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  1. Default Can a Crime Victim's Medical Records Be Subpoenaed

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: MI

    Can an alleged victim's medical records be subpoenaed by defense to attack the veracity of her accusations and court testimony, or are these protected under things like rape shield laws and HIPPA?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Can Victims Medical Records Be Subpoenaed

    First off, it's not HIPPA, it's HIPAA.

    Second, the alleged victim of what kind of crime?

  3. Default Re: Can Victims Medical Records Be Subpoenaed

    Basically any person to person crime where a trial might come down to he said/she said testimony. But in this particular case I was thinking along the lines of a sexual assault, where there might not be any physical evidence, nor any witnesses.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can Victims Medical Records Be Subpoenaed

    If the defense can make a compelling argument for why the records are germane to the case, the court is may grant such access or do an in camera review of the records prior to releasing them. I know of no law that prevents it but I'm not an expert in all 50 states. Since there are at least 52 possible jurisdictions, it's not a one-and-done response.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can Victims Medical Records Be Subpoenaed

    Quote Quoting bipolarschitzopsychopath
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: MI

    Can an alleged victim's medical records be subpoenaed by defense to attack the veracity of her accusations and court testimony, or are these protected under things like rape shield laws and HIPPA?
    If the victimís medical records are relevant to the case and are not protected under a given stateís rape shield laws then the medical records certainly could be obtained by subpoena. HIPAA specifically allows disclosure by a covered entity to comply with court orders requiring production of medical records, as does the law of most states. For example, if the victim alleged she sustained serious injuries in the attack then the records relating to her medical treatment after that attack would certainly be relevant to the case as it might help prove or disprove her allegations, and those records would not be protected under the typical rape shield law nor would HIPAA block the disclosure either. As with most things in the law, the details matter.

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