Judge Declares Invalid an FDOC Rule Requiring the Opening of an Estate Before Family Members Can Obtain Medical Records

Co-counseling with Carlton Fields, P.A., FJI represented the Christies in an administrative rule challenge to a proposed rule by the FDOC that would have served to limit access to medical and mental health records. Mr. and Ms. Christie attempted to get the medical records of their daughter, who had recently passed away in FDOC custody, and were told they could not access those records as no estate had been opened for their daughter, which is an expensive and time-consuming procedure. An administrative law judge found that two sections of the proposed rule, requiring documentation of the legal right to access the records, were impermissibly vague and thus were an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority. Attorneys’ fees totaling $27,000 were awarded to Ms. Christie’s counsel.

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