Q: How do I obtain a civil subpoena for production of bank account information?
I won a small claims trial but the debtor will not pay up. It's not a financial issue, they're just slimy, so my best chance to recover the judgment is to subpoena a third party like their landlord or a cash app for this person's bank account(s). I can't find information on how: there are no forms provided by my local courthouse to do so, the clerk won't tell me what the procedure is (they consider this "legal advice"), and the sheriff's office said they only do criminal subpoenas. What steps do I take to file for a subpoena of this nature or what resources can you point me to where I can find this information in detail?
Post-Judgment discovery in a small claims case is governed by Florida Small Claims Rule 7.221. Under that Rule, you can serve the defendant with a Fact Information Sheet Form 7.343 (FAS). The FAS requires the defendant to provide financial information including bank account statements and tax returns. If your judgment did not include a provision for the defendant to complete a FAS, you can file a motion for the court to enter an order requiring the defendant to complete a FAS. This should get you the same information you are trying to subpoena. Sometimes that defendants refuse to cooperate and you need to seek additional assistance from the court to compel them to complete the FAS.
To request documents from a non-party, you have to comply with Fla. Rule of Civil Procedure 1.351. The process includes giving the defendant notice of your intent to serve the subpoena on a non-party and an opportunity for the defendant to object to the subpoena within either 10 or 15 days, depending on how notice is provided.
While you could do these things on your own, it is probably a good idea to pay an experience attorney to do them for you. In some instances, the fees paid to the attorney may be recoverable.
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