United States District Court, D. New Jersey
SUZANN ANDERSON, individually and M.D., a minor by her mother and natural guardian Plaintiffs
BUENA BOARD OF EDUCATION, et al., Defendant.
Nos. 45, 47]
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Schneider, United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff M.D. was a minor and high school student at Buena
Regional High School, she had sexual relations with an adult
teacher. This Opinion addresses defendants'
request for copies of plaintiff's gynecological
matter is before the Court on defendants' “Motion
to Compel Plaintiffs Execution of Medical
Authorization” [Doc. Nos. 45, 47]. The Court received
plaintiffs' opposition [Doc. No. 48], defendants'
reply [Doc. No. 49] and supplemental submission, and held
oral argument. The Court also reviewed the complete
depositions of plaintiff, her mother and plaintiff's
close girlfriend. For the reasons to be discussed,
defendants' motion is denied. Plaintiff's
gynecological records are irrelevant to the claims and
defenses in the case.
background facts of the case are not complicated. While
plaintiff was a 17-year-old junior in high school she engaged
in oral sex with a school teacher (William Jacobs) on several
occasions. The teacher was suspended, pleaded guilty
to criminal charges, and is serving a jail sentence.
Plaintiff's complaint filed on September 6, 2017
generally alleges the school failed to take timely actions to
protect her. Plaintiff allegedly suffered emotional distress.
was deposed on August 16, 2018. Plaintiff's transcript
reflects that she answered all questions posed to her
including questions directed to her most intimate and private
affairs. Plaintiff testified she was raped several times when
she was 13-14 and first engaged in consensual sex when she
was 15. Plaintiff started taking birth control pills at 13 to
regulate her period. Plaintiff has seen a
“therapist” for several years with whom she
talked about Jacobs. Plaintiff has also been seeing the same
gynecologist for many years. Despite numerous visits there is
no testimony reflecting that plaintiff spoke with her
gynecologist about Jacobs.
argue plaintiff's records are relevant for various
reasons. These include: (1) to find out about plaintiff's
prior sexual history, (2) to find out if plaintiff is telling
the truth about taking birth control pills at 13 because she
had an irregular cycle, (3) to find out if plaintiff
discussed Jacobs with her gynecologist, and (4) to determine
the nature of the treatment rendered. Defendants argue
[M]ay also contain relevant information about the
Plaintiff's sexual history, comments and statements from
M.D. to the gynecologist about Defendant Jacobs or other
sexual partners, thoughts about her sexuality and the use of
birth control pills.
25, 2018 Letter Brief at 2. Defendants also argue that
without plaintiff's records, “it is impossible to
determine the nature of the treatment rendered, what
statements were made to the medical provider that would be
relevant, or any other information about [her] visits that
might bear on plaintiff's claims.” Id. In
addition, defendants argue:
The relevance of the inquiry is to determine not only the
nature of any prior injuries or conditions, but also to gauge
credibility since it is reasonable to assume there could be
an indication of Plaintiff's thoughts as to the prior
encounters in the records.
17, 2018 Letter Brief at 4.
opposition plaintiff argues her records are not relevant to
any facts, injuries or circumstances she alleges, nor are the
records relevant to defendants' defenses. In sum, defense
There is no reason to further exacerbate my client's
embarrassment by allowing Defendants to partake in [a]
fishing expedition through my client's personal, private
medical records -- that ...