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(p. 128) If I Receive a Subpoena I Should Turn Over the Client’s Records Immediately, or Be Prepared for Serious Legal Consequences 

(p. 128) If I Receive a Subpoena I Should Turn Over the Client’s Records Immediately, or Be Prepared for Serious Legal Consequences
Chapter:
(p. 128) If I Receive a Subpoena I Should Turn Over the Client’s Records Immediately, or Be Prepared for Serious Legal Consequences
Author(s):

Jeffrey E. Barnett

, and Jeffrey Zimmerman

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190900762.003.0023
Page of

date: 19 March 2019

Receiving a subpoena or court order are among the most stressful and potentially confusing events for mental health practitioners. This chapter explains the private practitioner’s obligations when receiving a subpoena, important steps to take before releasing client records or answering questions about a client’s treatment, and how to respond in a manner that does not jeopardize the client’s rights or welfare. The various types of subpoenas are explained, the practitioner’s actual obligations and options for responding are reviewed, and the steps to take to incorporate the client’s wishes and best interests are addressed. Recommendations are provided for how to prepare for the possibility of receiving a subpoena regarding any current or former client, the role of legal and risk-management consultation in these matters, and how consultants may assist clinicians to protect themselves and their clients’ interests while complying with legal obligations.

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