• A child, let's call him Pete, went to some medical treatment when he was younger than legal age (18).

  • All documents about this treatment were sent to his parents.

  • Pete is now (way) above legal age.

  • The documents are still in (physical) possession of his parents.


  • Are the parents allowed to use or publish these documents? (against Pete's will)
  • Can Pete ask (demand) the parents to hand these documents over to him?

Pete's goals

  • Get hold of at least a copy of these documents.
  • Prevent use (disclosure) of these documents by the parents in any legal process (at court).
  • 1
    What is Pete's goal here? Does he just need a copy of the documents (because he doesn't know what they contain)? Or is he insisting that the parents not be allowed to keep any copies? The latter seems impossible to enforce. Sep 29 '17 at 13:19
  • @NateEldredge I've added a section about Pete's goals. Basically he wants to know whats in these documents and prevent their disclosure in a lawsuit. Sep 29 '17 at 18:38
  • 3
    I doubt that Pete can achieve the last goal in any case. I don't know much about German law, but even if Pete gets the only copy, presumably there is some compulsory process like a subpoena to force him to disclose it. And if Pete destroys all the copies then he is destroying evidence which is likely to be illegal in itself. Sep 29 '17 at 19:31

Probably the medical facilities where Pete was treated retain copies of these documents. Under US law, Pete would be entitled to obtain copies directly from those facilitates. In in any future lawsuit, they could perhaps be obtained by subpoena from that same source. So even if Pete got all copied from his parents, that would not serve goal 2.

I don't know if German law is similar to US law on these points, but I suspect that the documents are retained for many years by the providing facility.

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