First of all, I want to thank Sancho for the warm welcome. I'm pleased to be here and will post as often as I can. Sometimes I think I suffer from graphomania.
Anyway about me:
I'm an investigator at a public defender office; on the job for over a decade. I'm a former LEO, ex-paralegal and aspiring journalist. My desire to get involved in this line of work came after I read Anthony Lewis's "Gideon's Trumpet," in college but wasn't offered a job in this field until later in life.
It's the best job I've ever had and it's most the important work I've ever done.
I am also a member of the National Defender Investigator Association. This is a great organization and we're having our national conference in Daytona April 1 - 3, 2009. If anyone is interested visit http://www.ndia.net/ for more details.
The longer I work for the PD's Office, the more I realize that those of us who are out there knocking on doors at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning really do make a difference. And with that in mind, I hope to post useful information that will help us to make that difference. If anyone has anything to add or if I post something that's incorrect, I welcome the feedback.
I had a case a while back where I sent out a subpoena for cell phone records to Verizon Wireless. I asked for "All records of calls from account no. (000) 555-1234"
I got a response from the company about 24 hours later telling me that they were unable to provide any information based on the language of my request.
What part of "All Records" did they not understand?
As luck would have it, I ran into a member of the subpoena compliance department at Verizon and he gave me some very useful information which I will pass on to our readers.
Verizon considers Public Defender offices equivalent to law enforcement agencies and as such will extend every courtesy to PDO's as they would to the police. Their Law Enforcement Response Team (LERT) will divluge subscriber information pursuant to subpoenas, court orders and search warrants. In exigent circumstances, the company will also provide real-time cell tower triangluation but for most of us in defense, a subpoena will be the kind of process served on the company. I realize that I'm running on so, I'll cut to the chase.
Subpoenas can be served by fax to (888) 667-0028. They should be addressed to
Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless
Attn: Custodian of Records
180 Washington Valley Road
Bedminster, NJ 07921
There is no need mail a hard copy to that address but make sure the subpoena is signed by the attorney or court clerk; is endorsed with a facsimile of the court's seal and has an Indictment or Docket Number on it as well as your internal client/matter number. ( The last one may not be necessary but I threw it in there because another carrier, T-Mobile, rejected one of my subpoenas that didn't have a C/M number on it. Why would they care?)
Your demand for production must specifically identify the information you seek and a subpoena will require the company to disclose the following data:
Subscriber - Name, Address, Contact Numbers, Activation Date and number of mobiles on the account for the most current customer unless a timeframe is provided
Subscriber Social Secrutiy Number - (Not available for prepaid accounts)
Tolls - Date, Time and Length of call for outgoing calls, only non-restricted inbound
Call Detail Records - Date, Time and Lenght of Call for outgoing and incoming calls
Features - List of the features subscribed to by the customer
ESN - Electonic Serial Number of the phone
Payment History - Date, Source and Amount of Payments
Calls to A Number - Date, Time and Length of Calls for All Mobiles that called a specific destingation number.
The Verizon rep told me that the LERT will try to respond within 2 weeks and since our meeting, I haven't had any problems with Verizon subpoenas. I have to say that it's a pleasant change in dealing with a company that is so cooperative in a defense investigation.
My subpoena to AOL is a different story and I'll provide all the gory details on that one in my next post.