Subpoena text records


#1

If I have a cell phone account and my wife is added to my account what would she need to be able to subpoena a copy of text messages between a third party. I have been reading about the electronic communications privacy act and acording to that she must have probable cause to be able to subpoena the records. I have also called the cell phone company and they have said that it would take a court order for them to release them. My real question is if a suit is brought against me based on this can I counter sue for violation of my privacy under this act and if the phone company provides them records could I go after them. There has to be protection of some kind that what I send to someone else is private. Don’t I have a reasonable expectation of privacy? Ive read some other forum topics and the answers given make it seem to me that it is very easy to get records. How can this be?


#2

Different companies have different requirements for releasing data, she will need a subpoena at the very least.


#3

Right but arent I protected under the law? What would constitute probable cause to get that subpoena? I thought you cant get one just from suspision because a number appears on my phone records.


#4

Probable cause is relevant in criminal law, not civil actions. Information that can lead to relevant evidence may be sought and if ordered, or subpoenaed must be turned over.


#5

Reading these post I have a few questions pertaining to about the same issue. Do you have to have a lawsuit pending to be granted a subpoena to retrieve text message content? or can you just be going thru a divorce and want to use this information as a means of leverage? I to have called the wireless cell phone company and they state they only keep text message actual content for only about 30 days. before I go get a lawyer and pay money I was wondering if someone could give some confimation on if I had a subpoena, how far back can the carrier actually retrieve. I realize they differ with their retention policies, was hoping someone had been thru this before that could enlighten me on just how much info can be actually retireved once the cell phone company recieves the subpoena. if it’s only about 3-4 months it’s a useless case for me. I am wanting further back than that. Thanks for any help


#6

Yes, there must be an active lawsuit in order for a subpoena to be issued. I do not know how far back carries retain messages.


#7

thank you for the info


#8

You are most welcome.


#9

AT&T only holds records for the last 30 days. I don’t know about other carriers.


#10

thanks…if anyone is aware of Verizon’s retention policy please post the time line.


#11

Verizon’s is also generally 30 days.

There may be a way to get them going back about 90, though. I asked this question of Verizon about 2 months back and basically I was told something lke 30 days is the normal amount of time for them to save messages, however, the guy made some mention about in certain circumstances they might be retrieveable for up to 90 days from deep storage, but not always.