Subpoenas to Out-of-State Corporations

Oftentimes in a divorce one of the parties will have involvement with an out of state corporation, whether it be for business or personal endeavors. Subpoenas, generally, are complied with. In divorce cases in Illinois, the subpoenas are issued by an Illinois attorney under the jurisdiction of Illinois state courts. These courts have jurisdiction over any businesses or entities that have a “presence” in Illinois. This includes major banks and financial institutions. Their corporate offices may be out of the state of Illinois, but if they have a branch in Illinois, they will be under the jurisdiction of Illinois Courts and will have to comply with a subpoena in a divorce case.

Occasionally, I will be asked to do a subpoena to a corporation who does not have a presence in Illinois. When this occurs, I often warn my clients that there is a chance the company will refuse to comply. Sometimes the companies see it is a subpoena and will respond regardless. Other times, particularly when a company has a legal department on staff, they will respond that they are not going to comply because they do not fall under Illinois’ jurisdiction. Sometimes clients will ask what can be done to ensure compliance in these scenarios. One way to go about obtaining compliance is to hire an attorney in the county in which the business is located, have a case filed there and issue a subpoena under that case number. In most scenarios, this is not a cost effective practice. For these reasons, it is a good idea to be careful about who you subpoena and where they have a business presence, to ensure it is a cost effective endeavor.

Leave a Reply