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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default Washington Speeding Ticket Discovery Response

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Washington
    County of: Mason

    Hello forum experts,

    Background
    I received a speeding ticket on 29DEC13 driving on SR3 between Shelton and Belfair. I was traveling N/B and the WSP officer was traveling S/B in the opposite direction on a two-lane hwy. I promptly pulled over at the nearest safe turnout and was polite and courteous during the whole encounter. The officer first asked me if I knew how fast I was going. I replied that I did not since I was looking at the road and not the speedometer when he passed me. The officer alleged that he clocked me doing 67 and asked if I knew what the speed limit was. I told him I thought the speed limit was 55, which was correct. He said that because of the foggy conditions there was moisture on the roads and it wasn't safe for me to be going that fast. He stated that there were also deer in the forest and that he had seen 'two accidents' that morning on the same road where cars hit deer. He said that he had to give me a ticket but that he would give it to me for 5 over instead of 12 over but that all the details of my actual speed and the conditions would be on his report. I was polite and accepted the ticket and tried to be as forgettable as possible.

    Action
    I immediately decided that I would be fighting the ticket because A. I don't believe I was going 67 B. I wasn't driving in an unsafe manner C. Feel that I got targeted because I was an out-of-towner and D. Disagree with the WSP's use of citizens as an ATM to fund the government.

    I filed for a contested hearing and received a date of 24FEB. After reading the forum I decided to submit a request for discovery thanks to Blewis' excellent guide. I created the document and mailed it CRR on 10FEB to the Mason County Prosecutor and Clerk. They received it 14FEB. I did not receive their response until 21FEB but think I may have messed up by sending it to late. I think it needed to be received by them 14 days before the court date. I decided not to summon the officer at the suggestion of many posts on this forum.

    Response
    Below are links to my discovery request and their response. There is nothing related to the SMD used in the citation and the officers statement is very short. Is this a cause for dismissal?

    I also found it odd that they used the response as a discovery request to me for a list of my witnesses. I wont be responding as this was received 4 days before the court date.

    Experts, please review this infraction and discovery response and let me know if there is anything you would pursue in court.


    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6r...VRQbnJiZVVvczQ
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6r...2F4YnRqZXhGSUU

    Thanks so much in advance! This forum has been extremely helpful

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,813

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    Piece of advice, don't wait for the day before your appearance in court and ask for help. There is no guarantee one of the WA experts will drop in to see it.

    That being said, is that all you received? There was nothing else for the officer's report/statement?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    No comprehensive officers report or SMD info in your info. Motion to dismiss for lack of evidence. The officer has not indicated the SMD number, type or whether it was calibrated before and after his shift or its tuning forks or whether its calibration sequence was followed. Further you cannot ascertain whether the unit itself ever passed factory or periodic calibration without an SMD number. He has not indicated he did a visual estimation or whether he established a clear lock on your vehicle.

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

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    WOW! It's been a long time since I've seen such an unprofessional "sworn statement". Good for you for NOT subpoenaing the officer. I would say something like this: Your Honor, I move to suppress any evidence of speed due to lack of proper foundation. Officer so-and-so has failed to specify the serial number of the SMD unit he allegedly used to "clock" my speed. Furthermore, he does not indicate that he visually estimated my speed. I further move for dismissal due to lack of evidence.

    This SHOULD be a slam-dunk. Man, I am embarrassed for this officer. That's REALLY sad!

    Barry
    Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    Thank you so much for your input and commitment to helping those on this forum. When I called the clerk to ask about the correct mailing address for the discovery she asked for the citation number and took a quick look at it while we were on the phone and said something like "Wow, I've never seen one this short before". I double checked that none of the pages had anything else and there was nothing else in the envelope that I received... that's it. 3 single sided pages. Nothing about the SMD in what I received.

    I will let you all know of the outcome after tomorrow's court. Feeling very lucky that the officer was so haphazard with his sworn statement. I assume since I was polite and from out-of-town he thought I would never contest it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,534

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    Quote Quoting blewis
    View Post
    Man, I am embarrassed for this officer. That's REALLY sad!

    Barry
    Even though OP was kind enough to black out the officer’s info as well as his own, I too am embarrassed for this officer…and I’m a fellow WA State officer! I sincerely hope that this was a simple oversight (the officer has to manually attach the digital file containing his statement to the SECTOR citation before doing a “send/receive” to the court…maybe he just forgot to attach it?) and not a routine example of this officer’s work.
    Behind the badge is a person. Behind the person is an ego. This is as it should be, person at the center and ego to the back.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    Quote Quoting PTPD22
    View Post
    Even though OP was kind enough to black out the officer’s info as well as his own, I too am embarrassed for this officer…and I’m a fellow WA State officer! I sincerely hope that this was a simple oversight (the officer has to manually attach the digital file containing his statement to the SECTOR citation before doing a “send/receive” to the court…maybe he just forgot to attach it?) and not a routine example of this officer’s work.
    Let's hope. Oh, PTPD22, do you remember when you first came here, you were looking for help to create a "template" for a traffic infraction "sworn statement"? Well, this AIN'T it. LOL!

    Barry
    Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    With your help and input I was successful in getting my case "Dismissed without prejudice"!

    The judge first offered everyone an opportunity to defer if they were eligible, a few takers. A few people changed their case to mitigated and the judge heard their explanations and lowered their fines a bit. The first few contested cases everyone without an attorney lost, I was very surprised with their weak defenses and nonsense excuses. No prosecutor present in the court room.

    The judge calls me up. I tell her I have a motion, she says go ahead and I state "Your Honor, I move to suppress any evidence of speed due to lack of proper foundation. Trooper Merritt has failed to specify the serial number and model of the speed measuring device he allegedly used to clock my speed. Furthermore, he does not indicate that he visually estimated my speed. I further move for dismissal due to lack of evidence." as Barry suggested.

    She asks if I got the officers statement through discovery and I replied that I had. She asks to take a look at it and I show it to her. She says that the State had provided her with a complete report including "much more", I told her that's all I received and that "IRLJ 3.1 (b) states if the prosecuting authority, without reasonable excuse or justification, fails to provide any portion of the discovery prior to the day of the hearing, the portion of discovery not provided shall be suppressed."

    She says that she will "dismiss without prejudice" but that the State has the option to reopen the case though it is "very unlikely". she gives me a written receipt that says "Dismiss without prejudice: defendants discovery received from the prosecutor does not include WSP Speed Case Report which includes details of stop & radar unit".

    I assume that if the state does decide to "reopen" the case there would be many hurdles for them to jump and that they would likely not prevail. Probably not worth their time/effort for a traffic ticket.

    Thanks Barry!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Washington Speeding Ticket: Discovery Response Please Review

    Congratulations! Good job! Way to follow up with the IRLJ 3.1 (b) reference.

    Thanks for letting us know -- many people don't bother....

    Barry
    Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?

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