38 CFR 1.495 - Procedures and criteria for orders authorizing disclosure and use of records to investigate or prosecute VA or employees of VA.
(1) An order authorizing the disclosure or use of patient records covered by §§ 1.460 through 1.499 of this part to criminally or administratively investigate or prosecute VA (or employees or agents of VA) may be applied for by an administrative, regulatory, supervisory, investigative, law enforcement, or prosecutorial agency having jurisdiction over VA activities.
(2) The application may be filed separately or as part of a pending civil or criminal action against VA (or agents or employees of VA) in which it appears that the patient records are needed to provide material evidence. The application must use a fictitious name, such as John Doe, to refer to any patient and may not contain or otherwise disclose any patient identifying information unless the court has ordered the record of the proceeding sealed from public scrutiny or the patient has given a written consent (meeting the requirements of § 1.475 of this part) to that disclosure.
(b)Notice not required. An application under this section may, in the discretion of the court, be granted without notice. Although no express notice is required to VA or to any patient whose records are to be disclosed, upon implementation of an order so granted VA or the patient must be afforded an opportunity to seek revocation or amendment of that order, limited to the presentation of evidence on the statutory and regulatory criteria for the issuance of the court order.
(c)Requirements for order. An order under this section must be entered in accordance with, and comply with the requirements of, § 1.493(d) and (e) of this part.
(d)Limitations on disclosure and use of patient identifying information.
(1) An order entered under this section must require the deletion of patient identifying information from any documents made available to the public.
(2) No information obtained under this section may be used to conduct any investigation or prosecution of a patient, or be used as the basis for an application for an order under § 1.494 of this part.