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Looking for information on my rights under HIPAA law and Texas Medical Records Privacy Act
This is a child custody case with no allegations of abuse, neglect, or safety involved.
1) Can an attorney subpoena a parent’s medical records from a licensed therapist without a court order and without disclosing the subpoena to the other attorney?
2) Can this attorney give a copy, electronic or physical, to their client?
3) Are there any requirements under HIPAA or the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act to control how the files are to be guarded?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Texas, San Antonio

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Yes about the child custody case yes. To someone that would be more familiar with HIPAA law, no

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 7 hours by:
12/1/2017
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 123,316
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

1) Yes, HIPAA does not prevent medical records from being obtained through valid court order, such as a subpoena. HIPAA applies only to covered entities, which are defined in HIPAA as healthcare insurers or healthcare providers (employers or attorneys or courts etc are not included in the definition of covered entity). The party whose medical records are being subpoenaed can object to the subpoena based on relevance to the case (if they can show the records are not relevant that is) or can ask for a protective order, which would prevent the records from being disclosed outside of the case.

2) Yes, the client is the person who is entitled to confront the other party, so they are entitled to see the information to assist their attorney in the pursuit of their claims. HOWEVER, the person whose records are involved CAN file for a protective order and can state good cause why the other party should not be allowed to see the records and only their attorney should see them and it would be then up to the court to decide the need to protect those records.

3) No, actually once the records are ordered released under subpoena or court order, the party who obtains them can use them as they see fit UNLESS you obtain a protective order and in a protective order the court can restrict their use and what has to be done with the records.

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Satisfied Customers: 123,316
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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