BLOCKING A SUBPOENA

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Latest post Wed, Sep 17 2008 4:06 PM by Anonymous. 4 replies.
  • Wed, Sep 17 2008 2:45 PM

    BLOCKING A SUBPOENA

    I may be in a situation as a witness where my cell phone records will be subpoenaed. I work as an physician's office manager and have multiple patient calls in my records. As this would be a violation of the patient's right to privacy, how would I go about stopping a subpoena on these grounds. Thanks!
  • Wed, Sep 17 2008 3:00 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
      Lawyer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    re: BLOCKING A SUBPOENA

    Talk to your lawyer. But the mere existence of the call is not likely to violate anyone's rights to the extent that a subpopena could be quashed.

    And the patients would be the ones to raise the issue because it does not violate any of your rights.
  • Wed, Sep 17 2008 3:24 PM In reply to

    re: BLOCKING A SUBPOENA

    ....they are looking for a particular patient's name to appear on the records. In the process of doing so, they will become aware of other patient's that have seen us. We are not a General Practitioner and people generally do not want anyone to know they are treated here.
    Do not have an attorney.
  • Wed, Sep 17 2008 4:06 PM In reply to


    Feedback [*=*] re: BLOCKING A SUBPOENA

    Well, you need an attorney. You cannot assert the privacy rights of others who called your cell phone. An attorney *might* be able to get a protective order preventing the other side from obtaining the names associated with the other callers but if the issue is did a specific person call you and when, they other side is going to be able to get that information.
  • Thu, Sep 18 2008 10:40 AM In reply to

    re: BLOCKING A SUBPOENA

    I generally agree with the prior responses, but have a few other thoughts.

    First, are you a party to the lawsuit? Sounds like you aren't. I also assume that the subpoena has been directed to your cell service provider and that you have been notified of the subpoena because of some law in your state that requires such notification. Unfortunately, you didn't follow the posting instruction that requests that you identify your state, so we can't know what recourse you might have.

    Second, I disagree that you cannot assert the privacy rights of others. There are many cases in which a party responding to a subpoena properly can (and, in some cases, must) assert the privacy rights of others. However, since you aren't a party to the suit or the party responding to the subpoena, you may not be able to do that in this case.

    Third, I would be quite surprised if any cell service provider has NAMES of persons who called you. I've never seen names on any cell bill of mine or any of the many cell service records that I have subpoenaed.

    Ultimately, the way that this probably gets resolved is that the service provider will come to an agreement with the party seeking the records to identify only those records containing a particular number will be produced with records relating to any other number being redacted.

    And, as the others have said, unless you're willing to spend several hours at a law library learning both the relevant substantive and procedural law, you need to get a lawyer on board if you want to raise objections.
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