If I received a subpoena with my name misspelled, the wrong case name and the incorrect case number referenced, am I bound by the subpoena?

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If I received a subpoena with my name misspelled, the wrong case name and the incorrect case number referenced, am I bound by the subpoena?

This is involving a civil case in the termination of parental rights. I am the grandmother and caregiver of my 3 grandchildren in question. The state is trying to terminate my son (the father) and the children’s mother’s parental rights.

Asked on August 21, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are served with a subpoena-- but the spelling issue is minor, then you have to comply and appear on the date instructed and the place instructed-- regardless of the cause number on it.  (Some jurisdictions will place a number on the sub that will be later attached to the lawsuit-- but is not actually the law suit number).  If the supoena is for someone else, then you don't have to appear and you need to tell the process served (the person who served you) that the person in the document is not you.  For example, if the sub is for "Jane Doe" but your name is "Mary Clark", it's fairly obvious that the sub is not issued to you, even if you were the person they wanted to serve.  However, if the name of the sub is "Jayne Doe"-- and the mispelling is minor enough for you to know it's you-- then you need to appear in order to avoid being held in contempt by the court or a writ of attachment being issued.   If you think you have been improperly served, you can file a motion to quash the subpoena-- but you need to let the court know your intentions.  Doing nothing only causes more problems for you.


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