How canI get a subpoena so thatI can access texts that my husband sent to another woman?

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How canI get a subpoena so thatI can access texts that my husband sent to another woman?

A particular bit of information is needed prior to decision to file for a divorce. Last year beginning in March my husband began texting a woman at work. The text messages between them amounted to close to 1000. I desperately need text transcripts from a cell phone company but was told by them that I have to have a subpoena to get them. I have copies of letters she wrote in response to his letters, also I have proof that he gave her money for her expenses. He denied anything physical but I need further evidence. He claims he was innocent. Should I hire a divorce attorney to get these prior to actual filing? I’m in Davidson County, NC.

Asked on March 11, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you *can't* get them prior to filing for divorce (or filing some other legal action in which the text messages would be relevant evidence; e.g. if you suspected this woman was defaming you, you could arguably file a defamation action). The issue is that a subpoena is a legal process that *may* only be issued in the context of a valid court proceeding; people cannot go around subpoening material without taking the step of filing a court action (imagine the abuses that would happen otherwise!). So you need to do things the other way around: you need to decide is you want to divorce, then if you do, you can probably subpoena the text messages as relevant evidence during the divorce proceeding.


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