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Name: Alvarez v. United States
Case #: B172785
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 04/20/2004

A defendant on trial for resisting arrest is entitled to discovery of records regarding workplace violence complaints against the arresting officer. Pursuant to a request under Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531, the defendant here obtained the name of a deputy sheriff who had filed a complaint against the deputy who arrested the defendant, but the complaining deputy refused requests to speak with defense investigators. Thus, the only way for the defendant to effectively investigate the allegation prior to trial was to be provided with copies of the complaining deputy’s statements, and thus he had established good cause for discovery of those statements. Further, the trial court erred in refusing to reconsider a previous judge’s ruling denying the request, because the first judge was no longer available due to his appointment to the federal bench. Where the judge who entered an order has become unavailable, a different judge may properly reconsider that order.