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?