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NSW Prevention of Use of Confidential Medical Records?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Black Rabbit, 14 July 2015.

  1. Black Rabbit

    Black Rabbit Active Member

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    Hope I am not overusing this forum - apologies...

    If a husband subpoena the psychiatric records (medical records) of a wife in a child custody case:

    (A) What grounds are there to object to the release?

    (B) Is it possible and realistic for the wife to request the Family Court to deny the husband and his lawyer access to the raw notes made by the psychiatrist and order either (I) that the wife's lawyer only provide a report/opinion germane to the question of custody of children or, (II) that the records only be released to an independent psychiatrist to prepare such a summary report.

    Is there a way to prevent the husband seeing the raw psychiatric session notes which he may then use for nefarious purposes e.g. send anonymously to wife's employer, new partner or the children.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You can object to the subpoena if it appears to be an abuse of process. Does the husband know what he's looking for, or is he simply fishing for information?
     
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  3. Black Rabbit

    Black Rabbit Active Member

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    Thanks AllForHer....

    The wife happily admits that she has a history of Bi Polar disorder for which she is both unable to work and for which she self-medicated before obtaining effective treatment some years ago, but would vehemently dispute that prevents her from now being a good and safe parent. She received an insurance settlement on the basis of her illness and has no financial need to work, but could if she chose to.

    The husband has alleged (falsely) in an affidavit that the wife has several times attempted suicide and is a current drug user. The husband privately made it clear to the wife that he wants the records in order to damage her reputation and standing in front of the children and her family and friends. Although, her lawyer officially claims it is in order to ensure there is no danger to the children.....

    The wife is happy for her records to be released to a competent professional to provide an independent assessment of her fitness as a parent but strongly objects to the records going to the husband.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Then it may be best to go with what the lawyer says about the children's safety. If there's no danger, the wife has nothing to hide, and all false allegations inevitably come to light at final hearing. I suggest the wife get legal advice about objecting to the subpoena, but I would also suggest the wife suggest and submit to a psychiatric test and continuing therapy if deemed necessary to show the court there is no danger to the kids.
     
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  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Are you the wife or the husband?
     
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  6. Black Rabbit

    Black Rabbit Active Member

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    In this scenario I am the wife
     
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