State v. Andring

342 N.W.2d 128 (1984)

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State v. Andring

Minnesota Supreme Court
342 N.W.2d 128 (1984)

Facts

David Gerald Andring (plaintiff) was charged with three counts of sexual misconduct for having inappropriate sexual contact with his 10-year-old stepdaughter and 11-year-old niece. While out on bond pending trial, Andring voluntarily checked himself into a crisis center for alcohol abuse and mental-health treatment. Andring shared his experience of sexual conduct with the girls several times while at the crisis center: during his intake with a registered nurse; during one-on-one sessions with registered nurses and a medical student; and during group therapy sessions with psychotherapists, registered nurses, and other patients. The State of Minnesota (defendant) moved for pretrial discovery of all of the inculpatory communications Andring made at the crisis center. The trial court denied the state’s motion for discovery of disclosures made during Andring’s intake and one-on-one sessions. However, the court granted the motion for disclosures made during the group therapy sessions. Because the trial court considered the issue of confidentiality of group therapy both important and speculative, the court certified a question to the state supreme court to determine whether group therapy sessions, which are needed for a patient’s diagnosis or treatment, are included within the scope of medical privileges, including physician-patient, registered nurse-patient, and psychotherapist-patient privileges.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wahl, J.)

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