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Tennessee Prisoner Wrongly Denied Medical Records

LaTasha Marie Whittington-Barrett (Barrett), a transsexual Tennessee state
prisoner, asked guards at the Northeast Correctional Complex to allow her
to review and copy her medical and psychiatric files in conjunction with a
lawsuit she intended to file. She was allowed access to only two of six
files, and filed suit in state court seeking an order directing the guards
to allow her access to all of the files under Tennessee Department of
Corrections Rule G5. The trial court granted summary judgment for the
guards, holding that Barrett was granted adequate access to the records,
and she appealed.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Knoxville recognized that
Rule G5 authorized Barrett to have copies of all her requested records for
litigation purposes. It then found that Barrett's uncontroverted assertion
that she was allowed access to only two of the six files created a genuine
issue of material fact sufficient to overcome summary judgment. The court
thus vacated the trial court's summary judgment and remanded the case. See:
Whittington-Barrett v. Hayes, Tennessee Court of Appeals, (unpublished),
2002 WL 562194.

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