04/07/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
Rush Limbaugh's attorney Roy Black argued in a Palm Beach County, Fla., appeals court on Wednesday that the radio host's medical records should remain sealed from prosecutors, who accuse him of illegally buying prescription drugs.
Black also called the investigators' surprise raid on Limbaugh's doctors' offices, to take the records, unlawful. "The Legislature said you can't do a wholesale seizure and hope to find evidence of a crime," Black said. "You'd have to stand privacy on its head."
But prosecutor Jim Martz, saying that the Legislature has protected law enforcement's ability to conduct criminal investigations, claimed that giving notice would have limited the ability to investigate allegations that Limbaugh illegally "doctor shopped" to obtain pain pills, visiting several doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions, reports the Associated Press.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal did not say when it will release a ruling. But if the appeal succeeds, the criminal case against the conservative commentator could be stalled for good.
Conversely, if the appeal is denied, prosecutors will be able to move forward with the case that they have been waiting months to try.
Last November, prosecutors reportedly seized Limbaugh's medical records after learning that he allegedly received about 2,000 painkillers (prescribed by four doctors in six months) at a pharmacy near his Palm Beach mansion.
Limbaugh, 53, has not been charged with a crime. He acknowledged on the air that he sought treatment for his self-admitted addiction in October.
He also has accused Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer, a Democrat, of going after him for political gain and of violating his privacy rights.