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  1. #1

    Default Do You Have to Pay for Materials Requested in Discovery

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    I sent an Informal Discovery Request and was surprised when not all the evidence was sent to me. I received the traffic survey and the copy of the officers ticket; however, I was told, "A DVD recording of the traffic stop is available in the will call section of Police Headquarters. Should you choose to pick it up, please be advised that The Town charges $60."

    Is this legal to charge me for the DVD? (Also $60 seems ridiculously expensive for a DVD.)

    Lastly, because they didn't send it to me when I sent them the Informal Discovery Request, does this mean I can have it suppressed as evidence should they choose to present it in court?

    Thank you for any help

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

    Default Re: Pay for Discovery

    The California code allows the costs of discovery to be shifted to the requesting party. And no, the fact you didn't come and get it or pay to have it sent won't prevent them from using it (though it's unlikley that the state was going to use the DVD in court anyhow, all they need is the officer's testimony).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pay for Discovery

    Do you know how the cost of discovery is determined? $60 seems quite expensive for just a DVD. (What's stopping them from charging $200 for the traffic survey, $200 for a copy of the officers notes, another $200 for a DVD, etc...?)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,901

    Default Re: Pay for Discovery

    Welcome to living in a bankrupt state.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pay for Discovery

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    Welcome to living in a bankrupt state.
    I'm moving to Arizona in July. Is it any better there?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Pay for Discovery

    Check to see if you can watch the video at the police station before ordering a copy. If so, you can determine if there's anything useful on the video before you commit to paying money for a copy. California's public records act does not provide for the charging of a fee for merely inspecting public records during the agency's regular office hours.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Pay for Discovery

    Quote Quoting HawkMan
    View Post
    I'm moving to Arizona in July. Is it any better there?
    In a lot of ways, yes, but it wouldn't surprise me if you would pay for discovery here, too.

    When you get here, obey all the traffic laws, pick a lane, stay in it, and set your cruise control to the speed limit and you won't have to be concerned about any of that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Pay for Discovery

    Quote Quoting HawkMan
    View Post
    Do you know how the cost of discovery is determined? $60 seems quite expensive for just a DVD. (What's stopping them from charging $200 for the traffic survey, $200 for a copy of the officers notes, another $200 for a DVD, etc...?)
    But you're not just paying for the cost of a DVD. You're also paying for the overhead (the employee's time, the administrative burden, etc.) While it seems high to me, everything in CA seems to be overpriced.

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