How do I get a subpoena toobtain medical records?

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How do I get a subpoena toobtain medical records?

I have felt that my dentist performed work that did not need to get done, along with not informing me of the risks and complications I went through. So, I complained to the Minnesota Dental Society, then later to the Minnesota Board of Dentist. The records I received from this dentist twice does not match to what the dentist sent to The Minnesota Dental Board. The additions he made, which is clear that it was added later, kept this dentist from being disciplined for his actions. I wrote a letter to the MDA to have them send me the records the dentist sent to prove it. They refused.

Asked on August 15, 2010 under Malpractice Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A subpoena is a tool of a legal action. While there are government bodies (e.g. grand juries; Congress) which can issue subpoenas, the only way for a private citizen to issue one is to initiate a lawsuit against someone--either the target, or those which may credibly and reasonably have relevant information. Once a lawsuit is begun, the plaintiff will have access to an array of tools called "discovery," including document production requests, interrogatories (written questions), and subpoenas.

Of course, lawsuits are expensive, and also bringing one without good reason can subject you to liability. Unless you have suffered damages or injuries for which you would sue, bringing a lawsuit may not be a viable option.


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