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Subpoena For A Divorce

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DCronbaugh

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Iowa
I appraised a property in 5 1/2 years ago for a refi transaction and was serviced with a subpoena last Thursday to appear at a divorce dissolution hearing regarding said property. What am I allowed to discuss when on the stand other then effective date and appraised value as of the effective date.? Any input would be much appreciated.
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
You are likely being called as a witness of fact rather than an expert witness. You should do a little research to understand the difference.

I would contact the attorney who filed the subpoena to confirm that is what they expect. I would tell them all I can testify to is the fact that (a) yes, I did the appraisal and (b) yes, this appears to be the report. Any other questions they may have, I'd simply tell them I'm going to read exactly what the report says to answer your question.

There is an alternative to being called that might work: You can ask the attorney if you can sign a certification that affirms that the appraisal report is your work so as not to come in personally. Such a certification typically states you are who you say you are, you are an appraiser and worked in the county/jurisdiction for X years and have done Y number of reports, and that the report dated on Z is the appraisal you completed.

Disclosing this does not violate confidentiality.

That is my advice. Good luck!
 

glenn walker

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Agree with Denis you are most likely being called as a witness of fact and not an Expert-Witness so I would contact the attorney who prepared the subpoena and see what he is looking for ? In most cases all they are going to do is ask you a few questions like " did you complete this report for "John Doe" on XYZ and you can accomplish most questions without violating client privacy or USPAP but remember when the law and USPAP bump heads– the Law Wins and If you are court ordered to appear and testify you certainly are required to do so but not required to work as a free X-pert witness.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice just an opinion so please contact your E & O attorney after you find out what the subpoena requires you to provide or testify about ?

 

Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
I was retained by one side, but the other side subpoenaed me. I put the report in an envelope, sealed it, and had a discussion with the judge before I broke the seal. Made the difference between getting paid $7.50 plus mileage and $500 as an expert witness.

This is not legal advice.
 

djd09

Elite Member
Joined
May 20, 2009
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
Send them a letter stating that your rate is $250 per hour and a minimum of 8 hours for every day in court. Payment first then testify.
 

jay trotta

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Connecticut
Agree with Dennis, & Glen and under; Assumptions & Limiting Conditions; #4 and in particular your comment; "I appraised a property in 5 1/2 years ago for a refi transaction"
That is a long time ago and for a Totally different "Use" and confidentiality is required (may limit your response) so, your E&O attorney should be involved to provide insight.

Good Luck
 

Riick

Elite Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
IMHO, the attorney who sent you a subpoena is working in the dark.
You can't be an expert witness since report was not done for either
wife, husband, or either of the (presumably) two attorneys.
All you can do is attest to the fact that you did the appraisal,
and that, only after you ascertain that it is indeed *your* un-altered appraisal.
After 5 years, if you can't bring a copy of the original from your files,
it *may* be that the best you can say is that it **appears** to be yours,
but you can't swear to it since you can't compare it to an original copy.

Maybe the attorney would like to hire you to do a retrospective report??
With that report in hand, you could be an *expert* witness.
.
 

djd09

Elite Member
Joined
May 20, 2009
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
I'm sure the fake poster won't be back. Why doesn't the AF stand up and only allow threads started by documented poster like most other internet forum sites.
 

DCronbaugh

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Iowa
I'm sure the fake poster won't be back. Why doesn't the AF stand up and only allow threads started by documented poster like most other internet forum sites.
This is my first post so give it a rests. I was looking for some advise from fellow appraisers that may have been in a similar situation. Sorry I am not the expert you appear to be. Thank you to all the rest of you that gave some insightful responses.
 
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