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The post below was published on Friday, October 15th, 2010 at 2:42 PM.

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Fourth District: Privacy and In Camera Review

Many folks are aware of the budgetary and staffing crisis that currently plagues Florida’s trial courts, a crisis that includes burgeoning dockets and often a complete absence of staff attorneys. In this certiorari decision, though, the Fourth District explained that workload concerns did not overcome the need for an in camera inspection of medical records:

The trial court denied petitioner’s request for an in camera inspection, mainly because of the burden it would place on the court, whose exploding docket provides little time for such review. We can sympathize with the difficulty that such reviews pose for busy trial judges. Nevertheless, the protection of privacy interests is a significant constitutional issue, and despite the burden, it appears that it is the only way to protect a needless invasion of privacy.

The district court suggested that the trial court attempt to limit the need for in camera review by requiring the party trying to obtain the privileged materials to make certain relevancy showings in advance.

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