Statements made to a nurse are not protected by the physician-patient privilege, said the First District Court of Appeal in Duronslet v. Kamps (Feb. 15, 2012, A131496), __ Cal.App.4th __ [2012 DJDAR 2135].
Plaintiff sought an injunction pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure §527.6 to protect herself and her family from defendant Kamps. Plaintiff had enjoyed a "deteriorating relationship" with Kamps, with whom she owned and shared a two-unit building in San Francisco. The impetus for the injunction application was learning that Kamps told a nurse at a local medical group that she planned to "kill her neighbor and then kill herself."
At the hearing, Kamps' counsel objected to some, but not all, of the documents containing hearsay statements of the nurse, both on hearsay grounds and the physician-patient privilege. The court overruled the privilege objection, "noted" the hearsay objection, and granted the injunction.
The court of appeal affirmed the order, finding that the physician-patient privilege did not extend to nurses or other medical staff. Evidence Code §990 defines "physician" as "a person authorized, or reasonably believed by the patient to be authorized, to practice medicine in any state or nation," and Kamps failed to show the existence of a physician-patient relationship.
The court denied Kamps' request to take judicial notice of the
California Board of Registered Nursing website, which defined what a
nurse practitioner does. The website was neither a regulation or enactment
issued by a public entity nor a court record (honest, she made
this argument), and it was not shown that the information was "not
reasonably subject to dispute" and "capable of immediate and accurate
determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy."
As for the hearsay objections, the court found that hearsay evidence is admissible at an injunction hearing pursuant to §527.6, and that the court may receive any evidence that is relevant, subject only to reasonable limitations in keeping with the expeditious nature of the proceedings. In addition, Kamps failed to preserve her claim as to those documents that were not specifically objected to in the trial court, and these documents were sufficient to show that Kamps made a credible threat of violence.