I was served a California Subponea in NJ where I live for witness testimony in a Grand Jury case. Can I ignore?

They want to fly me to CA for a closed hearing to ask me questions. I thought CA did not have jurisdiction for subpoenas in NJ without NJ approvals.

7 Answers

  • John S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    You should check with a N.J. attorney, but as I understand the law a California court or a California Grand Jury cannot unilaterally compel your attendance. However, they can request that a New Jersey court order your attendance in California under the "Uniform Act to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses from without the State in Criminal Cases." That is supposed to be after a hearing in N.J.

    If the required procedures and showings are made, you can, indeed, be required to testify in California, although you are entitled to a (rather small) reimbursement for travel and per diem expenses.

    You might also call the District Attorney who is in charge of the Grand Jury investigation, and ask him what authority he believes he has to compel the attendance of an out-of-state witness without compliance with the Uniform Act.

    Source(s): 30+ years as a criminal defense attorney
  • 1 decade ago

    If the case happened in California, it really does not matter where you go. They can still subpoena you for questions. If you prove to be a hostile 'witness', they may not select you as a witness for the state's case. If you are concerned, just call the local Legal Aid Association in your area and ask how much can they expect from you. I recall a case in which I was a witness and the case did not go to trial for more than two years. I was still living in the apartment and was subpoenaed almost every six months (notice to appear) until the trial occurred. My roomate was also a witness but she moved and did not give the courts her forwarding address. She did not want to be harrassed any further. I could not afford to move and had to face the trial.

    If you are an important witness, they will probably continue to haunt you. I don't suggest ignoring any court requested document. It was signed by a judge and entered into the system. You can be charged in some cases for not showing up. Check with the legal office first. If they are willing to fly you back to California - then I suspect you must be important to them.

  • 1 decade ago

    Almost all of these posters are wrong. The Court in California (is it state court or federal) has no jurisdiction over you. They can issue a subpoena from a NJ court (usually called a letter Rogatory) to have you give testimony in NJ but not in California

  • Sunnie
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Never, but NEVER ignore a subpoena! Call them, I'm sure a # was included, and discuss the arrangements. It may be possible for you to give a written statement (depostition) instead, but I wouldn't count on it!

    Ignoring a court document could wind you up in "contempt" of court........not a pretty outcome! Then you'd wind up with a bench warrant being issued against you!

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    you thought wrong.

    you can be subpoenaed anytime anyplace.

    i have been subpoenaed cros state in the past - call the DA and explain circumstances, maybe they don't really need you, as was the case for me.

    actually, in my case, they felt they could make the case without me and without spending money to get me there - I was willing to go on their dime.

    seems like CA is willing to spend to get you there - that means they are probably serious, and don't ignore lest they decide to spend money to come get you personally!

    alternatively, if you really don't want to go, then hire an attorney to advise you on if you can "quash" the subpoena. that will be on your own dime though no matter what.

  • 1 decade ago

    Obviously not. If you do not want to go to CA, ask to write or have a deposition taped. Don't ignore it unless you want to have a warrant for your arrest issued.

  • 3 years ago

    in case you have gained a subpoena, you ought to look in court docket or you would be "held in contempt of court docket" and an arrest order would be issued. If I have been you i'd call the criminal expert in contact interior the case and clarify your quandary and notice if he/she should assist you in attending to the court docket to testify.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.