2019 Tennessee Code
Title 68 - Health, Safety and Environmental Protection
Health
Chapter 11 - Health Facilities and Resources
Part 4 - Hospital Records as Evidence
§ 68-11-404. Opening of sealed envelopes.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 68-11-404 (2019)
  • (a)

    • (1) Unless the sealed envelope or wrapper is returned to a witness who is to appear personally, the copy of records shall remain sealed and shall be opened only at the time of trial, deposition or other hearing, upon the direction of the judge, court, officer, body or tribunal conducting the proceeding, in the presence of all parties who have appeared in person or by counsel at such trial, deposition or hearing. Before directing that such inner envelope or wrapper be opened, the judge, court, officer, body or tribunal shall first ascertain that either:

      • (A) The records have been subpoenaed at the instance of the patient involved or such patient's counsel of record;

      • (B) The patient involved or someone authorized in such patient's behalf to do so for such patient has consented thereto and waived any privilege of confidentiality involved; or

      • (C) The records have been subpoenaed in a criminal proceeding.

    • (2) Records that are not introduced in evidence or required as part of the record shall be returned to the person or entity from whom received.

  • (b)

    • (1) Upon receipt of a subpoena, the custodian shall send the records to the attorney responsible for the issuance of the subpoena at the place, and on or before the date designated in the subpoena, if such subpoena:

      • (A) States conspicuously on its face that the records are required in a tort action or proceeding in which the plaintiff has raised the issue of the plaintiff's physical or emotional condition; and

      • (B) Directs the custodian's attendance at a deposition.

    • (2) The attorney responsible for the issuance of the subpoena need not meet the requirements of subsection (a) before opening the sealed records, if the attorney furnishes a copy of the records to the plaintiff or someone authorized on the plaintiff's behalf to receive them.

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