DISCOVERY CASE OUTLINE
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PHYSICIAN - PATIENT
Evidence Code Sections 990 et seq
PSYCHOTHERAPIST - PATIENT
Evidence Code Sections 1010 et seq
PRIVILEGES
CONTENTS

CASES

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CONTENTS

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS [EC994, 1014]
CASES
PURPOSE OF PRIVILEGE
LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION of privilege in favor of patient
BURDEN OF PROOF on person asserting privilege

DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP
CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS PROTECTED

Information
Transmitted between Dr. & patient
Confidential
Specific examples

PERSONS WHO MAY CLAIM PRIVILEGE
JOINT HOLDERS
WAIVER

TENDER OF ISSUE BY PATIENT OR REP [Ev.C.996]
VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE
INADVERTENT WAIVER
SCOPE OF WAIVER LIMITED
PERMISSIBLE DISCLOSURE

EXCEPTIONS

PROTECTION OF OTHERS [Evid.C.1024]
CONDITION OF PATIENT AN ISSUE and good cause shown [Ev.C.999]

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS [EC994, 1014]
Confidential communication
Between patient and physician (psychotherapist)
Properly asserted

CASES

Binder v. Superior Court (1987), 196 Cal.App.3d 892
Blue Cross v. Superior Court (1976), 61 Cal.App.3d 798
Britt v. Superior Court
(1978), 20 Cal.3d 844

Carlton v. Superior Court (1968), 261 Cal.App.2d 282
City of Alhambra v. Superior Court (1980), 110 Cal.App.3d 513
City & County of San Francisco v. Superior Court (1951), 37 Cal.2d 227
David v. City of LA(1985), 173 Cal.App.2d 944
Farrell L. v. Superior Court (People) (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 521
Hale v. Superior Court(1994), 28 Cal.App.4th 1421
Heller v. Norcal Mut. Ins. Co. (1994), 8 Cal.4th 30
Inabnit v. Berkson(1988), 199 Cal.App.3d 1230,1239
Jones v. Superior Court(1981), 119 Cal.App.3d 534
Kizer v. Selnik (1988), 202 Cal.App.3d 431
In re Lifschutz (1970), 2 Cal.3d 415
Luhdorff v. Superior Court(1985), 166 Cal.App.3d 485
Marcus v. Superior Court (1971), 110 Cal.App.3d 513
Menendez v. Superior Court
(1992), 3 Cal.4th 435
Paley v. Superior Court(1993), 18 Cal.App.4th 919
People v. Clark (1990), 50 Cal.3d 583
Pollock v. Superior Court (2001), 93 Cal.App.4th 817, 113 Cal.Rptr.2d 453
Roberts v. Superior Court (1973), 9 Cal.3rd 330
Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924
San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083
Scull v. Superior Court (1988), 206 Cal.App.3d 784
Slagle v. Superior Court(1989), 211 Cal.App.3d 1309
Story v. Superior Court (People) (2003),109 Cal.App.4th 1007
Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California (1976) 17 Cal.3d 425
Vinson v. Superior Court (1987), 43 Cal.3d 833

See alsoConstitutional Right to Privacy Outline

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083, p.1092 [Waiver of privilege is not loss of privacy citing numerous cases]
Binder v. Superior Court (1987) [Dr. duty to assert; zone of privacy created by privilege; privacy invoked by implication by asserting privilege]
Paley v. Superior Court (1993), at p. 931-933 [broader protection than privilege]
Board of Medical Quality Assurance v. Gherardini (1979), 93 Cal.App.3d 69, 678
Jones v. Superior Court(1981), 119 Cal.App.3d 534
Roe v. Superior Court (1991), 229 Cal.App.3d 832
Scull v. Superior Court (1988), 206 Cal.App.3d 784 [discuss balancing privilege v public interest]

CONTENTS

CASES

CASE OUTLINE
TOP


CASE OUTLINE


PURPOSE OF PRIVILEGE

Encourage full disclosure from patient to physician to allow treatment

People v. Clark (1990), 50 Cal.3d 583
San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083

Preclude humiliation from disclosure to 3rd parties

City & Co of San Francisco v. Superior Court(1951), 37 Cal.2d 227, 232

Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924 fn 13"Because the record indicates sporadic and unclear concern by the parties as to the discoverability of patients' names in the context of the physician-patient privilege, we note the following for the guidance of the trial court should it determine to exercise its discretion to protect an absentee holder of the privilege. "The whole purpose of the privilege is to preclude the humiliation of the patient that might follow disclosure of his ailments." (City & County of S. F. v. Superior Court (1951) 37 Cal.2d 227, 232 [231 P.2d 26, 25 A.L.R.2d 1418].) Therefore if the disclosure of the patient's name reveals nothing of any communication concerning the patient's ailments, disclosure of the patient's name does not violate the privilege. (Ascherman v. Superior Court (1967) 254 Cal.App.2d 506 [62 Cal.Rptr. 547]. If, however, disclosure of the patient's name inevitably in the context of such disclosure reveals the confidential information, namely the ailments, then such disclosure violates the privilege. (Marcus v. Superior Court (1971) 18 Cal.App.3d 22 [95 Cal.Rptr. 545]; Costa v. Regents of Univ. of California (1953) 116 Cal.App.2d 445, 463 [254 P.2d 85].) Conversely if the disclosure reveals the ailments but not the patient's identity, then such disclosure would appear not to violate the privilege."

Preclude assertion when not consistent w/ purpose

Paley v. Superior Court(1993), 18 Cal.App.4th 919

LIBERAL CONSTRUCTION in favor of patient

Roberts v. Superior Court  (1973), 9 Cal.3rd 330
In re Lifschutz (1970), 2 Cal.3d 415

Story v. Superior Court (People) (2003),109 Cal.App.4th 1007
[Psychotherapist - Patient Privilege; writ issued to prohibit discovery in criminal prosecution of psych records from therapy ordered as condition of probation after prior conviction stating " …motive for participating in psychotherapy is immaterial to determining whether the psychotherapist-patient privilege attaches." Only issue was whether defendant was a "patient" within meaning of privilege; the court concluded.  The opinion discusses related concepts: Burden of Proof on claimant re Physician/ Patient relationship; presumption of confidentiality; Shift of burden of proof to opponent to rebut preliminary facts or establish waiver or exception; Broad construction of privilege; narrow construction of exception or waiver; Discussion re concepts of disclosure to accomplish purpose of therapy and dangerous patient exception; Dominant purpose for therapy test rejected; if a purpose to treat, motive irrelevant



BURDEN OF PROOF on person asserting privilege

Kizer v. Selnik (1988), 202 Cal.App.3d 431
In re Lifschutz (1970), 2 Cal.3d 415  [burden on patient to limit claim & scope of tender to limit scope of waiver]

DOCTOR - PATIENT RELATIONSHIP [see comp provisions in other priv.e.g. AC]

Doctor: [EC 990, 1010]

Authorized or reasonably believed by the patient to be authorized to practice medicine in any state or nation
Clinical social worker part of psych team

Luhdorff v. Superior Court(1985), 166 Cal.App.3d 485

Student interns

People v. Gomez (1982), 134 CA3d 874

Professional corporations [EC 994(c)1014(c)]

Re: Psychotherapist - Patient privilege

Licenced psychologist
Licenced clinical social worker
Credentialed school psychologist
Licenced marriage, family & child counselor
Registered assistants etc. under supervision
Psychiatric registered nurse
Educational psychologist [EC 1010.5]

Patient: [EC991,1011]

Consults or submits to exam by physician
For purpose of securing diagnosis or treatment of his condition

City & County of San Francisco v. Superior Court (1951), 37 Cal.2d 227[exam at request of atty for evaluation not for treatment; condition tendered as issue in lawsuit]

Re: psych includes scientific research

Motive or reasons for participating in psychotherapy irrelevant to privilege issue

Story v. Superior Court (People) (2003),109 Cal.App.4th 1007
[Psychotherapist - Patient Privilege; writ issued to prohibit discovery in criminal prosecution of psych records from therapy ordered as condition of probation after prior conviction stating " …motive for participating in psychotherapy is immaterial to determining whether the psychotherapist-patient privilege attaches." Only issue was whether defendant was a "patient" within meaning of privilege; the court concluded: "We agree with petitioner. The California Supreme Court has established that the motive for participating in psychotherapy is immaterial to determining whether the psychotherapist-patient privilege attaches. (Menendez v. Superior Court (1992) 3 Cal.4th 435, 454.) Therefore, the fact that a defendant was motivated to participate in psychotherapy as a condition of probation does not bar application of the psychotherapist-patient privilege to the records of that psychotherapy. Because we conclude that the records sought by the People are privileged, we will issue a peremptory writ of mandate as requested by petitioner."

  Group Therapy

Farrell L. v. Superior Court (People) (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 521, 527 , 250 Cal.Rptr. 25 "Thus, we conclude that the communication with other participants in group therapy is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose for which the psychotherapist was consulted and, therefore, comes within the privilege."

CONTENTS

CASES

CASE OUTLINE
TOP



CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION PROTECTED [EC 992,1012]

Information

Obtained by an examination
Diagnosis and advice given by Dr.

Hale v. Superior Court (1994), 28 Cal.App.4th 1421

Transmitted between Dr. & patient

In the course of the relationship
In confidence
For purpose of obtaining diagnosis etc.

Kizer v. Selnik (1988), 202 Cal.App.3d 431[claimed re health study]
Heller v. Norcal Mut. Ins. Co. (1994), 8 Cal.4th 30

Confidential

Presumption of confidentiality: B/P on party contesting

Paley v. Superior Court(1993), 18 Cal.App.4th 919

Story v. Superior Court (People) (2003),109 Cal.App.4th 1007

Means used , as far as patient knows, is confidential

Kizer v. Selnik (1988), 202 Cal.App.3d 431 [pursuit of dgs inconsistent w/expectation of privacy ; 89 participants in study became plaintiffs]

No disclosure to 3d persons except [see below re waiver]

those present to further the interests of the patient in the consultation
those to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary

for the transmission of the information
for the accomplishment of the purpose of the consultation

Farrell L. v. Superior Court (People) (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 521, 527 , 250 Cal.Rptr. 25 "Thus, we conclude that the communication with other participants in group therapy is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose for which the psychotherapist was consulted and, therefore, comes within the privilege."


Blue Cross v. Superior Court (1976), 61 Cal.App.3d 798, [disclosure to insurance co. for payment reasonably necesarry for accomplishment of purpose]
Pollock v. Superior Court (2001), 93 Cal.App.4th 817, 113 Cal.Rptr.2d 453 [same citing Blue Cross et all]

Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924 [when disclosure aims to promote the patient's treatment]

Specific examples

Names of patients may be protected

Scull v. Superior Court (1988), 206 Cal.App.3d 784[psych]
Smith v. Superior Court (1981), 118 Cal.App.3d 136, 141-2[psych]
See also Rosso Johnson et al v. Superior Court (1987)[atty client]

Deletion of names and identifying information may permit disclosure o documents without violating privilege

Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924 fn 13"Because the record indicates sporadic and unclear concern by the parties as to the discoverability of patients' names in the context of the physician-patient privilege, we note the following for the guidance of the trial court should it determine to exercise its discretion to protect an absentee holder of the privilege. "The whole purpose of the privilege is to preclude the humiliation of the patient that might follow disclosure of his ailments." (City & County of S. F. v. Superior Court (1951) 37 Cal.2d 227, 232 [231 P.2d 26, 25 A.L.R.2d 1418].) Therefore if the disclosure of the patient's name reveals nothing of any communication concerning the patient's ailments, disclosure of the patient's name does not violate the privilege. (Ascherman v. Superior Court (1967) 254 Cal.App.2d 506 [62 Cal.Rptr. 547]. If, however, disclosure of the patient's name inevitably in the context of such disclosure reveals the confidential information, namely the ailments, then such disclosure violates the privilege. (Marcus v. Superior Court (1971) 18 Cal.App.3d 22 [95 Cal.Rptr. 545]; Costa v. Regents of Univ. of California (1953) 116 Cal.App.2d 445, 463 [254 P.2d 85].) Conversely if the disclosure reveals the ailments but not the patient's identity, then such disclosure would appear not to violate the privilege."

Compelled exam inapplicable

David v. City of LA(1985) 173 CA2d944[Psych - patient privilege doesn't apply to exam of policemen by WC doc.]
Ev.C. 1017 ct ordered exam

Photograph of medical condition is w/in privilege

Binder (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 892 [deletion of identifying info insufficient protection]
Holm v. Superior Court [re Atty.Client]

Adverse reaction reports

Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924   [patient privilege asserted by 3rd party drug manufacturer. Trial Court upheld privilege but Supreme Court vacated trial court order and remanded for trial court to determine (1) whether the initial consultation privileged (2) if 3d party Drug Mfg can assert privilege i.e. was disclosure to it made in confidence and to accomplish the purpose of the consultation and (3) was the privilege waived by Dr. disclosure to Drug Co. i.e.  patient did not consent e.g. did not know OR disclosure by Dr was made in confidence to accomplish purpose of consultation e.g. treatment]
NB fn 13 re deletion of identifying information to protect privilege

Fact of treatment (if it discloses general nature of condition)

City of Alhambra (1980), 110 Cal.App.3d 513 [Tr.Ct rev'd for compelling ans to interrogs re def. receipt of prior psych treatment. R. D. fact of treatment also discloses nature of condition for which treatment sought e.g. emotional or mental problem]
Roberts v. Superior Court (1973)[interrogs disclosing prior psych treatment not waiver]
Marcus v. Superior Court (1971), 110 Cal.App.3d 513 [ other patients who had undergone angiograms.]
Note: Disclosure of fact of treatment not a waiver

See below re waiver
San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083

CONTENTS

CASES

CASE OUTLINE
TOP

PERSONS WHO MAY CLAIM PRIVILEGE[EC 993&4, 1013&14]

Holder [ EC §§993, 1013 patient, guardian, personal rep]

Personal representative

Hale v. Superior Court(1994)

Person authorized by the holder

Implied authority

Blue Cross v. Superior Court at p. 800 [health plan operator]
Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924, 929 [3d party if received in confidence and necessary to accomplish purpose. Drug Co received adverse reaction reports from physicians]

Dr. at time of communication (unless no holder exists or Dr. instructed to waive)

Physician cannot waive [EC §§994-5, 1014-15]

Roberts v. Superior Court (1973) 9 Cal.3rd 330
City & County of San Francisco v. Superior Court (1951)

Duty to claim unless no holder or instructed to waive

Inabit v. Berkson [Not if sdt & party takes no action Civ.Code 56.10(b)(3) exception]
See also CCP1985.3

Insurance Company

 Pollock v. Superior Court (2001), 93 Cal.App.4th 817, 113 Cal.Rptr.2d 453   [Although not an issue in the case, the defendant Insurance Company claimed the privilege of its Insured.  "In an action alleging an insurer's bad faith termination of benefits under a disability policy, the plaintiff is not entitled to discover the names and addresses of other claimants whose psychiatric disability claims had been denied during a four-year period." since disclosure of the name would also reveal illness [ i.e. "psychiatric"] to plaintiff's lawyers. The decision was limited to a denial of production of names to plaintiff despite the offer of a protective order and limits on contacts including a proposed form letter to be sent by plaintiff's lawyer but suggested the information might be obtained via indirect means. Plaintiff had received answers to series of questions about the number of other ... insureds who were "receiving psychiatric disability benefits" and then were "denied further psychiatric disability benefits" over a four-year period. The opinion expressly left open the question of whether the insurance company might be required to contact the insureds. The court distinguished Colonial Life as involving "accident" policies that would not have revealed an ailment and not involving privileged material. It also noted that "Colonial did "not contend that the discovery ordered by the trial court was embarrassing or oppressive.]

Protection by concealing identity of patient
See purpose of privilege above good cause

Court if there is no holder

Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924, 934 [In the event the court determines there was no waiver and that defendants are not authorized to claim the privilege, the court may in its discretion protect the physician-patient privilege of an absent]

JOINT HOLDERS

Physician - Patient re mother /child: doctrine of inseparability of in utero records

Paley v. Superior Court(1993), 18 Cal.App.4th 919[public policy prevents Mother from asserting her privilege to inseparable records when minor waived by tender
Jones v. Superior Court(1981), 119 Cal.App.3d 534

CONTENTS

CASES

CASE OUTLINE
TOP

WAIVER / EXCEPTION

TENDER OF ISSUE BY PATIENT OR REP [Ev.C.996, 1016 exceptions]

Communication relevant to issue concerning condition tendered i.e. related to claimed injury

Roberts v. Superior Court (1973) 9 Cal.3rd 330 [speculation re psych basis for physical symptoms or mental component of physical injuries insufficient]

In re Lifschutz (1970), 2 Cal.3d 415, 434 [limited waiver:  "concerning the very injury or impairment that was the subject matter of the litigation" citing Ballard v. Pacific Greyhound Lines (1946) 28 Cal.2d 357, 360 [170 P.2d 465] San Francisco Unified School Dist. v. Superior Court,  55 Cal.2d 451, 454 ]

Britt v. Superior Court (1978), 20 Cal.3d 844
Slagel v. Superior Court (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 1309
Koshman v. Superior Court(1980), 111 Cal.App.3d 294,298
Carlton v. Superior Court (1968), 261 Cal.App.2d 282 Discovery denied based on Physician -Patient privilege
and lack of waiver by tender. Writ issued to prohibit court ordered inspection by Plaintiff of
Defendant's medical records regarding intoxication at time of admission after accident based upon the
physician - patient privilege. Defendant had not tendered the issue of his non-intoxication and thus
waived the privilege by such tender.

Person claiming damages for  injury may limit or withdraw claim

In re Lifschutz (1970), 2 Cal.3d 415, 433-  ["...since the exception compels disclosure only in cases in which the patient's own action initiates the exposure, "intrusion" into a patient's privacy remains essentially under the patient's control"" at p.433;“the typical allegations of "mental and emotional distress" arising out of a physical assault, does not specifically identify the nature of the "mental or emotional condition" at issue. ...we cannot determine from the present state of the record whether plaintiff's "mental and emotional" distress is merely the "normal" distress experienced as a result of physical assault or whether it includes unusual or particularly serious elements upon which prior history may be directly relevant.” at p.436

VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE

Roberts v. Superior Court (1973), 9 Cal.3rd 330 [must be voluntary & knowingly done; form consent strictly construed; med records produced by obtained & produced by other physician]

Inabnit v. Berkson (1988) [waiver by consent due to failure to act in face of notice of records subpoena]

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083 [Must be voluntary and knowing and done with sufficient awareness of relevant circumstances and likely consequences, citing Roberts case]

INADVERTENT WAIVER

See inadvertent waiver cases on the attorney-client privilege page

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083 [p. 1091 eavesdropper rule repudiated citing Menendez v. Superior Court (1992), 3 Cal.4th 435, 447-8; privilege may survive even broad disclosure]


SCOPE OF WAIVER LIMITED

In re Lifschutz (1970),  2 Cal.3d 415  [matters directly relevant to specific mental condition tendered; general claim does not tender entire mental history; disclosure of fact of treatment is waiver of that fact only]

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083 [Avoid deterring general claim for mental suffering & damage; p.1093 'Any broader interpretation of the patient litigant waiver must be rejected because 'it might effectively deter many psychotherapeutic patients from instituting any general claim for mental suffering and damage out of fear of opening up all past communications to discovery. This result would clearly be an intolerable and overbroad intrusion into the patient's privacy, not sufficiently limited to the legitimate state interest embodied in the provision and would create opportunities for harassment and blackmail'. "

Menendez v. Superior Court (1992), 3 Cal.4th 435, 448  ["...that the patient's privacy is breached and the psychotherapeutic relationship destroyed as soon as any communication loses its "confidential" status in any degree. Such a proposition is unsupported. For example, if the communication is insignificant in content or the disclosure is narrow in scope, the patient's privacy may be implicated only slightly. Also, and perhaps more important, the psychotherapeutic relationship may survive even the broadest disclosure of the most substantial communication-much as other relationships do."]

Subsequent proceedings

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083 [Waiver in WC not waiver in subsequent proceedings; no knowledge of future proceedings, so cannot be a voluntary disclosure as to that future proceeding; privacy rights apply to protect

PERMISSIBLE DISCLOSURE

Necessary to accomplish purpose [EC 912(d)]

Roberts v. Superior Court (1973), 9 Cal.3rd 330 [disclosure to other physicians]

Blue Cross v. Superior Court (1976), 61 Cal.App.3d 798 
[disclosure to insurance co. for payment reasonably necessary for accomplishment of purpose] 

Pollock v. Superior Court (2001), 93 Cal.App.4th 817, 113 Cal.Rptr.2d 453 [disclosure to insurance co. for payment reasonably necessary for accomplishment of purpose citing Blue Cross et al]

Rudnick v. Superior Court (1974), 11 Cal..3d 924 [patient privilege asserted by 3rd party drug manufacturer. Trial Court upheld privilege but Supreme Court vacated trial court order and remanded for trial court to determine (1) whether the initial consultation privileged (2) if 3d party Drug Mfg can assert privilege i.e. was disclosure to it made in confidence and to accomplish the purpose of the consultation and (3) was the privilege waived by Dr. disclosure to Drug Co. i.e.  patient did not consent e.g. did not know OR disclosure by Dr was made in confidence to accomplish purpose of consultation e.g. treatment]

Farrell L. v. Superior Court (People) (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 521 , 250 Cal.Rptr. 25 "Thus, we conclude that the communication with other participants in group therapy is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose for which the psychotherapist was consulted and, therefore, comes within the privilege."

Existence of relationship

Roberts v. Superior Court (1973), 9 Cal.3rd 330 [interrogs disclosed prior treatment]

In re Lifschutz (1970). 2 Cal.3d 415[disclosure of fact of treatment is waiver of that fact only]

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083

Purpose of treatment

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083 [Must be disclosure of significant part of communication:
Disclosing existence of relationship not waiver citing Roberts case; Revealing purpose of treatment not waiver citing Roberts]

CONTENTS

CASES

CASE OUTLINE
TOP


EXCEPTIONS

PROTECTION OF OTHERS [Evid.C.1024]

Menendez v. Superior Court (1992) 3 Cal.4th 435

People v. Wharton (1991), 53 Cal.3d 522, 555

San Diego Trolly, Inc v. Superior Court (2001), 87 Cal.App.4th 1083 [Narrow exception limits disclosure to communications that trigger conclusion that disclosure necessary to prevent harm (People v. Wharton ); When factual predicate gone[danger], communication not protected? p.1092]

People v. Clark (1990),  50 Cal.3d 583 [disapproved in Menendez]

Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California (1976) 17 Cal.3d 425, 441

CHILD ABUSE REPORTING EXCEPTION

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act § 11171

Roe v. Superior Court (Roe) (1991) 229 Cal.App.3d 832 , 280 Cal.Rptr. 380  W made allegedly defamatory statements to her psychotherapist who filed an allegedly false child abuse report against H. An evidentiary hearing in the superior court failed to establish that child abuse had occurred. Similarly, a dependency petition filed by the department of children's services in juvenile court was dismissed for lack of evidence.New action filed by H against W for defamation, malicious prosecution, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, interference with visitation rights and conspiracy alleges W made false statements to psychotherapist who in turn filed a suspected child abuse report which allegedly repeats W's defamatory statements.
H seeks to take W's psychotherapist's deposition to authenticate psychotherapist's suspected child abuse report, to confirm that the information contained in the report originated from W, and to ascertain psychotherapist's oral report to department of children's services social workers who investigated the matter. Issues raised re right to privacy, competing interests protected by the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (§ 11164 et seq., hereinafter Act), the psychotherapist-patient privilege (Evid. Code, § 1010 et seq.), and the child abuse reporting exception to the psychotherapist-patient privilege.
Trial court granted H's motion on the ground that the limited information sought to be obtained from psychotherapist was not protected by the psychotherapist-patient privilege because that information had already been reported under the Act. The court held that the child abuse reporting exception under section 11171, subdivision (b) applies to this case.


CONDITION OF PATIENT AN ISSUE and good cause shown [Ev.C.999]

Slagle v. Superior Court(1989), 211 Cal.App.3d 1309 [Def. claims plaintiff eyesight caused accident & had heard Plt. tell Dr. he was blind]
See also Harabedian v. Superior Court(1961), 195 Cal.App.2d 26[med exam of def.; prod of records dropped at tr ct but ct ap denied production]