State ex rel. Dep't of Social Servs. v. TuckerAnnotate this Case
In this dissolution of marriage action involving child custody, Father moved the trial court to order the Department of Social Services to release all records concerning the children, including the identity of persons who placed several unsubstantiated hotline child abuse and neglect reports, asserting that the hotline caller's identity was relevant to prove that Mother had placed the hotline reports. The Department's Children's Division opposed Father's discovery request, arguing that the identity of the hotline caller was confidential. The trial court denied the motion and ordered the Division to produce the records disclosing the identity of the hotline reporters. The Division then filed a petition for writ of prohibition to prevent the trial court from enforcing its order to produce the records. The Supreme Court issued the requested permanent writ of prohibition, holding that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering disclosure of the identity of the hotline caller because the hotline reports were confidential and none of the exceptions to the general rule of confidentiality applied to this case.