Subpoenas for Medical Records in Foreign or Out-of-State Cases
Subpoenas for Medical Records, in foreign or out-of-state cases, are reviewed in Judge-in-Chambers (JIC). District of Columbia law prohibits judges from issuing a subpoena for medical records, outside of certain statutory exceptions, without a finding that the subject of the medical records has consented or waived consent to its release (DC Code § 14-307). Consent or waiver of consent cannot be assumed from the nature of the suit in the foreign jurisdiction.
Subpoenas for Medical Records will be held for approximately fourteen (14) days to allow the other party to file opposition. Applicants should indicate that the subject of the medical records has been notified of the pending subpoena application. After that time, the JIC judge will review all submitted documentation and make a determination regarding the issuance of the subpoena. Consideration of this timeframe should be given when setting dates of production or deposition.
The judge may issue a subpoena if one of the statutory exceptions is met, timely notice to the subject of the medical records of the pending application for subpoena in DC is clear and no objection has been received, or the documents submitted clearly show that the medical records are material evidence in the case and that the subject of the medical records consents for them to be released in due course (i.e. recent and relevant HIPAA release forms).
If an objection is filed, a Show Cause Hearing will be set in JIC.
To expedite processing, submissions should clearly indicate:
- If the subject is requesting their own medical records;
- Current contact information for the requesting party including phone number and email addresses;
- That the subject of the medical records has been notified of the pending subpoena application;
- If consent from the subject of the medical records has been obtained. If consent is obtained after the application is filed, a praecipe may be filed in accordance with the rules and a courtesy copy sent to JICOffice [at] dcsc.gov.
Per Civil Rule 45(a)(1)(A)(iii), the place of production for subpoenas must be in DC unless both parties agree to another location. If the place of production noted on the subpoena form is not in DC, and there is no indication that the parties have agreed to an alternative location, the subpoena may be denied.
Original accompanying documents will not be returned unless a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope is submitted to JIC at the time of filing. Original accompanying documents may be picked up after a subpoena has been granted or denied if the JIC clerks are aware of this request at the time of filing.