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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Request for Discovery - Correct Forms and Agencies to Send to

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: California

    I lost my TBD for the citation referenced in the following post (3rd post in this thread):
    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/show...ghlight=22450a

    I've read through pages of posts regarding request for discovery, and I just want to make sure I'm doing this correctly and using the most updated forms and processes.

    I should send Request for Discovery to:
    Issuing agency - Los Angeles Police Department
    LA County District Attorney - Steve Cooley
    Anyone else?? Maybe the Los Angeles Metropolitan Court? They're the agency that has sent me all my paperwork thus far (e.g. citation papers, decision of TBD, etc.)

    Should I be using these forms?
    http://www.helpigotaticket.com/proc/discover.html

    And if so...
    - Do I send the "Basic" template form to both the LAPD and the LA County District Attorney (and possibly the Metropolitan Courthouse as well)
    - I don't need the "Cover Letter", correct? (It states that I've already had contact with their office, which I haven't)
    - Do I need to inform the LAPD that I've also submitted discovery request to the DA, and vice versa?
    - Do I have to include the "Proof of Service", and do I send it to all agencies to which I send the Discovery Request? I Googled Proof of Service form and there seem to be a plethora of them. I just want to make sure I'm using the correct form and having someone else fill it out correctly. The proof of service form on helpigotaticket looks pretty informal.
    - Assuming I use the basic form, do I need to request any additional information on that form other than what's listed? The template requests:
    "A list of all witnesses for the prosecution."
    "A copy of all of Officer <Officer’s name>’s notes on this case including copies of the front and back of the officer’s copy of the ticket."
    Do I need to add a bullet point that request the officers declaration from the TBD? How exactly would that be worded?

    Thanks in advance for the advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Request for Discovery - Correct Forms and Agencies to Send to

    If you properly serve your request upon both the prosecutor's office and the ticketing agency, you should be covered. The prosecutor's office may respond that it's not their responsibility to handle discovery. The court isn't responsible to answer a discovery request. A proof of service is filed with the court to reflect when and how you served other parties' with documents; copies of the proof of service are sent to the other parties. You would need to request whatever it is you hope to obtain; that can be case-specific.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Request for Discovery - Correct Forms and Agencies to Send to

    Wow, I had a really interesting day at the courthouse today. I went to the Los Angeles Metropolitan courthouse to get a copy of the officer's statement from the TBD - according to my TBD Decision and Notice of Decision, "the court's decision was entered on: 05/06/2011." That means the officer completed his declaration over a month ago.

    I went up to the window and asked for access and copies of the officer's declaration and other other case documents. Other than my request for TBD and a copy of my ticket, there was nothing in the file. The clerk was nice (even if not helpful). I asked her why the officer's declaration wasn't there and when I might expect it to be there. Of course she had no idea (understandable) but then she said sometimes judges make a decision without even having a declaration from the officer. I asked her, "so that means not only do I not know when it will be filed, I don't even know if there will be an officer declaration filed, because there may not even be one?", to which she answered, "correct". (There goes everyone's theory that tickets may be dropped if the officer fails to respond.)

    After taking up more than 5 minutes of the clerk's time, the clerk next to her (who seemed like a supervisor) came over and went into a sassy rant about how they "didn't owe me anything" and how I needed to "get out of the way because other customers were waiting" and I was "wasting their time." I asked her if she had any idea how long it might be if there was a declaration to be filed. She told me the copy department is backed up 8 months. Assuming I'll get a speedy trial within 45 days, 8 months clearly falls outside of that. Those are the highlights, though I have omitted some of the clerks more entertaining, unfriendly comments.

    So my question - can I/should I include in the request for discovery a copy of the officer's TBD statement. Because this information is public record, it's assumed I'll get it from the courthouse, but obviously that's not happening.

    My other question - I noticed on all of the discovery request templates that they require me to submit information I have and may want to use in court. Do I have to do this now? If there are statements, photos, anything else, etc. I want to use in court, can I supply them later, or am I REQUIRED to submit them when I request discovery? Personally, I'm a little annoyed about having to hand everything of mine over without getting anything in return. At the end of the day, if I lose it will suck, but it's not the end of the world. I'm just shocked to see how convoluted and non-defendant friendly the whole process is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Request for Discovery - Correct Forms and Agencies to Send to

    If the court entered its decision on May 6, then it apparently decided your case on that date with or without the officer's statement. Did the court in fact decide the case on May 6 and, if so, what was its decision and why didn't you receive notice of that decision (if you know)?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Request for Discovery - Correct Forms and Agencies to Send to

    My TBD Notice of Decision form says the decision was "entered" on May 6th. The certificate of mailing on the back side of the "Decision and Notice of Decision" form was not filled out, but they wrote at the bottom that it was sent May 20th. They actually mailed it (proven by USPS postmark) on May 23, and I received it a few days after that. It says I'm guilty. I filed a request for Trial De Novo a few days ago. I went to the court today (June 10th) to get a copy of the officer's statement from the TBD and they do not have it. That means 1 of 2 things.
    1. He didn't fill one out.
    2. He did, but it could take months (up to 8 according to the clerk) for it to be filed in my case file. How long does it take to take a piece of paper and put it in a file???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Request for Discovery - Correct Forms and Agencies to Send to

    If it's not in the file for the trial de novo, perhaps it remains in the file for the TBD?

    Do the docket / calendar entries from the TBD reflect that a statement was filed with the court?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Request for Discovery - Correct Forms and Agencies to Send to

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    If it's not in the file for the trial de novo, perhaps it remains in the file for the TBD?
    Considering the court received my request for a Trial de Novo a couple of days ago, I'm 99.9% certain there is no file for it yet. When I went in today I was asking for documents pertaining to the TBD.

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    Do the docket / calendar entries from the TBD reflect that a statement was filed with the court?
    As far as I understood, the clerk just said there wasn't one in THE file. She wasn't able to see whether it was filed or not.

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