Physical and Mental Examinations

AuthorJennifer Duncan-Brice
Chapter 24
Physical and mental
Definitions: An examination pursuant to SCR 215 (a “Rule 215 exam”) is a medical examination conducted by
the discovering party’s examiner. The examinee is a person whose physical or mental condition is in controversy.
Process: A Rule 215 examination is not an entitlement. To compel the examinee to submit to the exam, the dis-
coverer must secure either the examinee’s consent in a stipulation or the court’s order. The examiner need not be
a physician but may be done by a licensed professional.
In addition to the exam, Rule 215 requires the examiner to provide a duplicate original of examiner’s report to
the examinee within 21 days of the examination.
Scope of Chapter: How to obtain physical and mental examinations; prerequisites for a court order for an
examination; the conduct of the examination; the exchange of reports of examining physicians; sample forms.
Strategies and Tactics:
Both parties: To promote efficiency, predictability and control, handle Rule 215 examinations by stipulation
rather than by motion.
Discoverer’s counsel: Before your physician conducts a Rule 215 exam, wait until (1) the examinee’s injuries
have stabilized, and (2) you have reviewed the examinee’s medical records and deposed the examinee. Select
a physician who will make a good trial witness. After the exam, provide a copy of the examiner’s report to the
examinee and the examinee’s attorney within 21 days following the completion of the exam.
Examinee’s counsel: Narrow the scope of the examination pursuant to the “in controversy” requirement. Then,
monitor the examination itself to assure that (1) the examination doesn’t exceed its authorized scope, and (2) the
conclusions in the subsequent report are based on conditions that were actually examined.
Statutes and Rules: SCR 215; 735 ILCS 5/2-1003; FRCP 35.
Related Topics: Motion Practice, Ch 14; All Discovery, Ch 20; Depositions, Ch 23; Interrogatories, Ch 25.
Forms: See digital access for the following forms:
Form 24:10, Stipulation for Physical Examination.
Form 24:20, Motion for Physical (or Mental) Examination.
Form 24:30, Order for Physical (or Mental) Examination.
Form 24:40, Motion to Compel Physical Examination.
Form 24:50, Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Motion to Compel Examination.
Form 24:60, Sample Letter - Request for Examiner’s Report.
IllInoIs PretrIal PractIce 24-140
I. General Points
A. Overview
§24:01 The Process
§24:02 Advantages
§24:03 Disadvantages
§24:04 Governing Law
§24:05 Constitutionality
§24:06 Which Civil Actions
§24:07 No Limit on Number
§24:08 Multiple or Subsequent Exams
§24:09 Impartial Exams
§24:10 Rule 215 Controls Over Statutory Provisions
B. Who Is Subject to Exam
§24:20 Plaintiffs
§24:21 Defendants
§24:30 Minors and Incompetents
§24:31 Agents and Employees
§24:32 Non-Parties Not Controlled by Parties
C. Preliminary Considerations
§24:40 Timing With Other Discovery
§24:41 Which Exams to Request
§24:42 Obtaining Previous Records
§24:43 Producing Previous Records
II. Logistics of Exams
A. Overview
§24:50 Must Be Stated in Order
§24:51 Should Be Stated in Stipulation
B. Examiner
§24:60 Physician or Non-Physician?
§24:61 Impartial Exams
§24:62 Illinois License Not Required
§24:63 Suitable Expertise Required
§24:64 Opposite-Gender Examiner
§24:65 Selecting the Right Examiner
§24:70 Investigating Designee
§24:71 Discoverer’s Choice Not Absolute
§24:72 Grounds for Rejecting Designee

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