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Name: Ebbert v. Superior Court
Case #: D042600
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/18/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 5/19/04: S123713; dismissed on 8/18/04 due to death of appellant & abatement of proceedings

In Alford v. Superior Court (2003) 29 Cal. 4th 1045, the California Supreme Court held that the mandatory protective order issued concerning Pitchess information received by the moving party precludes the recipient from using it for any other purpose than in connection with the court proceeding in which the Pitchess motion was granted. However, it left open the issue of the use of information developed as a result of the receipt of information disclosed pursuant to a Pitchess motion. This writ proceeding required the court to address this open question because it involved the status of witness statements derived from the information disclosed by the trial court. Ebbert argued that the protective order did not cover the statements, because the statements were the result of independent investigation. The appellate court here agreed. The protective order on the use of Pitchess information does not encompass the derivative information obtained from use of the Pitchess motion information. Further, when a trial court in an unrelated subsequent proceeding grants a second litigant’s independent Pitchess motion as to the same officer who was the subject of a prior litigant’s Pitchess motion, and orders disclosure of duplicative information, the protective order in the prior proceeding does not prohibit the sharing between litigants of the information.