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Subpoena for medical records sufficiently limited in scope.

People vPopeck, No. 04-08-0200; 2008 WL 4786662 (4th D 2008)

On October 31, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Logan County denying the state's request for a subpoena duces tecum, seeking release of a defendant's medical records for the day the defendant was charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

The defendant was charged with DUI and the state filed a motion for leave to issue a subpoena duces tecum to a hospital for the defendant's medical records for the day the defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident and treated at the hospital. The defendant contested the state's motion on the grounds that only the results of chemical tests may be released. The trial court denied the state's request for the subpoena finding that a subpoena for all of the defendant's medical records, even for one day was overbroad. The state appealed.

The only issue on appeal was "whether the State's request for all of defendant's medical records for the day he was treated for injuries acquired in the accident was overly broad." The defendant argued on appeal that the patient-physician privilege articulated in 735 ILCS 5/8-802 prevents physicians from disclosing any information he/she may have acquired in attending to a patient and that the only exception to this rule is for disclosure of chemical tests in prosecutions where bloodalcohol tests are admissible.

The appellate court agreed that 735 ILCS 5/8-802(9) allows the state to request the results of a chemical test and that few would disagree that a request for all medical records is overbroad. The appellate court determined that this case fell somewhere in between these two scenarios and because "access to defendant's medical records solely for the date of the accident is relevant, material, and not privileged, the subpoena was sufficiently limited in scope and should have been granted."
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Title Annotation:cases: Illinois Appellate Courts
Publication:Illinois Bar Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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