When subpoena is issued for a case record or for an employee of the Family Support Division to appear in court, the following procedure should be followed:
When the subpoena is for a case record, the County Director or designated representative will appear at the hearing with the record.
When the subpoena is issued for a worker, the worker will appear at the hearing.
- Court Appearance:
When questioned, the employee should explain to the Court that (s)he has been instructed not to disclose contents of the case record or information obtained in the course of his/her work as a representative of the Family Support Division, and a copy of the law should be given to the Judge so that he may read the following sentence from Section 208.120:
“In any judicial proceedings except such proceedings as are directly concerned with the administration of these programs, such information obtained in the discharge of official duties related to the identity of applicants for or recipients of benefits, and records, files, papers, communications and their contents shall be confidential and not admissible in evidence.”
When the subpoena involves the program not included in the statute (BP), the employee should explain to the Court that the Family Support Division has, by policy, applied the same principle of confidentiality to all programs administered by the agency.
If the Court then instructs the employee to testify, he must do so.
- Travel Expenses:
Attention is called to Section 491.130, RSMo: “A witness shall not be compelled to attend, as such in a civil suit, at a greater distance than forty miles from his place of legal residence, unless his legal fees for traveling, in going to and returning from the place of trial, and the day’s attendance, are paid or tendered to him at the time of summoning such witness.”
- Fraud Procedures:
When an employee of the Family Support Division is requested or subpoenaed to testify in Court in alleged client fraud proceedings, the employee will appear and will provide any information requested as the result of the fraudulent act. The confidentiality portion of Section 208.120 does not apply, since this type of proceeding is within the exceptions to disclosure. It is considered as part of the administration of the Income Maintenance Programs.