McLachlan v Murrumbidgee Local Health Network  NSWSC 688 required the Court to consider an application to set aside a subpoena issued by a defendant for production of family law dispute documents, said to be relevant to the claim for reduced capacity to care for three young children by reason of the claimant’s injuries and residual functional disabilities.
The subpoena as issued required:
Any documents (whether in draft or final form, and whether or not filed or read in any court proceedings) relating to any application for parenting orders/custody of your children and/or any dispute relating to parenting orders/custody of your children ….to date including:
(a) Any correspondence relating to custody arrangements; and
(b) Any documents filed in any court including applications, responses, notices, affidavits, statements and proposed or final orders.
Later the subpoena scope was reduced so as to be limited to:
Applications, responses, affidavits, statements and final orders filed or read in any court proceedings from … to date in respect of any application for parenting orders/custody of your children and/or any dispute relating to parenting orders/custody of your children that relates to your capability to care for your children.
During argument the defendant undertook that access to the documents would be limited to legal practitioners and made a concession that the schedule could be further refined to only seek production of affidavits or statements sworn by the plaintiff in the parenting proceedings.
The Court found that the documents required by the amended subpoena could be relevant to the damages claim, so the subpoena was not set aside.