If a subpoena was not served to me in a way that’s stated under law, can I just ignore it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If a subpoena was not served to me in a way that’s stated under law, can I just ignore it?

I received a subpoena in the mail compelling me to appear in court on behalf of the state vs. the guy who clipped me in a company work truck 2 months ago. It listed off the charges, one of which was possession of paraphernalia and the other which was the ticket he had received for hitting me. The subpoena wasn’t signed by a server at the bottom of the page. Am I required to attend even though it was simply mailed to me?

Asked on August 12, 2017 under Criminal Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Even if the subpoena was not signed on the subpoena, if it was properly served on you (and the server is prepared to affirm/testify, if necessary, that it was properly served), you will have to appear: the key is not whether the form is filled out 100% correctly, but whether service was accomplished properly. 
Furthermore, even if you could validly avoid appearing *this* time, all that will likely happen is they will adjourn the court date to another time (also called "continuing" the case) and re-subpoena you. You are best off simply appearing as instructed to get this over with.

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