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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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Is it considered a violation if when patient is discharged

Customer Question

Is it considered a violation if when patient is discharged from a Behavioral Health unit and a third party recieves an picture of a chapter 51 paper and attempts to use it in court for child custody hearing. Picture did not come health care employee but more than likely from a outside person who was at the the home of the patient after discharge
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. By violation, do you mean violation of a criminal law, or of a civil right that you may have?

2. Is the identity of the "outside person" who took the photo of the document known?



Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I guess I'm more interested in what to do about the person who attempted to use it in court either being a criminal act or violation of Hippa or anything civil and yes we think we know who took the picture
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.

Good morning,

Under federal HIPAA laws, private individuals are not subject to the law. So if a spouse or other person were to get a hold of a copy they could use it in court unless you could show that it was illegally obtained. And while someone photographing it at your home would be considered an Invasion of Privacy and you could sue the person for doing that and then discriminating the photo, no criminal laws would be broken.

So, if your concern is what you can do to the person who used it in court---likely nothing unless they them-self took the photo and then you would have a separate claim for Invasion of Privacy

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,