Workers' Compensation Release of Information

Please accept Gemini's commitment to an ethical and professional relationship with you, the records custodian. We take our individual responsibility to maintain patient confidentiality very serious. Working with multiple types outlaw and release requests can be confusing. To help foster our partnership for legally proper release of information we've assembled the following highlights.

 

What do I need to know for proper legal compliance? 

In response to a California workers' compensation subpoena duces tecum, legal compliance is outlined in the Evidence Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.

 

What gives a copy service legal authority?

Outlined in Code of Civil Procedure sections 1985 and 2020.420, a copy service is an assigned Deposition Officer of the court, required by this section to be a licensed and bonded Professional Photocopy Service under Business and Professions Code sections 22450-22462 which states, in relevant part, ".. responsible at all times for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of information obtained under the applicable code."

Physical inspection is the rule not the exception.

Workers'Compensation Title 8 Reg, Section 10626 reads,". all parties, their attorneys, agents and physicians shall be entitled to examine and make copies of all or any part of physician.. records.." Evidence Code section 1560(e) reads,".. the subpoenaing party in a civil action may direct the witness to make the records available for inspection_ or copying by the party's attorney, the attorney's representative or deposition officer.."

Reasonable conditions and time frames.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2020.430(c)(1) reads,"Permit the deposition officer specified in the deposition subpoena to make a copy of the originals of the designated business records during normal business hours, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 1560 of the Evidence Code" Further, Evidence Code section 560(e) reads".. available.. at the witness' business address under reasonable conditions during normal business hours.. those hours that the business of the witness is normally open for business to the public" And, ".. the witness shall designate a time period of not less than six continuous hours on a date certain for copying.."

Legal fees.

Evidence Code section l 563(b)(6) guides proper and legal fees when charging a copy service for access to records, "If records.. are delivered to the.. deposition officer for inspection or photocopying

at the witness' place of business, the only fee for complying with the subpoena shall not exceed fifteen dollars ($15), plus the actual cost, if any, charged to the witness by a third party for retrieval and return of records held off-site by that third person" Charges for additional services must be agreed upon as outlined in Evidence Code section 1563.

A party to the case may not charge fees.

Evidence Code section 1563(b) states, "All reasonable costs incurred in a civil proceeding by a witness who is not a party.. shall be charged against the party serving the subpoena duces tecum."

 

Itemized statement of fees. 

Evidence Code section 1563(b)(3), "The witness shall submit an itemized statement for the costs to the requesting party.. setting forth the reproduction and clerical costs incurred by the witness. Should the costs exceed those authorized in paragraph (1), or the witness refuses to produce an itemized statement of costs as required by paragraph (3),.. the witness shall furnish a statement setting forth the actions taken by the witness in justification of the costs"

An affidavit of facts is required.

According to Evidence Code section 1561 :

(a) The records shall be accompanied by the affidavit of the custodian or other qualified witness, stating in substance each of the following:

(l) The affiant is the duly authorized custodian of the records or other qualified witness and has authority to certify the records.

(2) The copy is a true copy of all the records described in the subpoena duces tecum or search warrant, or pursuant to subdivision

(e) of Section 1560, the records were delivered to the attorney, the attorney's representative, or deposition officer for copying at the custodian's or witness' place of business, as the case may be.

(3)The records were prepared by the personnel of the business in the ordinary course of business at or near the time of the act, condition, or event.

(4) The identity of the records.

(5) A description of the mode of preparation of the records.

(b) If the business has none of the records described, or only part thereof, the custodian or other qualified witness shall so state in the affidavit, and deliver the affidavit and those records that are available in one of the manners provided in Section 1560.

Disobedience.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2020.240 states, "A deponent who disobeys a deposition subpoena.. may be punished for contempt." Code of Civil Procedure section 1985.1 . "..Any failure to appear pursuant to such agreement may be punished as a contempt by the court issuing the subpoena."Code of Civil Procedure section 1991 . "Disobedience to a subpoena, or a refusal to be sworn, or to answer as a witness, or to subscribe an affidavit or deposition when required, may be punished as a contempt by the court issuing the subpoena.

 

Questions? Call the legal department:  (877) 739-7481

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916-672-6943 (P)

707-204-6527 (F)