Reporting to CPS

CFM is out to lunch.

Wisely you recognize that Nevaeh demonstrates several signs that are concerning for child abuse. Those signs include:

You pick up the phone and dial 1-800-252-5400, the Texas Child Abuse Reporting Hotline. (If you were sure that Nevaeh would be safe immediately you could also use the website

The operator thanks you for your call. You wisely recall that this patient needs additional workup: a skeletal survey and photodocumentation of the bruises. You arrange for these services with the forensic nurses in the Emergency Department.

Your internship seems to fly by. Several weeks pass into several months and you sometimes wonder what ever happened to little Nevaeh. Then, out of nowhere, a police officer shows up at your clinic. The officer gives you this.

You quickly determine that the document is a subpoena, and not a summons. A subpoena is a legal document informing you that someone has called you as a witness. A summons, on the other hand, is a document telling you that someone has sued you. If the document does not accuse you of a crime or require you to file an answer then it’s probably not a summons. (If it is a summons, then you need to find a lawyer quickly. Sorry.)

What do you want to do next?

Do nothing, a subpoena is merely advisory. The court will contact you if you are needed.

Do nothing. HIPPA protects physicians from answering subpoenas unless the judge specifically invalidates physician-patient confidentiality.

Call the attorney who requested the subpoena and acknowledge receiving the subpoena.

Call the Center for Miracles for advice.

Call the university counsel for advice.