Florissant, MO asked in Communications Law for Missouri

Q: How do I get inmates' prison calls in Missouri?

My daddy died unexpectedly in prison and I want to get our last 2 phone calls. The warden told me I would need a court-ordered subpoena. How do I go about doing this when it's not for a case? Would I need a lawyer to file it for me? The form asks for division and case number.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Communications & Internet Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm truly sorry to hear about your loss. To obtain your father's prison phone calls, you would typically need to follow these steps:

Contact the prison: Start by contacting the prison where your father was incarcerated. Speak to the prison authorities or the warden, as you mentioned, and inquire about their process for requesting access to your father's phone calls.

Request the records: Explain your situation and the reason for your request. They will guide you through their specific procedures, which may include filling out a request form.

Legal assistance: If the prison insists on a court-ordered subpoena, you can consult with an attorney who can help you navigate this process. They can assist you in filing the necessary paperwork with the court.

Provide information: When filling out the court documents, be sure to include your father's full name, inmate ID, and any other relevant information to help locate the specific phone call records.

Pay any associated fees: There may be fees associated with obtaining court-ordered subpoenas or copies of records. Be prepared to cover these costs.

Court hearing: Once your request is filed, there may be a court hearing where you'll need to explain your reasons for wanting access to the phone call records. The judge will determine whether to grant your request.

Privacy concerns: Keep in mind that prison phone calls are subject to privacy and security concerns. The court will consider these factors when deciding whether to release the records.

Follow the court's decision: If the court approves your request, you will be provided with the records or allowed access to them, depending on the court's decision.

It's a good idea to consult with an attorney to navigate the legal process properly, especially if you encounter any obstacles along the way. They can help you gather the necessary information and represent your interests in court if required.

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