ANN C. MORRILL
THE MARYLAND BOARD OF PHYSICIANS
Circuit Court for Baltimore County Case No. 03-C-16-007138 OC
Graeff, Reed, Friedman, JJ.
Maryland Board of Physicians ("the Board")
conducted an investigation into Dr. Ann C. Morrill's
("Dr. Morrill") prescribing habits following a
complaint alleging she overprescribed opioid pain medications
to a patient, even after being informed of the patient's
misuse of the drug. Subsequent to a preliminary
investigation, the Board subpoenaed Dr. Morrill's medical
records for nine additional patients.
7, 2016, Dr. Morrill filed a motion for protective order
and/or motion to quash the subpoena. On September 12, 2016,
the Circuit Court for Baltimore County denied Dr.
Morrill's motions. On October 8, 2016, Dr. Morrill filed
a motion to stay enforcement of the order pending appeal,
which was denied. Finally, on October 30, 2016, Dr. Morrill
filed a motion to reconsider, which was also denied. On
October 11, 2015, the Board filed a motion to compel the
requested medical records from nine of Dr. Morrill's
patients. The circuit court granted the Board's motion on
December 27, 2016.
Morrill now brings this timely appeal from the circuit
court's decision to deny her motion for protective order
and/or motion to quash the subpoena on September 12, 2016.
Dr. Morrill presents one question for our review, which we
have rephrased for clarity:
I. Did the circuit court abuse its discretion where it denied
Dr. Morrill's motion for protective order and/or motion
to quash the June 28, 2016, subpoena issued by the Board?
following reasons, we answer Dr. Morrill's question in
the negative and affirm the judgment of the Circuit Court for
and Procedural Background
2, 2016, Dr. Morrill received a letter from the Maryland
Board of Physicians ("the Board") informing her
that a complaint had been filed against her. The complaint,
filed by the mother of a previous patient, alleged that Dr.
Morrill, "continue[d] to prescribe [opioid pain]
medications for [her] daughter despite sending [Dr. Morrill]
letters…to tell [Dr. Morrill] that [her daughter]
abuses them." The complaint alleged that the patient had
two DUIs and was jailed, had her child taken away from her
care, and continues to be hooked on opioid pain medication.
Finally, the complainant alleges "[she knows] of others
that Dr. Morrill has done this to, especially young women
that work for her." However, the complaint never lists
the name of these young women or the "other's
[sic]." Attached to the complaint was a subpoena for the
complainant's daughter's medical records as well as
Dr. Morrill's personnel file. Dr. Morrill produced the
documents on May 26, 2016.
on a preliminary investigation, it was determined by the
Board that further investigation was needed. As such, the
Board opened a full investigation into the allegations
asserted in the complaint. On June 28, 2016, the Board sent
another letter to Dr. Morrill informing her of the full
investigation and requesting the complete medical records of
nine patients. The subpoena, attached to the letter, required
Dr. Morrill to deliver the documents to the Board within
fifteen days of the date on the subpoena. On July 1, 2016,
Dr. Morrill's counsel sent an email to the Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene's ("the Department")
Executive Director stating:
Unless you can explain to me how the records of these nine
patients will aid your investigation into whether and how my
client got the patient in question 'hooked' on
narcotics, I will move to quash this subpoena as none of
these patient records could possibly be relevant to your
with the Department's response, Dr. Morrill filed a
motion for protective order and/or motion to quash subpoena
on July 7, 2016. Dr. Morrill argued, among many things, that
the request was unduly burdensome, too expensive to comply
with, and was irrelevant to the Board's investigation.
Morrill's motion was denied on September 12, 2016. The
court stated, "[u]nder the circumstances of this case,
the court has no authority to interfere with the
investigation by the Board of Physicians' subpoena it has
issued for the medical records of Dr. Morrill." On
September 28, 2016, Dr. Morrill ...