Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    26

    Default Reverse Discovery: Can the State Request Discovery from the Defendent

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: New Jersey

    I was served with a complaint-summons for Improper Passing (NJ Title 39:4-85) and ultimately took the matter to Trial which was held yesterday. I'm an undergraduate law student, so getting a ticket was more of an enlightening opportunity to engage in real-world proceedings than an inconvenience.

    During my cross-examination of the officer, I had asked if he was in any way distracted or if he took his eyes off my vehicle from the moment of first contact until he had pulled me over. His answer was obviously no. I had then introduced two exhibits (a CAD report and citation) that were issued to another motorist TEN SECONDS subsequent to mine. A ten-second gap between incidents is obviously indicative of distraction, which was in contravention to what the officer had previously said.

    The prosecutor obviously objected claiming that she received no advance notice that I would be presenting such evidence.

    I immediately then said that I never received a Discovery request from the prosecutor.

    She laughed, and said to the Judge that Discovery requests from the State-Defendant are unheard of and not procedural.

    The Judge cited a case and said to the prosecutor that albeit not conventional, State-Defendant Discovery is a valid pre-trial option and should have been exercised if the Prosecution wanted to obtain all evidence the Defendent would use at Trial.

    The Prosecutor's objection was overruled, my evidence admitted, and coupled with a bunch of other tricky tactics to elicit the officer's lack of recollection during my cross-examination - I ultimately had the ticket dismissed.

    The Judge and Prosecution spent a lot of time deliberating State-Defendant Discovery (as an objection to the admissibility of my evidence).

    What is the Case Law relevant to State to Defendant Discovery?

    I understand that before trial, it is conventional for the prosecutor to go over evidence with you and either be in stipulation or oppose. But what if the prosecutor neglects/forgets to discuss evidence with you before trial?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,901

    Default Re: Reverse Discovery: Can the State Request Discovery from the Defendent

    In a civil matter, either side can obviously file discovery against another (really doesn't matter if one party is the state or not). I've never heard of it in a traffic case.
    In a criminal matter (or something smelling like it), you still can't be compelled to give testimony against yourself, but a subpeoena or search warrant obviously can be issued to obtain pre-trial evidence (such as blood tests, etc...).
    I suppose they could have asked for advanced notice of witnesses or exhibits, but since they didn't the worst thing that's going to happen is perhaps a continuance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Reverse Discovery: Can the State Request Discovery from the Defendent

    Assuming we're talking about municipal court, see Rule 7:7-7.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Reverse Discovery: Can the State Request Discovery from the Defendent

    I don't believe your "evidence" was discoverable anyway. It's only use was to impeach the testimony of the officer. Had the officer stated that he had, indeed, been distracted, you would not have had to use it. However, if I'm reading it correctly, even in the rule that Mr. KIA cited, discovery from a defendant seems to be contingent upon a "cross-complaint".

    Just my $.02

    Barry

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Discovery: What to Request in Discovery
    By ESteve in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-09-2010, 04:27 PM
  2. Speeding Tickets: Washington State Speeding Inquiry - Request for Discovery
    By vishnew in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-18-2009, 03:41 PM
  3. Discovery: Request Regarding Discovery
    By judymko in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-10-2009, 01:20 PM
  4. Discovery: How to Request for Trial De Novo, and Request Informal Discovery
    By scheng in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-29-2009, 02:44 PM
  5. Discovery: Washington State Request for Discovery
    By cam123240 in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-26-2008, 04:52 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources