Can One Spouse Subpoena Medical Records of the Spouse During a Custody Proceeding?

In Koshman v. Superior Court the medical records of the mother were subpoenaed but not released to the requesting party. The records were protected under the doctor-patient privilege which prohibited disclosure unless the requesting party could prove just cause to qualify for an exception to the privilege.
 
FACTUAL BACKGROUND LEADING TO THE CUSTODY ISSUE
The parties entered a stipulation for divorce. Mother was awarded custody of the minor children. The father filed a modification of custody based upon the allegation that the mother was in the hospital for the treatment of an overdose of narcotics. He also served a subpoena on the hospital that treated the mother.
 
CUSTODY TRIAL PROCEEDINGS
Mother filed a motion to quash the subpoena. The trial court denied the mother’s motion and ordered that the medical records be delivered to the court for the court to determine whether the records would be released to the father or Family Court Services.
 
APPEAL OF THE CUSTODY COURT’S RULING
Mother filed a writ of mandate with the Third District Appellate Court to quash the subpoena. The appellate court quashed the subpoena and ruled that the physician-patient privilege exists in custody disputes and can only be disclosed pursuant to the statutory exceptions. The appellate court addressed the fact that the circumstances may have been different had the mother tendered the issue of her medical condition. The fact that she did not do so, rendered the records inadmissible.
 
If you need a divorce attorney in the Orange County area to address custody issues in the dissolution of a marriage any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, child custody, spousal support and/or property division, contact our law office located in Laguna Hills at (949) 643-5662. Conveniently located off of the 5 and 405 freeway at Lake Forest.
Treviño Law, Inc
23151 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, California.
Phone (949) 643-5662
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