Can a psychologist bill me when subpoenaed in a court case (child custody hearing) when not an expert witness?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Rome, GA

court case has already been tried, and now have received a bill from my son's psychologist. he was subpoenaed and not an expert witness in the case.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Horace Kimbrell Sawyer III

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, it may be a matter of contract. Second, whether he or she was qualified as an expert witness may have nothing to do with the contract with you. Sometimes court decline to deem a witness a so called expert because of procedural or legal issues, not the quality of the witnesses job and qualifications.

    No attorney-client relationship implied or accepted without a signed fee agreement. This response is theoretical... more
  2. Rebecca B. Phalen

    Contributor Level 6


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Assuming, as you seem to indicate in your clarification, that there is no contract between you and the doctor, then OCGA 24-10-24 governs. Any witness who testifies in response to a subpoena is entitled to a $25 witness fee for that day. If the doctor has been paid that witness fee, then you can ask the doctor--in writing--on what he bases his fee. I am not aware of a statutory right that the doctor would have to being paid his regular rate for testifying under subpoena power.

    This answer is not intended to provide legal advice or to be a solicitation. Legal information contained in this... more
  3. Norman Antonio Stiteler

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Typically, therapists do not like to get involved in family situations involving a marital dispute for this reason, they know they will be subpoenaed to appear, by one side or the other, be expected to testify as a 'non-expert' (even though they are being presented as a sort of 'semi-expert') and not get paid for their time. The individuals creating the subpoena rationalize this by pretending that the therapists don’t really do anything but talk. My sympathy is with the therapist.

    As noted by the earlier answer, most experienced therapists are familiar with this ‘ploy’ and as a condition of providing the therapy, require the responsible party sign a document that spells out the responsibility of the party to reimburse them for their time.

    I am licensed in New Mexco and Pennsylvania, and therefore any discussion of issues related to other states must... more

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