Eckerd Drug Stores

Not overruled or negatively treated on appealinfoCoverage
Supreme Court of LouisianaNov 27, 1989
551 So. 2d 1306 (La. 1989)

No. 89-CC-2389.

November 27, 1989.

In re: Tobin, Thomas; Tulane Medical Center; — Defendant(s); Applying for Supervisory and/or Remedial Writs; Parish of St. Tammany 22nd Judicial District Court Div. "C" Number 88-12973; to the Court of Appeal, First Circuit, Number CW89 1088.

Granted. Ruling of the trial court is reversed. We find that there was substantial compliance with La.R.S. 13:3715.1. Rule for contempt is dismissed.

LEMMON, J., concurs and assigns reasons.

Relator was held in contempt for failing to appear personally in court in response to a subpoena duces tecum. Although he did not personally appear, relator substantially complied with La.R.S. 13:3715.1, the apparent purpose of which is to achieve production of accurate and complete hospital records without the necessity of a court appearance by the custodian of the records. The statute which dispenses with the necessity of a personal appearance in response to a subpoena duces tecum overrides the literal wording of the printed form of the subpoena duces tecum mandating personal appearance.

If personal appearance by the custodian is necessary, the custodian should be formally notified or perhaps separately subpoenaed.

In any event relator could reasonably have believed under the circumstances that his personal appearance was not required. Therefore, there was no proof of a contumacious (stubbornly disobedient) failure to comply with a subpoena sufficient to support a judgment of contempt under La.C.C.P. art. 222(5).