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View Summary
 
JOE SWICKARD, Plaintiff-Appellee
vs.
WAYNE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER, Defendant-Appellant


Click Here to Read the Full Case Summary
 
Issues:
Disclosure, evidentiary hearing, autopsy, Freedom of Information Act, toxicology, drug paraphernalia
 
Case Summary:
The Supreme Court rules on the disclosure rule of the state's Freedom of Information Act, and whether to release an autopsy report and toxicology test results of a chief judge who shot himself to death. The information was requested under the Freedom of Information Act by Joe Swickard and two other reporters working for the Detroit Free Press.
 
Decision of lower jurisdiction:
Wayne County circuit court ruled in favor of Swickard, ordering the Wayne County Medical Examiner to release all toxicology reports, autopsy results and related documents. The appeals court affirmed the lower court ruling, noting that the Freedom of Information Act "compelled disclosure" of the documents.
 
Outcome:
Swickard wins. Michigan Supreme Court affirmed appeals court ruling, noting that the disclosure of the autopsy report and toxicology test results do not constitute a "clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy," and that the physician-patient privilege does not apply to the case.