Murray v. Medical Board of California, et al.
Plaintiff alleges that the Medical Board of California wrongfully denied him personal information regarding his deceased mother, in violation of Cal. Civ. Codes §§ 1798.24-34, et seq. Furthermore, Defendants purposefully frustrated Plaintiff’s attempts to identify records and information responsive to his request, in violation of Cal. Gov. Code § 6253.1.
Petitioner’s initial “presentation of claims” against the Medical Board of California for denial of personal information. The California Government Claims Act (Cal. Gov. Code § 910 et seq.) requires complainants to submit their claims to the government prior to filing a lawsuit.
Action for writ of mandate
Petitioner’s trial brief, which asked the court to issue a writ of mandate, pursuant to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1085, commanding the Medical Board to release all information in their possession regarding Audrey Bevan Murray’s medical condition, treatment, and the circumstances and cause(s) of her death.
The Medical Board claimed that withholding the information sought by Petitioner serves the public interest. “Obtaining the Board’s investigative materials to assist in ascertaining the cause Mrs. Murray’s death is outweighed by the Board’s need to maintain the confidentiality of investigations in order to fulfill its mandate of public protection,” Respondents claim.
“The interests of justice weigh strongly in favor of releasing information sought by Petitioner because the issue concerns life and death, and Petitioner has no alternate means of obtaining any explanation for his mother’s death.”
The court ruled that Petitioner had “failed to exhaust administrative remedies.” Thus, the case was not decided on the merits; and the substantive issues can be reconsidered in a subsequent action.
Respondents asserted that Petitioner’s claims were not ripe for review due to lack of finality and “failure to exhaust administrative remedies,” among other defenses. See Case No.: BS158575 in the court's register of actions.
Petitioner asserted that his claims are ripe for review. Further, the state has read a legal fiction into California Public Records Act in order to deny Petitioner access to the records he seeks.
The court overrules the state's demurrer in its entirety. With regard to the state’s arguments that Petitioner’s claims are not ripe for review, the court stated, “These arguments lack merit.”
This petition for mandamus asks the court to command the Medical Board to release all information in their possession regarding Audrey Bevan Murray’s medical condition, treatment, and the circumstances and cause(s) of her death. Filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1085 (“traditional mandate”).