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Name: Garcia v. Superior Court
Case #: G032739
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/27/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 9/22/04: S127432

A criminal defendant may request police personnel records by filing a declaration under seal. Noting that nothing in the statutes outlining the procedure under Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531 prohibits the filing of supporting declarations under seal, the Court of Appeal looked to other third-party discovery procedures for guidance. The court held that the party who submits the sealed declaration in connection with a Pitchess motion must provide timely notice to the third party, specifically claiming attorney-client or other privilege or immunity. The trial court must then review the sealed declaration in camera with defense counsel to determine what portions of the document, if any, contain legitimately privileged information. Finally, the redacted declaration should be filed and served upon the custodian of records for proceedings on the merits of the discovery request.