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Lee v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 25, 2019

MORA LEE, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          MIKE MORSE LAW FIRM, MARC MENDELSON (P52798) ALLEN F. AYOUB (P79188) Attorneys for Plaintiff

          MATTHEW SCHNEIDER United States Attorney

          BENJAMIN A. ANCHILL (P70968) Assistant United States Attorneys Attorneys for Defendant

          STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER REGARDING DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS SUBJECT TO THE PRIVACY ACT AND 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(E)

          TERRENCE G. BERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The parties, through their undersigned attorneys, stipulate to entry of a protective order to permit the production of documents and things in this action that are deemed private and confidential under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2, and to protect information obtained by either party from the other party and/or third parties as required by 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(e).

         The documents at issue in this case are likely to include medical records and reports that identify, by name and other identifying information, parties and non-parties to this litigation and contain private medical information. Under the Privacy Act, the United States is prohibited from disclosing documents that include the names or other identifying information of individuals who are not currently parties to this case unless such disclosure is permitted by the order of a Court of competent jurisdiction. 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(11). Similarly, under 45 C.F.R. § 164.502, a covered entity, such as the United States or other medical care provider, may not disclose protected health information unless such disclosure is permitted by the order of a Court of competent jurisdiction or if other criteria are met, as described in 45 C.F.R. § 164.512. This Stipulated Protective Order permits Defendant to produce to Plaintiff relevant documents containing information protected by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, and ensures that any sensitive or private information obtained by the parties from any source is obtained and disclosed only to the extent necessary to resolve this litigation, as required by 45 C.F.R. § 164.501, et seq. Accordingly, the parties, through their undersigned attorneys, have stipulated to entry of a protective order providing as follows:

         1. Protected Information.

         The parties may designate as “protected information” records produced in response to a party's discovery requests or documents obtained by any party pursuant to subpoena or records request from third-parties. All records designated as protected information shall be stamped “protected information” on each page and/or shall be appended with a cover sheet stamped “protected information.” All such records designated as “protected information” shall be subject to the provisions below. The parties shall treat all records and information obtained from third parties regarding the medical treatment of Plaintiff as “protected information.” For the purposes of this qualified protective order, “protected information” includes “protected health information” as set forth in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103 and 164.501, including demographic information, relating to either (a) the past, present, or future physical or mental condition of an individual, (b) the provision of care to an individual, or (c) the payment for care provided to an individual, which identifies the individual or which reasonably could be expected to identify the individual.

         2. Authorization to Disclose.

         Upon entry of this Stipulated Protective Order under the authority of the Court pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(11), and 45 C.F.R. § 164.512(e)(1), the Court permits the production of protected information by either of the parties or by third parties, including, but not limited to, employers and medical treaters, even though the records contain the names and other identifying information and/or actions regarding persons who are not currently parties to this case and/or protected health information. The parties agree that “protected information” may be relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action and the parties' need for such records or information outweigh the concerns against disclosure so long as the parties comply with the measures required by this Protective Order. The Court also permits the parties to seek information about protected information through written and oral communications with third parties, including, but not limited to, employers and medical treaters.

         This stipulated order does not apply to those records or portions of records that include privileged information, if any, or that are otherwise objectionable.

         3. Non-Disclosure of Protected Information.

         Except with the prior written consent of the opposing party, or as otherwise provided under this order, or by prior approval of this Court, no “protected information” obtained by the parties may be disclosed to any individual or entity, in any form, except to those persons, and for those purposes, delineated in paragraphs 4 and 5. Under no circumstances may protected information be used by the parties, attorneys, or agents for any purpose unrelated to this litigation.

         4. Permissibl ...


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