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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    9

    Default Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    My question involves a speeding ticket from a national park ranger. I was issued 36 CFR 4.21 (c) for speeding. I asked for trial and am trying due process defense by asking for information to prepare for trial (court is US District Court). I sent a detailed discovery subpoena to the prosecution asking for under FOIA among other things ranger's ticket notes, SMD calibration/testing proof, tuning fork calibration/testing proof, officer's training record, department guidelines/operator manual, witness list. I sent this letter by certified mail and requested to respond within 10 calendar days (the trial is in couple of weeks after the deadline). The prosecution didn't respond within that timeframe but on the 12th day after their receipt of my discovery subpoena sent an "email" to me with only 3 documents (officer's ticket, tuning fork testing proof, SMD testing proof) out of which the last two documents are completely unreadable since they were scanned in.

    My question is what federal law/case should I refer to specifically in my defense to the court (I plan to write to them before the trial to save time by not having to go out of state for the trial) to request motion to dismiss for not following "due process" by the prosecution by not responding within my reasonable timeline and not submitting all the necessary documents (which are legible) to prepare for my defense?

    thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    Discovery is not a FOIA request. The prosecutor has no obligation to obtain for you documents that you could as easily obtain on your own initiative. If you are having problems with copies of documents that the prosecutor provided, you may inquire about getting replacement copies or if you can schedule an appointment to examine the originals.

    State law is irrelevant to federal court. What provision of federal law or of the FRCP are you alleging was violated by the prosecutor, and how did that materially impact your ability to present a defense? If you believe you are due discovery, why haven't you brought a motion to compel?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    I am claiming that I am being denied Due Process under the Fifth Amendment by not being provided documents within reasonable deadlines by the prosecution. I have already written to prosecution again that the two of the documents they provided were not legible. The prosecution has not even provided me the witness list which I requested and I have in writing from them that they will have witnesses on the trial date, how can I obtain this of my own since only prosecution has access to this?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    Again, you can't simply demand documents and expect the prosecutor to obtain them for you. If the prosecutor has them, you can obtain discovery - and it does appear that the prosecutor gave you copies of the documents you requested that were in his file. But the prosecutor is not your investigator, and has no obligation to affirmatively seek out and provide documents not in his possession that you can obtain by yourself.

    What makes you think the prosecutor has any witness to call other than the officer who ticketed you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    Prosecutor emailed me stating if I am going to be coming for this out of state trial he needs to notify "his witnesses", but he did not specify who they are in his discovery response to me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    615

    Default Re: Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    What makes you think the prosecutor has any witness to call other than the officer who ticketed you?
    Wouldn't that one officer then be the witness the prosecutor should provide to the defendant? Singular or plural, I'd say there still is an obligation to respond.

    OP- how could they possibly have your email address??? You didn't give it to them, did you? You should have served the subpoena on the officer, and discovery on the prosecutor. Prosecutor is only obligated to give you the records he will be using- the officer has other records you may want.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    Prosecutor called me after the discovery response timeline had expired (I had asked for response within 10 calendar days) and asked me for my email address to send the documents requested. So looks like the ray of hope here is the fact that prosecutor did not provide the witness list (even though he confirmed in his email response that he will have them for the trial) to me as per the discovery request timeline. I would say sloppy prosecution work so far that he did not even send a proper written response to me for my discovery other than the short and incomplete email response.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Federal Court Due Process Speeding Defense

    To put closure on this, Prosecutor called me two days before the court date to confirm I was coming since the court said the judge will consider motion to dismiss only during/on the trial date (sounded obviously like a prosecution friendly court since previously they had told me the motion to dismiss will be considered prior to the trial date). So I asked prosecution if he will agree to 50% of the fine and he said fine (being out of state it does not go on driving records). Glad to put that one behind while saving some on the fine. Thanks for the forum's help.

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