Witnesses called to testify in Court through the issuance of a Subpoena, or, individuals directed to produce or bring records to Court through the issuance of a Subpoena are common.
Subpoenas come from a Grand Jury or Court. Often, attorneys will issue Subpoenas on behalf of a Court.
What Can I Do Against A Subpoena
The target of a Subpoena can request a quashed Subpoena. The Court may agree to do so if there is some legal restriction. Such as physician-patient privilege or statutory protection for a record. This includes drug treatment programs; if the Subpoena is over-broad; or the witness is unlikely to be able to provide material and relevant information.
Do not assume upon receipt of a Subpoena that you should immediately photocopy a patient record and turn it over. A Subpoena does not necessarily over-rule your obligation of privilege to a patient. With privileged information, the patient does not want revealed and/or that some information in the record is irrelevant or harmful, it is your obligation to argue to the Court. A Motion to Quash the Subpoena, makes this possible.
In cases where there is a dispute as to whether a record should be public, the Court may choose to review the record in chambers and make a determination regarding what, if any, information is admissible. This in-camera review is prior to turning the records over to the parties.
We Are Here To Help
Never ignore a Subpoena. If you have an attorney or are part of a hospital with an attorney, contact the attorney whenever you receive a Subpoena. When received inform the office staff regarding their responsibility. Call our Vermont office today 802-775-8800.