CENTENNIAL PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATES, LLC, MICHELLE DAHL, N.P., ROBERT JACK, M.D., AND MICHAEL MURPHY, M.D., Appellants
RYAN CANTRELL, Appellee IN RE CENTENNIAL PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATES, LLC, MICHELLE DAHL, N.P., ROBERT JACK, M.D., AND MICHAEL MURPHY, M.D.,
Appeal from the 164th District Court, Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2017-16896 ORIGINAL PROCEEDING WRIT OF
consists of Justices Christopher, Brown, and Wise.
W. BROWN, JUSTICE.
Tennessee trial court issued a commission permitting
Centennial Psychiatric Associates, LLC, Michelle Dahl, N.P.,
Robert Jack, M.D., and Michael Murphy, M.D. (collectively,
"Centennial") to obtain discovery from Ryan
Cantrell in Texas. After Centennial served a subpoena in
Texas seeking documents from Ryan, Ryan filed an original
petition with the Texas trial court. Ryan moved to quash the
commission and the subpoena and to prohibit Centennial from
seeking any discovery from himself or his wife. Ryan also
requested sanctions for Centennial's alleged discovery
abuse. The trial court quashed the commission and subpoena,
sanctioned Centennial $10, 000 for discovery abuse, and
prohibited any discovery whatsoever from Ryan or his wife.
Centennial filed this appeal and petition for writ of
mandamus. On its own motion, this court consolidated
Centennial's appeal and original proceeding.
determine that the Texas trial court abused its discretion in
quashing the commission and subpoena, sustaining objections
to the fifth request attached to the subpoena, and issuing
sanctions. Therefore, we reverse and vacate this portion of
the trial court's order. We affirm the trial court's
order sustaining Ryan's objections to the other requests
attached to the subpoena. We deny Centennial's petition
for writ of mandamus as moot.
provided healthcare to Ryan Cantrell's brother, Daniel
Cantrell. In 2014, Daniel had a psychotic episode during
which he stabbed his father to death. Daniel was criminally
prosecuted for the murder of his father. Ryan assisted with
Daniel's criminal defense. Daniel's criminal defense
attorney, David Raybin, obtained a forensic image of
Ryan's cellphone to assist in Daniel's
defense. Ryan prepared a 20 page narrative which
included information concerning his communications with
Daniel and others, Daniel's condition, and Daniel's
past episodes going back to 2007. Daniel was acquitted.
the acquittal, Daniel and his mother, Deborah O'Daniel
Cantrell, filed suit against Centennial in Tennessee,
alleging that the incident was caused by Centennial's
medical negligence. In December 2016, Centennial sought a
commission from the Tennessee trial court to subpoena the
deposition of and documents from Ryan Cantrell in Texas. The
proposed commission did not attach a proposed subpoena.
December 16, 2016, the Tennessee court held a two-hour
hearing on a separate issue, Ryan's cellphone image. The
Tennessee court had previously ordered Raybin to produce a
copy of the image to Centennial, but Ryan sought a protective
order to limit the production. Ultimately, the Tennessee
court denied Ryan's request for a protective order,
concluding that because Ryan was not a party, he did not have
standing to ask for a protective order preventing production
of the cellphone image.
the December 16, 2016 hearing was not intended to address
Centennial's application for the commission, Ryan's
counsel raised the issue in the midst of argument concerning
Ryan's cellphone image. Ryan's counsel encouraged the
Tennessee court to enter the commission in the following
Mr. Grams [Ryan's counsel]: If [Centennial] believe[s]
[the production] doesn't comply with the request,
they've got other options to go through, with a motion to
compel, or they can ask him in his deposition and follow up,
you know, after the deposition with either a motion to compel
or additional requests.
. . .
The Court: And no deposition has been taken yet?
Mr. Grams: No deposition has been taken.
And, in fact, Your Honor, there's-there's really an
easy way to-to resolve this all too.
You know, defense counsel has applied for a commission-
The Court: I saw that.
Mr. Grams: -to Texas to subpoena Mr. Cantrell for a
deposition. But they also intend to subpoena emails that he
has that predate, you know, the image that's on the
phone. So this [cellphone] image is really about thirteen
months, from March 2013 to April of 2014.
The Court: And that's the image that attorney David
Mr. Grams: Right.
The Court: -prepared?
Mr. Grams: Right.
The Court: And-for his defense in the criminal case?
Mr. Grams: Correct.
So they already intend to go to Texas and get a subpoena for
emails that he may have elsewhere on a personal computer or
something that Mr. Cantrell used to provide other information
to Mr. Raybin.
The Court: Now, while you're talking about that, my
assistant just showed me the order. It's not an agreed
order, and under our local rules, I hold an order for three
Mr. Grams: Right.
The Court: -pending possibility of a competing order. The
third day I think will be up Monday, and I'll be here
Monday, and I'll sign that order Monday, unless you want
me to sign it earlier. Or do y'all care?
Mr. Grams: No, I mean, at this point, that's what we
want, Your Honor.
The Court: Okay.
Mr. Grams: We want-we want Mr. Cantrell to have the
protections that are provided by the rules of civil procedure
that should have been done way back when this whole issue of
the image started. We want them to subpoena-to issue that
subpoena so that, you know, he can have the protection of the
rules of civil procedure, so . . .
The Court: So I'll go ahead and sign it?
Mr. Grams: Yeah.
The Court: All right. Good.
Mr. Grams: Yeah, that's . . .
The Court: I'll sign it when-
Mr. Haubenreich [Centennial's counsel]: There was no
objection from the parties, Mr. Clayton and Mr. Cummings and
The Court: Yeah, I saw there was no objection, there just
couldn't be any agreement.
Mr. Haubenreich: My understanding was they wanted to be real
careful that they-
The Court: Yes.
Mr. Haubenreich: -weren't waiving anything.
The Court: I understand.
Mr. Haubenreich: They said we don't-right, we don't
oppose it, a little worried about agreeing to it. I said,
that's fine. That's why ...