Compelling Disclosure of Records by State Grand Jury

In State ex rel. Boone Retirement Ctr. v. Hamilton (946 SW2d 740 [Mo]) the Supreme Court of Missouri held that "the privilege created by the Congress in the referenced statute bars a state grand jury from compelling disclosure of records of a quality assurance committee" (946 SW2d at 741). In Boone, a Grand Jury investigating allegations of criminal neglect in the care of residents of a nursing facility issued a subpoena directing the production of any and all records and reports generated by or submitted to the quality assurance committee during a two-year period. The Missouri Supreme Court concluded that the use of the word "State" in establishing the privilege signaled an intent by Congress to prohibit "the whole of the functional, legal entity organized to act as a government" (946 SW2d at 742), and therefore a state Grand Jury, from compelling disclosure of records generated by quality assurance committees but not to materials created outside those committees and submitted to them for review.