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Are questions about processing times of legal procedures on-topic?

Example: What is the processing time for a HIPAA complaint filed with Office for Civil Rights?

What is the processing time for a HIPAA complaint filed with Office for Civil Rights?

I filed one two months ago (a lab who performed a blood test on a patient failed to send the results to the patient no later than 30 days from the date of patient's request), but I haven't heard back from the Office for Civil Rights.

The help page seems to say "Dealing with legal professionals" and "Legal process " are on-topic, but I am not sure whether it includes processing times of legal procedures.

  • My only concern would be if the questions morphed over time to "How long does it take for a case to make its way through the Ninth Circuit?" or "How long should this case take?" as these would have answers that vary on a case by case basis and also could vary over time. For questions of procedural processing times I'd feel that they were on topic. – Jason Aller May 20 '16 at 2:17
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To my mind, questions about timing have two dimensions:

  1. What is the time permitted/required to do X?
  2. What are the consequences if a person required to do X doesn't do X within the time required?

These are both legitimate legal questions and fit with the site.

What doesn't fit are "treasure hunt" type questions where the question is posed without any supporting details about how the timing or consequences are or should be determined.

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I'll offer that questions about processing times of procedures are on topic when both of these conditions are met: #1, the court or government has clearly violated their own stated time frames for the processes; and #2, after they have been queried a number of times, the court or government has given an inadequate reason for the delay, admitted to a mistake (lost paperwork, lost email, etc.), indicated that a good percentage of all their processes are behind schedule, or they have given no reason at all for the delay.

Until you've called/written/emailed a number of times and gotten a substantive answer for the delay which points to an issue with that court or government and their processes - or not gotten any sort of substantive answer for the delay and want to ask for advice about the next step - it's still an issue between you and them, and not really something a discussion at LSE can help with.

  • "the court or government has clearly violated their own stated time frames for the processes" -> so can we ask for what the stated time frames for a process is? – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 8 '16 at 5:17
  • "so can we ask for what the stated time frames for a process is?" Those will be different in each instance; the only way to get an accurate answer is ask the court or government itelf in question. LSE can't possibly cover all those bases. – BlueDogRanch Feb 8 '16 at 16:42
  • Some procedures have some clear time frames. E.g., egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 8 '16 at 16:47
  • Your questions don't have much to do with if these procedures have clear time frames; any govt or court will have clear time frames, by law. Refer to those entities for their time frames, not an informal forum like LSE. Your question has to do with if they have abided by those time frames with your submissions; again, until such govt or court has given you a specific answer as to why they have not followed - or been able to follow - their own time frames, you have no question to ask here. – BlueDogRanch Feb 8 '16 at 16:56
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Processing times, either empirical or theoretical, are one important component of legal processes. As such, inquiring about them is on-topic, just like it is on expat SE.

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