Seattle, WA asked in Probate for California

Q: As a party to a probate filing in California who need to file subpoenas, can the subpoenas be served by certified mail?

My daughter and her siblings have been denied access to financial records of their deceased father’s business by another sibling. The sibling is now running the business -she. Decided. No administrator has been chosen yet and there is no will. The sibling refusing to produce the records has forged her fathers name on SOS documents to allow her control of the company, and has been accepting deposits for the business reservations through her personal Venmo account which has been brought to the court’s attention with proof. My daughter has to file pro se for financial reasons and has electronically filed subpoenas with the clerk and is waiting for their approval . She is in Montana and the case is in CA. Can the subpoenas be served by certified mail or do they need to be hand delivered. They are going to B of A, Wells Fargo, PayPal (Venmo), a mortgage company in Texas and the person responsible for accepting service for the LLC (sorry can’t remember the professional name). Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert Kane
Robert Kane
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eagan, MN
  • Licensed in California

A: Hand deliver ("serve") a copy (not the original) of the Subpoena form to the person or business you are subpoenaing. Corporations and LLCs typically have a designated person or law firm that you need to serve (agent for service of process). Corporations or LLCs can request a different type of service for subpoenas, such as faxing the subpoena. See California Courts' website.

Of course, the obvious question is why aren't her siblings assisting her in this endeavor? Forgive me for my pessimistic outlook, but how does an out of state party expect to succeed without an attorney? I am not sure what she expects to gain even in the unlikely event she obtains the records. Her sister and the LLC will undoubtedly not comply.

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