How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Roger Your Own Question
Roger, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 31787
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Type Your Personal Injury Law Question Here...
Roger is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can I subpoena the defendants medical records and how far

Customer Question

Can I subpoena the defendants medical records and how far back should I expect to have to produce records? I have filed a lawsuit against someone who has called my mental health into question, among other things she has filed a number of calls please report claiming that I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder or, the list goes on. I once was diagnosed with severe depression and saw a Dr. for quite some time but everything that this person has said in the reports is false. One of the charges is defamation and that person is requesting copies of all of my past medical records. The first time I saw psychiatrist for depression was 15 years ago and I have records all the way up until five years ago. Do I need to provide 15 years worth? The doctor I saw up until five years ago was not the same that I started with, but there is no mention of any of these "previous" diagnosis that the defendant claims I've received. shouldn't that be enough? After all, if my last doctor did not make note of any previous diagnoses wouldn't that be sufficient for the courts to prove that I wasn't diagnosed with anything else? I feel that the request for all of my records going past 10 years is a bit out of line but how does the law view that? They are also asking for for me to give them a generic records release. I also have a situation where I happen to know the defendants doctor and I also happen to know that this person was diagnosed with bipolar disorder roughly 10 years ago and still sees the exact same doctor and takes the exact same medication that she always has. part of my argument is that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder but she is completely denying it, she's denying any knowledge of who her doctor is whatsoever and is claiming that she's never seen a psychiatrist. My question is can I subpoena her private records? I'm actually proceeding in this case pro se and could use any advise
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

Yes, medical records can be subpoenaed if the person's medical history is germane to the proceedings or is related to an issue in the case.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

In regard to the medical history, 5 years is is unusual for records to be available longer than that because of medical provider retention policies, etc.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

If your records have been requested, you could object to the length of time being requested, and ask the court to limit the production to 5 years and see what the judge says.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can I get the defendants medical records? I've asked the attorney and have been told that they are not relevant but I believe thesat her mental health is most certainly relevant... can I get her to supply those records from her doctor?
Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.
If the documents are relevant, you can issue a subpoena duces tecum to her doctor and get the records directly. However, you would need a HIPAA medical release from the other party. If they refuse producing that, you'd likely have to file a motion to compel the other side to sign this OR produce the records.
If the other side opposes the subpoena, an objection can be made......and if that happens the court will rule on whether the records are discoverable or not.