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Don’t Get Caught Off Guard by a Subpoena! Do You Know What to Do?
Posted on: 8/22/2019

What is a subpoena? A subpoena is a demand issued by an attorney, administrative agency, public body or Clerk of the Court, and often requires certain records or documents to be submitted and/or an individual to appear at a set time and place to testify regarding a lawsuit.

For physicians, receiving a subpoena usually means a lawsuit has been filed involving a patient, a former patient or another doctor’s practice. 

If you receive a subpoena, you must respond in an acceptable way. Not responding would put you at risk of being held in contempt of court.

Learn more with ISMS’ medical legal guideline, Subpoenas.* This resource covers how you should respond to a subpoena, what protected health information can be disclosed and what special rules apply to mental health records. 

Questions? ISMS members may contact the ISMS Legal Division with questions at 800-782-4767 ext. 6485 or send an email

This ISMS medical legal guideline is a member benefit and is password protected.

If you need to request a username and password, contact online support at 888-476-7776 or onlinehelp@isms.org between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. After-hours requests are answered promptly the next business day. You may also register online or retrieve your username or password.

*This guideline is for educational purposes only. 

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