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Name: Galindo v. Superior Court
Case #: B208923
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 01/07/2009
Subsequent History: rev. granted 3/25/09 (S170550)
Summary

A defendant has no right to Pitchess discovery (Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531) for a preliminary hearing. Prior to the preliminary hearing, petitioner sought discovery via a Pitchess motion but the magistrate denied the motion. Following action by the reviewing courts, the appellate court ultimately denied petitioner’s writ of mandate. The appellate court observed that Evidence Code sections 1043 to 1045, which codify the procedures governing Pitchess discovery, do not expressly state whether Pitchess discovery can take place for a preliminary hearing. Because the preliminary hearing is intended to be a stream-lined procedure designed only to establish whether probable cause exists and is specifically not intended to be a discovery device, the court found that a defendant does not have a right to Pitchess discovery. Further, again because of the nature of the preliminary hearing, Pitchess material is unlikely to effect the outcome; therefore, counsel not receiving the material does not mean that counsel is inadequately prepared, such that a claim of ineffective assistance has any merit.