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Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:29

Are legal subpoenas for telephone lawsuits legal?

The judge who directs the case is to summon people to testify. Generally, the investigations reveal the names of subjects who have had something to do with the cause that motivates the trial, either by their direct participation, by having been witnesses or by their relation with some of the affected ones. These people are summoned to testify about the facts that constitute the motive of the trial.

Citations can be made in two moments: during the investigation phase and when the trial itself is held.

In both cases, it is for the person who is asked to appear in the court to testify, receive a formal summons. Once received this summons, it is obligatory to go to the call of a judge. It is a crime not to respond to the appeal of the court without prior notice of justified cause, such as a disease.

Phone calls to trials: are they valid?

Historically, citations are made by a written note that is sent to the address of the person who is summoned to testify. That note states:

  • The name, surname and address of the person cited.
  • The reason for the summons.
  • The procedure number, the date and type of resolution in which your subpoena is determined.
  • The day, time and address of the court you are to attend.
  • The obligation to attend.

In recent times, many people have received phone calls to testify in some court. When questioning whether it is a real citation or a fraud, people consult in the courts and their lawyers, because he does not know, in fact, whether to respond to them. In general, people distrust the telephone, as it considers it is not very formal.

The telephone citations are legal as of 2015. The reform of the Criminal Code establishes that the summoned will be requested an email address and a telephone number to which the notifications will be sent.

In this way, the telephone citations that had been taking place for some time from the courts were legitimated and legalized. The reason was to avoid postponing trials, when it was impossible to locate someone whose presence was necessary at his home.

Although the person in charge of making the call for the call mentioned all the details of the procedure in which he will participate, many times the mentioned, victim of an understandable nervousness, does not attend, does not listen or forget the details. He does not remember which court to go to, when or why, and does not know whom to consult. All a problem for the performances and for the summoner.

It is true that summonses for telephone trials are legal. And it is true that there are times when the phone is the best way to quote a person to declare. But the indiscriminate use has caused problems that have even resulted in the nullity of the proceedings.

In case of being done, the telephone citations must conform to formal and material demands that guarantee the rights of the convener and that assure its validity in the process.

Writings SF Lawyers