Kinsella v. Kinsella

696 A.2d 556 (2005)

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Kinsella v. Kinsella

New Jersey Supreme Court
696 A.2d 556 (2005)

Facts

John Kinsella (plaintiff) filed for divorce from Mary Kinsella (defendant) on the grounds of Mary’s extreme cruelty, alleging that Mary verbally abused him, had fits of rage, and alienated friends and family. Mary denied John’s allegations and claimed that John was guilty of extreme cruelty, had abused alcohol and drugs, and had verbally and physically abused Mary. During litigation, Mary moved the court to compel John to require his therapist to release his treatment records to Mary because Mary believed that the treatment records contained John’s admission that he had abused Mary. The trial court compelled Mary and John to release their therapists’ records to each other for review, and both Mary and John filed interlocutory appeals. On appeal, Mary argued that John had waived the psychologist-patient privilege because, in claiming that Mary was guilty of extreme cruelty, John had put his statements to his therapist “in issue.” The appellate court held that Mary could obtain the information she wanted to prove by less intrusive means. Mary appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stein, J.)

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