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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,204

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    When you mail your request to the police department, mark the envelope "Attention Custodian of Records". That is the person responsible for addressing your request.

    Include a copy of you citation, as doing so makes it easier to fulfill your request. Officers traditionally write their notes on the back side of their copy of the citation that was issued to you. That copy is kept in the citing officer's custody and must be manually searched by hand. Having a copy of the citation makes it easier for the officer to search.

    If you are seeking discovery from a local police or sheriffs department I would suggest not using the sample discovery request Zeljo provided you. I say this for a couple of reasons. First, the language and terms used (MVARS) suggest it was written for someone seeking discovery from CHP. MVARS is an acronym specific to CHP and refers to audio and video patrol car recordings. However, it has no meaning in the terminology of local agencies and you may not get any video or audio, even though they may exist. Similarly, Zeljo's exemplar does not request copies of any personal recordings made by the citing officer.

    As a former Custodian of Records I can tell you that while I am obligated to follow the law, I am not required to be on your side or assist you in your case. i may have a very good idea of everything what you want and need, but unless you specifically articulate each and every item being sought in your discovery request, you're not going to get it.

    You may wish to seek the following in you discovery request:

    When seeking informal discovery on a California traffic citation, mail a copy of your citation to the law enforcement agency that issued it. Clearly address the envelope to “Custodian of Records” and attach a letter indicating you are requesting informal discovery in connection with the enclosed citation. In addition to any items you feel are necessary to your defense, be sure to ask for:
    1. A copy of the officer’s copy of the citation, including the back side containing any notes he may have made.
    2. Copies of all other notes, reports and other documents prepared by the officer in connection with the matter.
    3. If you were cited for speeding, copies of calibration records for all speed measuring devices used to determine your speed.
    4. If you were cited for speeding, a copy of any traffic and engineering surveys for the highway in question (if applicable).
    5. Copies of the patrol car dash cam video and audio recording of your stop (if any exist).
    6. Copies of any personal audio recording the officer may have made during his contact with you.

    Items 1 & 2 will give you an idea as to what the officer may testify to.
    Item 3 will determine if the device used to determine your speed was recently calibrated.
    Item 4 will probably not be applicable unless you were written for CVC 22350.
    Items 5 & 6 are valuable because during the traffic stop, drivers tend to make all sorts of incriminating statements that the officer will offer in court if you deny having committed the violation. It’s difficult to convince the court you are innocent if the officer recorded you admitting the violation. Words mean things, so it’s best to know what you said ahead of time, to ensure you don’t make a fool of yourself in court.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    In most cases, just sending it to the citing police agency (Attn Custodian of Records) will suffice. To be on the safe side, you may want to send to the district and city attorneys as well. Refer to (and read) the Proof of Service form that I uploaded Dec 13. You need to keep that for your records, and you need to have someone else put it in the mail box. Regular first class mail is fine. Again, read and understand Proof of Service, it tells you all you're asking. As for Informal Discovery Request itself, what I uploaded is a SAMPLE. You may need to edit the content in terms of the items requested but, other than that, the request (and proof of service) are completely proper. I have used them many times, and always received a response from the police agency. Except one time, that is, but, on that occasion, the cop did not even show up in court... which I think is no coincidence.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    Thank you so much for your answers.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    L-1,
    So is there a doc template I should use or I can just write up a simple letter addressing it to the police department listing all the items I am requesting?

    Thanks.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,204

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    Quote Quoting bpat
    View Post
    L-1,
    So is there a doc template I should use or I can just write up a simple letter addressing it to the police department listing all the items I am requesting?

    Thanks.
    A simple letter wil do it, however, you must articulate each and every one of the things you want. While the Custodian of Records is obliged to comply with requests that are authorized by law, they are not a mind reader and they represent the police department's interests, not yours. When I got informal discovery requests I saw a lot lot of things people failed to ask for that might have helped them, but because they didn't ask for them, I could not send them.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    Hi L-1/Zeljo/Others,
    Need your help reviewing the Informal discovery request letter (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T7z...ew?usp=sharing) and proof of service letter (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OKP...ew?usp=sharing) that I have drafted. I have masked personal information. Please provide your comments. Also, I have the following questions on these

    1) In the Informal Discovery Request, do I have to provide the disclosure pursuant to Penal code 1054.3? Or can that be excluded from the letter? I have excluded it currently.
    2) For delivery of proof of service, can my wife sign the letter or does it have to be someone else from outside the household?
    3) In the Informal Discovery Request letter, I have mentioned "above-mentioned" defendant. Do I have to replace it everywhere with my name of that should be fine?
    4) Do I send both the letter to all 3 places police department, city attorney and county attorney offices? Or do I just send the informal discovery letter to the police department and the proof of service to all 3? Also, do we need to send the letters to all 3 places?

    Thanks so much for all your help.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    1) You have to provide the disclosure pursuant to Penal code 1054.3.
    2) It's better if you can get a friend to sign it. If you're not comfortable with that, your wife is fine too.
    3) "Above-mentioned defendant" is fine.
    4) You only send the copies of Informal Discovery Request to (all three) addressees. You keep Proof of Service for your records and use them to prove to the court, if necessary, you have served the Request as required by law.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    I really need your help on this. I send the Informal discovery request letter to the citing agency i.e. Fremont Police Department and to the city Attorney and district attorney offices. Today, after about 1 1/2 weeks, since I have not received any response, I called the police department and asked to speak to the custodian of records. She said that we do not handle it. Once we write the citation you have to deal with the court. When I called he court to request an extension, as my date of appearance is before Feb 23rd, the clerk was able to extend it to March 27th. Then when I brought up the issue of the Informal discovery request with the Fremont department and what they said about it, the clerk said that they have it on file as of Jan 30th and the court will reply back to me before March 23rd. I am not sure, whether the clerk was talking about the Informal discovery request letter I sent. Does it end up with the court in this case as I did not sent it to the court but to the parties mentioned above. I was expecting a reply from the Fremont Police Department. Please let me know if this is possible or if the informal discovery request might be stuck somewhere.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,313

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    By statute, the Fremont PD does not have to address your informal discovery request. In practice, most police departments WILL address it - either by prompting from the DA or City Attorney, or, on their own initiative. It may be that the DA or CA have not (maybe WILL not) sent them a notice asking they comply with the request, or that this is not the practice in Alameda County. If you feel you absolutely must have the discovery items requested by FPD in order to make a defense, you may have to ask the court to compel discovery from the agency.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  10. #30

    Default Re: Received a VC 22350 Ticket

    Ok. Thanks. But is there a way for the request I sent to the Fremont PD, CA and DA to end up with the court? Because thats what the clerk told me that they received the letter on Jan 30th. I sent these letters on Jan 23rd to Fremont PD, CA and DA but not anything to the court. Sorry. But I am not aware about the process in this case.

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