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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a question that has two parts that originated in family

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I have a question that has two parts that originated in family court. This first question involves Hippa. I was served with a restraining order and divorce papers at the same time. I stored my medical records in my garage and had over 100 banker's boxes with about 15 to20 charts of confidential patient information which my wife and attornies went through. My wife's attorney would not agree to release the charts to me. He kept them captive for 18 months. In the mean time people could not access their medical records, work comp claims were denied, I was placed in contempt of court for failing to produce medical records.
Was HIPPA law broken and what right did a judge have to with hold confidential patient information from me especially when this not community property.

The second question is about my hobby. I have been an avid gun collector for 46 years. The restraining order deprived me of my right to have firearms. All f my weapons remain in a safe in her residence. I could not dispose of the guns because I could not get with in one hundred yards of the house. The court stipulated the attornies would remove the weapons from the residence. When her attorney showed up to do his court appointed duty she refused to let him in the house to remove the weapons. A number of those weapons are california pre-ban asualt weapons that are registered to me only. I am the only person that the state of CA is allowed to have access or posesion of those weapons. They can not be loaned, sold or given to a spouse. The law specifies that there is jail time for having these weapons that are not registered to you.

How can a family law judge give my wife posesion of illegal assault weapons when it is strictly against the law for her to have readily access to them.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Was HIPPA law broken and what right did a judge have to with hold confidential patient information from me especially when this not community property?

A: I think you mean "HIPAA" (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Under HIPAA, health care providers, health care plans and health care clearinghouses are obligated to maintain confidentiality of patient records. Your spouse's attorney is not covered by HIPAA. Unfortunately, you apparently are covered. Thus, if anyone has violated HIPAA, that person would be you, because you apparently did not assert your patients' respective privilege against producing the records. Legally, you could have asked the court to order opposing counsel to pay you for the cost of contacting each of your patients for consent to release the records, so as to permit the patients the opportunity to file a formal objection in court. By failing to do so, you could be liable for a HIPAA violation, which is a criminal act, if prosecuted.

Given how far wrong this episode has apparently gone, you may want to simply act as if none of this happened, because if U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services finds out, you could be in a lot of trouble.

Note: I'm not reprimanding you here. I'm just trying to explain how the inadvertent violation of HIPAA could create a serious legal problem that might threaten your license to practice.

Can a family law judge give my wife possession of illegal assault weapons when it is strictly against the law for her to have readily access to them?

A: This is an interesting question, and without conducting a massive amount of research, I really cannot be definitive. What I can be definitive about is that if the court ordered the weapons transferred and your spouse refused to comply, then that is contempt of court and you can file an order to show cause for contempt and have the court order your spouse jailed until she turns over the weapons. That would be the appropriate response to this situation, and it avoids the more technical legal question about the court's authority to create a de facto transfer of the weapons to your spouse (which, ad hoc, my answer is that the judge probably does not have such authority -- anymore than the judge would have the authority to transfer a license to practice medicine from the actual practitioner who earned the license, to a spouse with no medical training).

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33875
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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