Obtaining Copies of Therapists Records

Thing are probably different for a therapist but I used to work in a medical office. Whenever we received a request for records to be sent to another office, we never included the physician notes. The History & Physical, test results or reports, x-rays, consults, assesments, medications and treatments, and physician orders. But as far as the general notes, those belonged specifically to the clinic or office. The only exceptions were if there was something specific that was noted by the physician and was necessary in care of that patient, but that was very rare.

As far as his parental rights go, though he is entitled to receive a copy of the medical records and I would assume that this would include therapy, I’m not sure if the therapist would be required to disclose confidential information with a parent if the child requested that they keep it in confidence. The therapist may be able to generalize by saying something along the lines of what the daughter is having issues with and what she believes that your husband could do to help her through some of these issues.
My youngest stepson went through some counseling during my husband and his ex separating and divorcing. The therapist did speak to both of them about his issues, but I do not believe that everything was disclosed. You may try setting up an appointment to discuss her progress and ask what is needed to request a copy of the records. If the office tells you that he can not request a copy you can ask if a subpeona is necessary. Try the non confrontational approach first and see how far it gets. He will most likely have to sign a request for copies but that may be all it takes.

This may help also. This is from the HIPAA Statute on privacy.

"Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule allow parents the right to see their children

Unless there has been a legal action filed you cannot send a subpoena. If there is a legal action pending he could try a subpoena duces tecum, but he may not be successful. I am doubtful that the therapist has released these notes to anyone and probably will not do so without a court order. Without a court order, it is highly unlikely the therapist will release their notes.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

My husband and his ex have joint legal custody. It is specifically stated in their parenting plan that he is entitled to access of school and medical records and access to school personnel and doctors. His DD has been seen by various psychologists beginning in 2004 and ending earlier this year.

DH would like to obtain copies of the therapists notes. Do these fall under the category of medical records or can the therapists withhold them? I’m thinking of sending a letter requesting copies of the records so as not to start out with an adversarial position. If this approach is unsuccessful, could he send them a subpoen duces tecum?

Thanks for your advice.