Mandziara V. Canulli

First District Appellate Court – (1998) – Held – The Illinois Mental Health And Disabilities Act Requires A Party To Obtain A Court Order Before Issuing A Subpoena To Obtain A Spouses Mental Health Records

Mandziara v Canulli 299 Ill.App.3d 593, 701 N.E.2d 127 (1st Dist. 1998)

(Leading Case On The Requirements Of The Illinois Mental Health Act As Applied To The Family Law Cases And A Former Spouses Ability To Obtain The Mental Health Records Of A Former Spouse In Order To Address Mental Health Issues.)

Attorney Canulli represented a father and former husband who sought an emergency order of temporary custody of his children after the mother and former wife’s failed suicide attempt left her hospitalized and unable to care for the children. Attorney Canulli subpoenaed records from the mother’s hospital for the trial court’s consideration at the emergency custody hearing. Following a review of the Wife’s mental health records the court ordered that the children should not remain in the care of their step-father and their natural father should have temporary care of the children. The Appellate Court ruled, in a matter of first impression that an attorney must secure a court order before serving subpoena for mental health records even though subpoena called for records to be produced to the trial court for in camera review by the court.

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