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Name: Alford v. Superior Court
Case #: D036869
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/22/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 8/8/01

In a prosecution for controlled substance violations which began with a traffic stop, appellant filed a motion for discovery of information in police records under Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531. The trial court denied the disclosure of records, stating that an effective protective order could not be issued. Here, the appellate court held that the trial court abused its discretion both in finding that no effective protective order could be fashioned, and in using that fact to rebalance the balance of interests involved in granting discovery. Appellant made a showing of good cause for the disclosure of officer records. The court had broad and mandatory powers to fashion an appropriate protective order. The appellate court also held that the prosecutor had standing to appear at the Pitchess motion, as the prosecutor was a party to the criminal proceeding in which the Pitchess motion was brought. Therefore, the case was remanded with orders that a protective order be fashioned, and that the prosecutor be allowed due process with regard to the propriety and scope of the order.