Thanks to the OCVLC's and the Yamhill County District Attorney's Office's cooperative relationship, we were able to stop the defendant in a domestic violence case from potentially getting access to allof a victim's mental health records.
The defendant had sought to have the records reviewed by the trial court judge for potential release to him without providing the victim with notice of his subpoena for them or stating sufficient factual or legal authority for his request.
The OCVLC opposed the subpoena, and any judicial review of the records, on the grounds that the lack of notice violated the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule and the request violated the victim's constitutional rights to privacy and to refuse a defense discovery request, as well as the psychotherapist-privilege.
On Sept. 14, Yamhill County Judge Carroll Tichenor told the defendant's attorney - who apologized for the lack of notice to the victim - that unless she could re-do the subpoena to meet legal requirements, he was going to return the records to the victim's mental-health provider unopened.
The Yamhill County District Attorney's Office had referred the victim to the OCVLC for legal representation after it received notice of the subpoena. District attorneys' offices, which represent the interests of the People of the State of Oregon, do not typically represent individual victims when defendants request their personal information.
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