Jenkins v Florida

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Cheet Sheet: Jenkins v. Florida AppellantJenkins 1974 Federal Privacy Act -Restricts access to medical information and records Jaffee v Redmond 518 US 1 - Supreme Court 1996 Background: Mary Lu Redmond, a former police officer, received extensive counseling from a licensed clinical social worker after she shot and killed Ricky Allen. Carrie Jaffee, special administrator for Allen, filed suit in federal District Court alleging that Redmond had violated Allen's constitutional rights by using excessive force in the encounter. During the trial, Jaffee sought access to the notes from Redmond's counseling. Redmond's counsel resisted asserting the conversations were protected against involuntary disclosure by a psychotherapist-patient privilege. The District Court judge rejected the argument, but the notes were not released. The judge instructed the jury that they could presume that the contents could have been unfavorable to Redmond. The jury awarded monetary damages. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision. It found that Federal Rule of Evidence 501 prompted the recognition of a psychotherapist-patient privilege. Ruling: To the surprise of both participants in the case and legal experts, in a very powerful seven to two decision, the Court ruled that the communication of a psychotherapist-patient relationship is privileged under rule 501. The Court further ruled that the privilege should extend beyond the patients of psychiatrists and psychologists and should also include the patients of social workers. Application: The communication between a licensed psychotherapist and a patient is privileged and that the therapist cannot be compelled to reveal the content of such communication. Federal Rule of Evidence 501, which simply says that all privileges are "governed by the principles of the common law . . . in the light of reason and experience," so
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