Psychiatric records are protected by the Lanterman-Petris
Short Act (see Welfare &
Institutions Code §5000 et seq.). Section 5328 provides in relevant part:
All information and records obtained in the course of
providing services under Division 4 (commencing with Section 4000), Division
4.1 (commencing with Section 4400),
Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500), Division 5 (commencing with
Section 5000), Division 6 (commencing with Section 6000), or Division 7
Section 7100), to either voluntary or involuntary recipients of services shall
Information and records obtained in the course of providing similar services to
voluntary or involuntary recipients prior to 1969 shall also be confidential.
records shall be disclosed only in any of the following cases:
(f) To the courts, as necessary to the administration of justice.
(j) To the attorney for the patient in any and all proceedings upon
presentation of a release of
information signed by the patient, except that when the patient is unable to
sign the release,
the staff of the facility, upon satisfying itself of the identity of the
attorney, and of the fact that
the attorney does represent the interests of the patient, may release all
records relating to the patient except that nothing in this article shall be
construed to compel
a physician, licensed psychologist, social worker with a master's degree in
licensed marriage and family therapist, nurse, attorney, or other professional
to reveal information that has been given to him or her inconfidence by members
To obtain psychiatric records, forward a special release to the copy service.
Download the Psychiatric Release in Word format.
Download the Psychiatric Release in PDF format.