Garton v. Pfeifer

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Mental Health Confidentiality Act
Case Number: 
2019 IL App (1st) 180872
Decision Date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019
1st Dist.
Cook Co., 1st Div,
Affirmed in part and reversed in part; remanded.

Plaintiff sued for alleged violations of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act in his former wife's attorney's issuance and reissuance of subpoenas for his mental health records during postdissolution of marriage contempt proceedings. Mental health provider delivered records to ex-wife's attorney, although reissued subpoena directed that records be delivered to circuit court. Strict compliance with the Act is required. Attorney and mental health provider violated the Act, as Plaintiff never introduced his mental condition or any aspect of his services received in the contempt proceeding, and as subpoena was issued without a written court order, and no motion was filed and no hearing was held at which any objections could be made by Plaintiff or the mental health provider prior to issuance of subpoena, and subpoena lacked mandatory disclosure language required by the Act.  A failure to object to the noncompliance with the Act in the earlier proceeding did not preclude a separate action seeking redress for a violation of the Act. Plaintiff was not required to allege a contemporaneous physical injury or impact, as it does not apply to this claim for emotional distress that is part and parcel of the damage that results from the wrong that was committed. (GRIFFIN and WALKER, concurring.)