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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Requesting Discovery, Re-Scheduling Court Date

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Washington (Federal Way Municipal Court, King County)


    I received a speeding ticket on 06/29, which I feel was wrongfully issued (51 in a 40 zone...I don't believe I was speeding). I requested a Contested hearing, and today (07/24) received my court date in the mail: 08/11.

    I plan to file a Request of Discovery, which I am aware, by law, must be made at least 14 days before the date of hearing. A pink paper was enclosed with my Notice of Hearing, stating the following rights:

    "...The right to request from the prosecutor a witness list and a copy of the citing officer's sworn statement if it will be offered into evidence at the hearing. You must make the request in writing at least 30 days before the hearing, and the witness list and citing officer's sworn statement should be given to you at least 7 days before the hearing..."

    Is it possible that the Federal Way court has its own laws stating a much earlier required deadline to serve? If so, is it possible for me to re-schedule my hearing to allow time for Discovery (the hearing date is only 17 days from today, and only 21 days from the date on the actual, green, Notice of Hearing paper, meaning the thing didn't even get sent out within the 30 day time period)?

    Thank you for any reply, and sorry if I sound like a no0b...I'm really in the dark here about the proper procedures for something like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Requesting Discovery, Re-Scheduling Court Date

    http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules...eid=cljirlj6.6

    Currently, the ONLY discovery you can do is to request a witness list & copies of affidavits in the state of washington.

    Now, the rules also allow a document for the SMD, like so:
    IRLJ 6.6
    SPEED MEASURING DEVICE: DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
    CERTIFICATION


    (a) In General. This rule applies only to contested hearings
    in traffic infraction cases.

    (b) Speed Measuring Device Certificate; Form. In the absence
    of proof of a request on a separate pleading to produce an
    electronic or laser speed measuring device (SMD) expert served on
    the prosecuting authority and filed with the clerk of the court
    at least 30 days prior to trial or such lesser time as the court
    deems proper, a certificate in substantially the following form
    is admissible in lieu of an expert witness in any court
    proceeding in which the design and construction of an electronic
    or laser speed measuring device (SMD) is an issue:

    CERTIFICATION CONCERNING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
    OF ELECTRONIC SPEED MEASURING DEVICES OR LASER
    SPEED MEASURING DEVICES

    The full text is linked in the first line.

    I see issues with the WA court rules. In Melendez-Diaz v. State of Mass. SCOTUS ruling; it appears as if the WA rules run into conflict with the recent SCOTUS ruling. Clearly the affidavits of the cop & SMD expert are obtained to convict a motorist. Yet under Melendez, the witnesses likely would need to testify and that the motorist should not have to supenoa the person to show up. The state of WA has quite a racket going on with their narrowly focused discovery rules & evidence rules and these rules are designed to take away the motorists due process rights. Why can you not depose the officer? Why can you not ask for documents related to the affidavits? I dont see any court cases in WA (from the post-Melendez time of 2008) that speak to these issues.

    If I were a defendant, I would make a request to depose the cop, make a request for production of documents, make a request to file a motion to admit, make a request for interrogatories (pre-trial motion to the court to allow these discovery items to move forward). When denied (and likely would be); then at trial object to anything the prosecution says, does, breathes to keep the issues alive for an appeal.

    The burden should not be upon you to prove your innocence but upon the state to prove your guilt. Not having the ability to easily cross examine witnesses, having ghost witnesses which you cannot question, etc.

    The WA process is violative of our due process rights; formalizing them makes no difference. No other civil processes are like this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Requesting Discovery, Re-Scheduling Court Date

    Have you read this thread?

    Federal Way's local court rules are here. I've not looked through all of them, but I did look at the ones that appear relevant and I'm not seeing support for a thirty day requirement for discovery. Take a look and see what you can find. At the same time, if you can serve your request within thirty days, why not do that?

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