42 CFR § 2.61 - Legal effect of order.

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§ 2.61 Legal effect of order.

(a)Effect. An order of a court of competent jurisdiction entered under this subpart is a unique kind of court order. Its only purpose is to authorize a disclosure or use of patient information which would otherwise be prohibited by 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2 and the regulations in this part. Such an order does not compel disclosure. A subpoena or a similar legal mandate must be issued in order to compel disclosure. This mandate may be entered at the same time as and accompany an authorizing court order entered under the regulations in this part.

(b)Examples.

(1) A person holding records subject to the regulations in this part receives a subpoena for those records. The person may not disclose the records in response to the subpoena unless a court of competent jurisdiction enters an authorizing order under the regulations in this part.

(2) An authorizing court order is entered under the regulations in this part, but the person holding the records does not want to make the disclosure. If there is no subpoena or other compulsory process or a subpoena for the records has expired or been quashed, that person may refuse to make the disclosure. Upon the entry of a valid subpoena or other compulsory process the person holding the records must disclose, unless there is a valid legal defense to the process other than the confidentiality restrictions of the regulations in this part.