212-300-5196

Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Spodek
Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek

WE PROVIDE WHITE GLOVE SERVICE TO CLIENTS
WHO WANT MORE FROM THEIR ATTORNEY

The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

How Parents Can Fight Federal Subpoenas for Children’s Mental Health Records

By Spodek Law Group | January 21, 2024
(Last Updated On: January 21, 2024)

How Parents Can Fight Federal Subpoenas for Children’s Mental Health Records

As a parent, you have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding your child’s healthcare and to protect their privacy. This includes mental health records that contain sensitive information about your child. However, in some cases, the federal government may attempt to subpoena these confidential records without your consent.If you receive a federal subpoena demanding your child’s mental health records, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to fight the subpoena and protect your child’s privacy rights. Here is what you need to know:

Understanding Federal Authority to Subpoena Records

The federal government has the authority to issue subpoenas to obtain records as part of federal investigations or legal proceedings. However, federal agencies must follow protocols and have legitimate justification to subpoena confidential health records, especially those of a minor.According to mental health lawyers, federal subpoenas typically must establish:

  • Probable cause – valid, factual evidence that the records contain information relevant to an investigation
  • Particularity – precisely identify the records sought and the relevant timeframes
  • Patient notice – inform the patient or legal guardian regarding the request

If these conditions are not explicitly met, the subpoena may be vulnerable to getting quashed.

Grounds for Motioning to Quash the Subpoena

As soon as you receive notice of a federal subpoena for your child’s records, contact a lawyer to discuss filing a motion to quash. This is a formal request asking the court to cancel or void the subpoena before records are released.Possible grounds for quashing the subpoena include:

  • Lack of probable cause – the subpoena is vague or records irrelevant to investigation
  • Unreasonable breadth – the request is overly broad and invasive of privacy
  • Privileged communications – records obtained would violate patient confidentiality
  • Undue burden – fulfilling the request is unreasonably time-consuming or expensive

An experienced lawyer can help demonstrate these deficiencies to the court in order to protect your child’s records from release.

Using HIPAA and FERPA to Uphold Privacy Rights

Two key federal laws establish important privacy protections for health records that parents can leverage to fight subpoenas:

1. HIPAA

The [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)] regulates protection and sharing of medical information. Under HIPAA, mental health records are considered Protected Health Information.Key HIPAA provisions parents can cite to uphold their child’s privacy rights include:

  • Patients or legal guardians must receive notice of all disclosures of protected health information
  • Covered entities may only disclose minimum health information needed for the purpose
  • Disclosures should be limited to what is expressly permitted under the law

If a subpoena violates these HIPAA rules, argue that compliance would contradict federal privacy standards.

2. FERPA

The [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)] governs access to student records held by schools. This could include mental health records of children and teens.Important FERPA provisions include:

  • Parents and eligible students must receive notice of all requests to access records
  • Schools require written parental consent to release records or personally identifiable information to third parties

If a federal subpoena attempts to bypass this consent, cite violation of FERPA as grounds for a motion to quash.

Fighting a federal subpoena is complex, with short deadlines. Therefore, legal help is critical for parents disputing demands for a child’s confidential mental health records.

  • Consult a lawyer immediately if your child’s records are subpoenaed so motions can be filed urgently
  • Consider contacting the [ACLU] or [Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee] for advice and possible legal aid
  • Hire an attorney experienced in federal subpoenas, administrative law, and health privacy statutes
  • Be prepared to cover legal fees, which may range from $200-$500 per hour

Though expensive, a good lawyer well-versed in relevant laws can give parents the best chance to successfully resist unlawful subpoenas and protect their child’s rights.

What to Do If the Motion to Quash Fails

If your best efforts fail and the court orders your child’s mental health records to be released per the federal subpoena, don’t lose hope. As the child’s legal guardian, you still have options:

  • Negotiate redaction – Offer to release records only if all personally identifying information is blacked out
  • Limit scope – Try to minimize the timeframe or specific types of records disclosed
  • Protect originals – Ensure federal agents or agencies do not retain any original records after making copies
  • Request destruction – Require they destroy all copies provided after use for the case
  • Appeal ruling – Contest the court’s decision permitting disclosure by filing an appeal

Though not ideal, attempting to negotiate limitations can still help mitigate privacy violations if efforts to quash the subpoena fail.

Questions Parents Should Ask Attorneys

If your child’s mental health records are subpoenaed, interview potential lawyers with questions like:

  • What experience do you have fighting federal demands for confidential records?
  • What are the most effective legal arguments to quash this subpoena for my child’s records?
  • What is your strategy for compelling evidence of probable cause and particularity?
  • How quickly can you take action to file a motion to quash?
  • What other options do parents have if the subpoena is not successfully quashed?
  • What steps can we take to maximize privacy protections for my child if records must be disclosed?

Find a lawyer who can confidently answer these questions and demonstrate a strong grasp of current laws and past cases. An attorney well-versed in protecting sensitive data can help you uphold your rights as a parent.

Conclusion: Act Quickly and Persistently to Fight Subpoenas

Receiving a federal subpoena for your child’s confidential mental health records is undoubtedly stressful. However, by acting swiftly to engage legal representation, parents can take steps to resist release of sensitive information. Grounds like lack of probable cause, overbreadth, privacy rights violations and undue burden may convince a court to quash an improper subpoena. If records must still be disclosed, continuing to firmly negotiate limitations and privacy safeguards can help mitigate harm. With persistence and commitment to protecting your child, parents can overcome many obstacles in fighting government demands for mental health data.

Resources

Articles with Additional Information:

  • [What is a Motion to Quash?]
  • [Responding to Improper Subpoenas for Medical Records]
  • [How to Protect Patient Privacy from Investigation Requests]

Videos Explaining Motions to Quash:

  • [Challenging a Subpoena: Motions to Quash – What You Need to Know]

References:

https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/arguhv/how_to_prevent_the_federal_government_from/
https://www.avvo.com/topics/mental-health-lawhttps://www.lawinfo.com/resources/civil-rights/motion-to-quash.htmlhttps://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.htmlhttps://studentprivacy.ed.gov/faq/what-ferpahttps://www.aclu.orghttps://mhlac.org/
https://www.findlaw.com/litigation/legal-system/what-is-a-motion-to-quash-.html
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gp_solo/2012/november_december2012privacy/responding_improper_subpoenas_medical_records/
https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/how-to-protect-patient-privacy-from-7480289/
https://youtu.be/JEEPf-n34Bo

Free Consultation

Testimonials

I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.

NYC

85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004

212-300-5196

get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005

212-300-5196

get directions

QUEENS

35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106

212-300-5196

get directions

BROOKLYN

195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-300-5196

get directions
Call Now!