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Subpoena'ing a third party to the case ...

Subpoena'ing a third party to the case ...

Hi there,

I need to subpoena information about my ex sister-in-law's medical history (eg, mental illness, medication taken, etc) and as I don't know where she lives or works, I cannot serve her at all. I rang the Family Law Court help line and was told that I can initiate a substitute of service of subpoena and send it to my ex's lawyers. I was told that I needs to lodge an application in a case and to attach an affidavit along with any evidence that I have tried to serve the documents on the person in question … and immediately afterwards, that I would need to meet with a duty registrar to confirm what I need to lodge!?!?

Is that right?

If yes, what documents will I really need to serve on them? Does anyone know how it needs to be formulated??

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

Cheers y'all


There is a need to prove to the court that you have a need for such information. It is hard to imagine that the Registrar would give you leave to subponea a non party's medical information.
In seeking financial information of person's who have the affairs intermingled with the other side in my matter I have been instructed to write a letter setting out the reasons and substantiating those reasons to the Duty Registrar.
Subpoenas can be objected to by the party being subpoened.
Read Part 15.3 of the Family Law Rules

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha

I understand ...

Thank you for the prompt response and advice …

I understand that a duty registrar would need to know why I would like to subpoena the medical information pertaining to a third party to the case (in this case, my ex's sister).

The reason that I have is that she often goes to pick our son up and is left alone with him for the rest of the afternoon until my ex gets home.

My concern is that my ex's sister actually suffers from a mental disorder - schizophrenia - and has been smoking pot & misc other drugs in her time. I have no way of knowing whether she is going to "lose it" and start hurting our son at some point in time.

So, that's why I would like to have the medical information …

If in your case, you had to write a letter explaining the reasons behind subpoening the 3rd party, then I might give this a go and report back to this forum as to whether it worked or not.

Thanks again


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