Do I need an attorney to submit a request for production?

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2011

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Do I need an attorney to submit a request for production?

I believe someone is using a copyright image of mine and selling it on-line. I have the particular item number of the image in question and would like to request all sales containing my image (product number) from the company. I am a student and cant afford a lawyer, and don’t think it would even be worth it. However I would be willing to submit a request for production on my own in the hopes of getting some answers.

Asked on September 11, 2011 under Business Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first question that needs to be asked is whether or not you you have a federal or state copyright of the image that you claim that someone has infringed upon and is selling online. If you do not have a copyright for the image you claim someone is infringing upon, you really have no basis for filing an action for copyright infringement.

The first thing that needs to be done assuming that you own a federal or state copyright on your item is to send the party allegedly ifringing upon your ownership rights a cease and desist letter.

Depending upon the response, a copyright infringement action would then be filed.

One the copyright infringement action is filed and served upon the other side, you the submit written discovery upon the other side consisting of, but limited to document production requests.

If you cannot afford legal representation, look into whether or not your county of residence has a "legal aid" program.

Good luck.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Contact the U.S. Copyright office and see if they have any pro forma subpoenas that could help you. If that does not pan out, contact your civil court or small claims court (however much you think this is going to be worth) and file a lawsuit. Through the suit and during service of the notice of claim, file a subpoena for production of documents and have it served. You should be able to serve the request through your pro se court filing. If you cannot afford an attorney, contact your state bar and see if it has any pro bono programs or hotlines or could give you the names of firms that offer pro bono services (a certain amount) per year. Further, try legal aid as a last resort. This way, you would have exhausted all of your options in terms of locating counsel who could represent you at no cost.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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