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Note: The comments and questions on this page came from people who visited this website. Please feel free to send your comments and questions to Professor Brenner (brenner@udayton.edu). She will respond privately, and may ask permission to post your message on this page. No one's e-mail will be used without first obtaining their permission, and names and e-mail addresses are removed before a comment is posted. Starting in 2002, the responses posted to the site indicate which of us replied: The initials SWB mean Professor Brenner wrote the response; the initials LES mean Professor Shaw wrote the response. We are also putting the year down, to indicate when the response was posted. If no initials appear, Professor Brenner wrote the response.

I just got a subpoena (#2): Who pays for all this?

I thought of one more question. Documents subpoenaed from the witness may cost hundreds of dollars to copy. Computer records are also being demanded. Who bears the burden of this cost? Will the jury or other government entity do so if requested?

Response: The usual rule is that the subpoenaed party bears the costs of  complying, but you can sometimes persuade the government to share part of the cost, although this only tends to be done in extraordinary cases. Usually, assumption is that you don’t HAVE to provide copies (with the attendant costs); you can simply turn over all your original documents (or your only copies of them) to the government. Even though this assumption is not realistic for anyone whose business records have been subpoenaed, courts tend to accept it unless and until you can show that some unusual circumstance warrants shifting at least part of the cost of complying to the government.

As I said in my first email, you need to get a lawyer; your lawyer can talk to the prosecutor, see if the prosecutor will give you a little more time in which to comply, and see if the prosecutor is willing to make any arrangements about the cost of copying the materials.

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