Subpoenaing cell phone records in divorce cases


Mr. Short,

How often are cell phone records subpoenaed as part of divorce proceedings?, if one spouse believes the other is cheating. I’ve read conflicting things online about easy it is to get in civil matters. I understand text records, etc are only kept by cell phone companies for 10 days, so it seems like it would be difficult to get anything. Also is a specific telephone number usually subpoenaed, or does the subpoena cover the entire account? From looking around online the cell phone company I use requires a subpoena for civil cases, and charges copy fees and $80/hr research fees to produce the records. If your client is going to text information that needs to keep private, like discussion with other mates, friends, etc that may may contain negative information what do you recommend for them, should they add new lines to their account or get prepaid phones?

Thanks, Chad


You can subpoena phone records. The length of time the records are kept vary from company to company. If you need to keep the fact a conversation occurred private then the best way to do that is to have the conversation in person. Barring that, use of a prepaid cell phone may give you some anonymity, but the records can still be subpoenaed.