TCU14-5829 Bernards v. Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
Superior Court of Nevada County
Defendants Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and Koster’s Motion to Enforce Subpoena is denied.
Initially, the subpoena requests all billing records. Defendants have failed to demonstrate any relevancy of such records.
Secondly, as to the medical records, the court determines that there is potentially some relevancy of the medical records as to Plaintiff’s life expectancy. But, courts must carefully balance a right of privacy against the interest in having just litigation. Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. v. Sup. Ct. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 360, 371; Valley Bank of Nevada v. Sup. Ct. (1975) 15 Cal.3d 652, 657; Weil & Brown, Civ. Pro. Before Trial (The Rutter Group 2012) ¶¶8:320 - 8:325.1.
Further, absent showings of direct relevance, compelling need, and unavailability of alternative sources, a trial court only could find that a privacy interest prevails. Ombudsman Services of No. Cal. v. Sup. Ct. (2007) 154 Cal.App.4th 1233, 1251.
Here, Defendants have failed to demonstrate that there are no alternative sources. Defendants have failed to simply ask the Plaintiff if he has a “dire” condition or one that could affect his life expectancy. Defendants have not demonstrated that they have asked these preliminary questions in the form of a deposition or special interrogatories prior to asking for any and all medical records. Plaintiff has not waived his right to privacy or put his entire medical condition at issue by filing a wrongful death action as an heir to a decedent.
Accordingly, the court denies the motion to enforce the subpoena. The medical billings are irrelevant and there are less intrusive means to obtain medical information relating to life expectancy.
Plaintiff’s attorney is to submit a formal order that sets out verbatim the tentative ruling herein and complies with California Rule of Court 3.1312 and is thereafter to prepare, file and serve notice of order.
This is the Court’s tentative ruling. In order to argue at the hearing, you must notify the parties and thereafter notify the court’s law and motion secretary at (530) 582-7835 by 4:00 p.m. the court day before the hearing. If you do not so notify the parties and court, the tentative ruling shall become the final ruling. Any argument is limited to five minutes. California Rule of Court 3.1308, Local Rule 4.05.3.
Unless the court orders otherwise, the court does not provide court reporters for civil law and motion hearings and case management conferences at the court's expense. Any litigant who wants a record of a law and motion matter or a case management conference must arrange for the presence of a court reporter at his or her expense. Local Rule 10.00.3B.