Rule 2.314 Discovery of Medical Information Concerning Party

(A) Scope of Rule.

(1) When a mental or physical condition of a party is in controversy, medical information about the condition is subject to discovery under these rules to the extent that

(a) the information is otherwise discoverable under MCR 2.302(B), and

(b) the party does not assert that the information is subject to a valid privilege.

(2) Medical information subject to discovery includes, but is not limited to, medical records in the possession or control of a physician, hospital, or other custodian, and medical knowledge discoverable by deposition or interrogatories.

(3) For purposes of this rule, medical information about a mental or physical condition of a party is within the control of the party, even if the information is not in the party's immediate physical possession.

(B) Privilege; Assertion; Waiver; Effects.

(1) A party who has a valid privilege may assert the privilege and prevent discovery of medical information relating to his or her mental or physical condition. The privilege must be asserted in the party's written response to a request for production of documents under MCR 2.310, in answers to interrogatories under MCR 2.309(B), before or during the taking of a deposition, or by moving for a protective order under MCR 2.302(C). A privilege not timely asserted is waived in that action, but is not waived for the purposes of any other action.

(2) Unless the court orders otherwise, if a party asserts that the medical information is subject to a privilege and the assertion has the effect of preventing discovery of medical information otherwise discoverable under MCR 2.302(B), the party may not thereafter present or introduce any physical, documentary, or testimonial evidence relating to the party's medical history or mental or physical condition.

(C) Response by Party to Request for Medical Information.

(1) A party who is served with a request for production of medical information under MCR 2.310 must either:

(a) make the information available for inspection and copying as requested;

(b) assert that the information is privileged;

(c) object to the request as permitted by MCR 2.310(C)(2); or

(d) furnish the requesting party with signed authorizations in the form approved by the state court administrator sufficient in number to enable the requesting party to obtain the information requested from persons, institutions, hospitals, and other custodians in actual possession of the information requested.

(2) A party responding to a request for medical information as permitted by subrule (C)(1)(d) must also inform the adverse party of the physical location of the information requested.

(D) Release of Medical Information by Custodian.

(1) A physician, hospital, or other custodian of medical information (referred to in this rule as the “custodian”) shall comply with a properly authorized request for the medical information within 28 days after the receipt of the request, or, if at the time the request is made the patient is hospitalized for the mental or physical condition for which the medical information is sought, within 28 days after the patient's discharge or release. The court may extend or shorten these time limits for good cause.

(2) In responding to a request for medical information under this rule, the custodian will be deemed to have complied with the request if the custodian

(a) makes the information reasonably available for inspection and copying; or

(b) delivers to the requesting party the original information or a true and exact copy of the original information accompanied by a sworn certificate in the form approved by the state court administrator, signed by the custodian verifying that the copy is a true and complete reproduction of the original information.

(3) If it is essential that an original document be examined when the authenticity of the document, questions of interpretation of handwriting, or similar questions arise, the custodian must permit reasonable inspection of the original document by the requesting party and by experts retained to examine the information.

(4) If x-rays or other records incapable of reproduction are requested, the custodian may inform the requesting party that these records exist, but have not been delivered pursuant to subrule (D)(2). Delivery of the records may be conditioned on the requesting party or the party's agent signing a receipt that includes a promise that the records will be returned to the custodian after a reasonable time for inspection purposes has elapsed.

(5) In complying with subrule (D)(2), the custodian is entitled to receive reasonable reimbursement in advance for expenses of compliance.

(6) If a custodian does not respond within the time permitted by subrule (D)(1) to a party's authorized request for medical information, a subpoena may be issued under MCR 2.305(A)(2), directing that the custodian present the information for examination and copying at the time and place stated in the subpoena.

(E) Persons Not Parties. Medical information concerning persons not parties to the action is not discoverable under this rule.