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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default No Response to Request for Discovery - Implications

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: WA, Seattle and nearby counties.

    I have reviewed
    and a number of other posts on this site (very helpful), but wanted to ask this nonetheless to see if other people had similar experiences or may be able to provide an actionable advice.

    I followed the instructions on this forum to file a request for discovery via certified mail to the prosecutor's office, and also a copy (with my ticket) to the court. With my letter to the prosecutor's office I included a self-addressed, stamped envelope, as instructed. I have proof of receipt and signature of the receiver. As the court date is approaching, I have still not received any discovery documents.

    I have not personally traveled to the court or the prosecutor's office or the police department to request any of these documents face to face.

    My question is this: assuming that I don't receive anything before the court date, realistically would that help me in any way, and if so, how? Is the onus on me, and I must do everything, including traveling to the court, to obtain the documents? Can I file for dismissal on the grounds of not receiving the requested documents (copy of the officer's statement, etc.)? If I do file for dismissal, how do judges typically treat cases like these? What if the prosecutor's office claims that they sent the files (but I never received them), am I able to request any kind of proof from them?

    If this has been already covered in full elsewhere on these forums, please point me in the right direction.

    Thanks very much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Re: No Response to Request for Discovery - Implications

    If you do NOT receive the materials, yes, you may move for dismissal pursuant to IRLJ 3.1 (b) -- be sure to take your receipt with you.

    Now, if the prosecutor sends you the materials, they will also "file" a copy of the materials with the court (just as you filed a copy of the request). If you go into court claiming to have NOT received them, and there IS a copy in the court file, you may have a problem. You might want to call the Clerk to see that they have, indeed, received your Discovery Request and that there is NO copy of the materials from the prosecutor. Personally, I'd wait until the day before the hearing to make that call.

    If there IS a copy of the materials in the file (not counting the copy of the officer's sworn statement that should have been filed with the Notice of Infraction), you can either (a) ask the clerk to fax them to you (they may or may not), or (b) go into court for your hearing, claim they did not arrive, and ask for a continuance.

    Good luck,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: No Response to Request for Discovery - Implications

    Barry, thanks so much for your prompt reply! And thanks again for all the helpful information you have previously made available on this forum.

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