Guam – Attorneys for the Guam Memorial Hospital and the Legislature were in Supreme Court today to argue their cases over a legislative subpoena that the hospital is trying to quash.
The matter involves a decision made by Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson to dismiss the case over lack of jurisdiction after GMH Attorney Tom Fisher sought relief through the courts.
The subpoena was issued earlier this year by Health Committee Chairman Sen. Dennis Rodriguez. He wanted to address concerns raised review process when GMH chose to settle with Dr. George Macris after his ouster. Fisher argues that the courts have jurisdiction because there is no other remedy to fight a legislative subpoena.
But legislative counsel Therese Terlaje says the Legisalture’s right to issue subpoenas should be protected. In fact, she says GMH’s initial concerns regarding patient confidentiality were addressed when Rodriguez amended his subpoena.
She wants to Supreme court to uphold Anderson’s dismissal and give the Legislature an opportunity to conduct its own due process. If GMH is eventually found in contempt, she says GMH can then seek relief from the courts.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, says there is no point in taking the matter to court because the Legislature should be afforded a right to subpoena the government. He adds that in seeking the documents from GMH, it was never his intention to access confidential patient records.
Justices Phillip Carbullido, Robert Torres and Katherine Maraman will take the case under advisement.