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Employment Law/Informaton Subpoena


I received an Information Subpoena from an attorney's firm for outstanding debt by one of our employees. This does not appear to be a court order. Some of the questions asked are concerning to me such as social security number and employee bank account information. The language is quite strong (i.e., 'Take notice that false swearing or failure to comply with this subpoena is punishable as a contempt of court')

Must we comply with this order?

Thank you.


Yes, under New York state law this is a valid request for information from a creditor who is seeking to satisfy (that is, collect on) a court judgment against your employee.

Here are a couple of references to the applicable state law for your information:

"At any time before a judgment is satisfied or vacated, the judgment creditor may compel disclosure of all matter relevant to the satisfaction of the judgment, by serving upon any person a subpoena, which shall specify all of the parties to the action, the date of the judgment, the court in which it was entered, the amount of the judgment and the amount then due thereon, and shall Statutee that false swearing or failure to comply with the subpoena is punishable as a contempt of court." N.Y. Civil. Prac. L. & R. 5223.

"Service of an information subpoena shall be accompanied by a copy and original of written questions and a prepaid, addressed return envelope. Service may be made by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. Answers shall be made in writing under oath by an officer, director, agent or employee having the information. Answers shall be returned together with the original of the questions within seven days after receipt. Any person served with an information subpoena shall not be entitled to any fee." N.Y. Civil. Prac. L. & R. 5224.

As long as the Information Subpoena you've received meets the requirements listed above, it is valid and must be complied with.

I hope you find this helpful.

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

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J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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