Legal recourse against gvmt. agency not abiding by "opt out" provisions?

My sister-in-law, a registered nurse, has requested that the state licensing board not disclose her name to third parties, per its “opt out” privacy standard.

Despite sending the board several letters, e-mails, and telephone calls in which the personnel each time claimed to have flagged her name–even when she has been on the telephone with them–yesterday the office informed her that her file had never been flagged for non-disclosure, meaning that her identifying information had been sold to third parties, despite her written request that this not be done. To make matters worse, she has been stalked by a former patient and had asked the board to conceal all pertinent information for this very reason.

Problem is, on several earlier occassions, this same board insisted they had taken care of matters and flagged her file, when this never happened. Today they said they had corrected the matter, but their claim is no more believable than earlier ones.

She wants them to detail this in writing. In the meantime, does she have any legal recourse? Can she sue a government regulatory board for privacy violation?

In theory? She has a mandamus action against the governmental body to compel it to remove her information, if removal is clearly required under the state’s privacy law. No claim for damages at present (how has she been harmed?), and there are possible governmental immunities that might prevent a damages claim even if she were to be harmed.

I suppose it’s possible that your sister’s state privavcy statute may create an additional remedy, but I have no clue where that is, and probably wouldn’t know anything about its privacy laws.

Sounds very frustrating for your sister. If I were her, I’d write some detailed letters chronicling the series of futile requests, with copies sent to the head of the agency.

IAAL, but not your lawyer. This is general information and not meant to be reliable legal advice in your state. See a lawyer licensed there for that.

You also might want to remind your sister-in-law to get the full name of each person she talks to, along with the date and times of each conversation, if she hasn’t done this already.