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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Attorney
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Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience
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In 2008 I was in Treatment Court due to a felony DWI conviction.

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In 2008 I was in Treatment Court due to a felony DWI conviction. At that time, I was attending mandatory treatment at Conifer Park out patient Care in Glens Falls NY.
I had a “family Session” with my counselor and my two boys ages 11 and 12. My counselor took my boys in alone with him and I an not quite sure if he asked them if they wanted to see my “rap sheet”, or if they asked him, but he did show it to them without asking me first. My boys did not know prior to that visit that I had had two previous DUI’s and my oldest son was horrified that this had occurred.
After that, my oldest would not talk to me for months. Our relationship deteriorated from that time on. His grades dropped significantly and he began hanging out with the “losers” in his grade, and began smoking pot. He has mistrusted me ever since this incident.
When I spoke to the director of the out patient about it, he basically said “oh well”. I could not raise a fuss over the incident while I was in treatment court because would have backfired on me, and the Treatment Court coordinators told me to “leave it alone”.
I graduated Treatment Court in 2011, and I am in the final stages of completing my Master’s degree in Social Work, and I have also completed the required educational requirements for my CASAC (Substance abuse counselor)
I know what this counselor did was wrong, and the incident still affects my relationship with my son. His grades have never improved, and it looks like he will not even be going to college (his Dad is a Physician, and I know he has the brains to do better).
Is it to late to demand some compensation from the outpatient facility?

Unfortunately, there is not really anything that can be done at this point because so much time has passed. I am not sure you would have a case anyway because your convictions are a matter of public record and it is not a violation of any sort of law or duty to provide truthful information that is of public record. New York is very limited in terms of privacy lawsuits anyway, and this is not really a privacy issue because it is public record. Even if it were actionable, the statute of limitations for most civil actions in New York is between 1 and 3 years, and a lawsuit had to be filed before that time period elapsed in order to be valid. I'm sorry I can't give you better news, especially in light of all that you have done to turn your life around.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your time. I realize too much time has probably elapsed, but I though it may fall under HIPPA confidentiality laws and disclosing information to minor children without their parent's consent.

Thank you anyway. I was just so incensed at the way no one thought this was inappropriate, and the results (which took years to manifest) were not apparent until years afterward.

Thanks again!


Debbie L

Unfortunately, HIPAA only protects medical information and the health care received for such medical conditions. The fact of your convictions, though they could be related to a medical problem with alcohol, are not technically medical information so unfortunately it is not protected. Good luck with your family situation.
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