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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    5

    Default Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accepts Requests for Discovery

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Washington.

    My court date for contested hearing on a traffic infraction for going 70mph in 60mph(on I-5) by pacing is on the 27th. I submitted my request for discovery 14 days prior to hearing date on the 13th via certified mail. On the 13th, i submitted 2 letters. One for the court and one for the prosecutor's office.

    Today I got home and checked my mail, the letter i sent to the court was returned to me with yellow tags on the letter saying "return to sender, unable to forward". I called up the court and ask them what does this mean. They told me they have no idea, and my submission date was insufficient for the process anyway and ask me to call the judge office or the post office to find out why it happened.

    I then called up the prosecutor's office and ask about the discovery, the office straight up told me they no longer deal with discovery.

    I'm kind of lost on what is going on or what i should do now. was my submission really late? i thought it had to be stamped 14 days prior. could use some advice.

    If my discovery defense can not be completed, my only way was to resort to the pacing equation to prove that I wasn't speeding.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    861

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    Did you get a return receipt for the mailing to the prosecutor? The problem you now have is that they must receive your request at least 14 days early, which means mailing it a few days ahead but the court filing can be done later. You might be able to request a continuance and then later argue that you didn’t receive discovery. I’m not quite sure, but if the prosecutor has no intention of ever providing discovery then I would think you would be entitled to dismissal per IRLJ 3.1(b). Maybe someone else can comment further.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    5

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    yes, i kept my receipt as well as pictures of the envelope when it was handed over to the post office. unfortunately i doubt it received my request within 14 days since i sent it on that day. IRLJ was so vague i wasn't sure if i had to mailed it earlier for them to receive it within 14 days or my stamp has to be 14 days ahead. my main intention was to give them minimal amount of time allowed to response. guess i misunderstood the 14 day window. but i found it strange for the prosecutor's office telling me they no longer deal with discovery requests.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    861

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    By “return receipt” I’m asking specifically whether you paid the postal service a little extra for a “return receipt request”. That is a service where they send you confirmation of delivery to the prosecutor and what date it was delivered. My concern is that your position would be stronger if you have proof of service to the prosecutor. By the way, you might want to check a previous post from blewis on a similar issue. I would ask for a dismissal immediately when called due to the prosecution’s unwillingness to provide discovery, and if you are denied then ask for a continuance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    5

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    Quote Quoting searcher99
    View Post
    By “return receipt” I’m asking specifically whether you paid the postal service a little extra for a “return receipt request”. That is a service where they send you confirmation of delivery to the prosecutor and what date it was delivered. My concern is that your position would be stronger if you have proof of service to the prosecutor. By the way, you might want to check a previous post from blewis on a similar issue. I would ask for a dismissal immediately when called due to the prosecution’s unwillingness to provide discovery, and if you are denied then ask for a continuance.
    i paid for certified mail. i got the exact envalop i sent out back with yellow sticker on it saying "return to sender, unable to forward" my address on it was correct as well, double checked on the phone with the court clerk. court date is tomorrow. i'll push my luck a bit i suppose. i do have the defense for the pace method with the pacing equation, which would put me around 50ish mph. but then again i didn't subpoena the officer so my changes are not too high. we will see.

    def thanks for the help. i have receipt and photo evidence showing i mailed out the discovery request. altho the stamp date is 14 days prior to court date, not arrival...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    861

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    We’re still not understanding each other well enough. Proof of mailing helps, but what you really need is proof of delivery. What matters is proof that that the prosecutor actually RECEIVED the mailing, which is an extra service you must pay when mailing in addition to the certified mail fee. It’s not included. Check this information.

    If the court’s copy came back, then you can simply file it with the clerk when you go there. However if the prosecutor has not been properly served then you absolutely MUST do so before proceeding with your case. Don’t argue ANYTHING without discovery. You haven’t even seen the officer’s written testimony. The court will give you a continuance if necessary, but you must ask for it immediately and you can quite possibly do this over the phone without even making the trip. You have a right to discovery.

    If you can’t get a continuance by phone, then you should ask the judge for dismissal based on what the prosecutor’s office told you that ”they no longer deal with discovery.” If your dismissal request is denied, then get a continuance from the judge for the purpose of serving discovery. Take along 3 copies of your discovery request. If you only get a continuance rather than a dismissal, then go personally to the prosecutor’s office and serve the discovery request. Have them stamp all 3 copies. Give one to them, take one to the court clerk (or mail it) and keep one for your proof of service.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    If you want to create a presumption of service, you file proof of service with the court and serve a copy on the other party (or parties) to the action. While there are circumstances in which having a return receipt from certified mail can be useful, in this context it's a waste of money -- and restricted delivery, if that's what you're suggesting, would be an even bigger waste of money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
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    1,588

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    If the prosecutor does not provide a discovery response, then you can get all evidence excluded under 3.1(b), as you surmised, and your case dismissed -- provided that you properly served the prosecutor and filed proof with the court.

    My big question is what court/county prosecutor this is, because whoever told you that they no longer "deal" with discovery is an idiot. They would lose every case if they did that and any attorney sniffed it out. The guy will make a mint.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    1

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    Quote Quoting Speedy Gonzalez
    View Post
    My big question is what court/county prosecutor this is, because whoever told you that they no longer "deal" with discovery is an idiot. They would lose every case if they did that and any attorney sniffed it out. The guy will make a mint.
    The Snohomish County prosecuting office told me something similar about discovery over the phone. I called 8/5/2015 to ask where to drop off a discovery request for a traffic infraction, and their response was "We are happy to accept anything that you drop off, but we no longer participate in that process." I re-phrased the question a little, and they provided the same answer.

    A few questions before I start assuming that I will be able to get the case dismissed:

    1) The infraction was issued by WSP while I was driving in Snohomish county. I believe since it was WSP, is it the county prosecutor that is responsible for the case? I.e. not a municipal prosecutor/etc. I want to ensure I delivery my discovery request to the right office...

    2) Discovery requests are required to be submitted 14 days prior to hearing. Since IRLJ 3.1(b) doesn't state 14 "business" days, I assume it means 14 calendar days. Does anyone know which one it is?

    3) What do I say in court (verbatim, please) if I motion for suppression, and then for dismissal?
    My guess is for suppression is: "Your honor, I move for suppression of all evidence(?) per IRLJ 3.1(b). A discovery request was issued to the prosecuting office on [insert date], and filed with the court the same day, and I received no response."
    For dismissal, I have no idea.


    Any help is much appreciated, thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Re: Wa Prosecutor's Office No Longer Accept Request for Discovery

    Someone is yanking your chain. My kid just got discovery out of them last month. If they refuse to respond and you served the prosecutor and filed with the court, then the motion you have is sufficient with a minor addition: "and move to dismiss with prejudice" right where you put (?)

    It's 14 calendar dsys.

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