Senior Member
Speaking to the defense lawyer is your first best step. It is possible/probable that his client(s) said you might be a good character witness.


Active Member
I understand your reluctance and lack of enthusiasm. Few people enjoy being an involuntary witness in any court proceeding. (It isn't one of the more pleasant tasks of trail practice either.)

However, it is not your privilege to determine whether or not you have information relevant to the case. So, unless the attorney responsible for the issuance of the subpoena agrees to withdraw it excusing you from compliance you have no choice but to obey it. Otherwise, you risk being escorted to the appointed place in handcuffs.

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