Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Court of Appeal Blocks Criminal's Attempt to Bypass Pitchess

In People v. Davis (Cal. Ct. App., June 12, 2014) 14 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6496, an appeals court held a convicted criminal could not bypass the Pitchess process on appeal.  The defendant attempted to get access to a peace officer's personnel file to try to claim the court made a mistake when it did not grant a Pitchess motion before trial.  The court decided he did not have a right to independent appellate review concerning a post-judgment Brady order. 

Instead, the court decided even in cases where a defendant can get discovery after a trial, he must comply with the Pitchess v. Superior Court, procedure and requirements.  The requirements include showing that the discovery sought is material to pending litigation.