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Name: People v. Jacinto
Case #: A117076
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 04/23/2008
Subsequent History: rev. granted 7/30/08

The trial court erred when it dismissed an information based on the deportation of a defense witness. Jacinto moved to dismiss an information charging him with attempted murder because a defense witness, who had already been served with a subpoena, had been deported. The trial court granted the motion, and the prosecutor appealed. The prosecutor contended that the trial court erred in dismissing the charges because there was no state action, or alternatively that Jacinto failed to show that state officials acted in bad faith. The appellate court agreed and reversed. The role of the sheriff’s department as the custodian of the witness was constrained by a federal immigration detainer for him. The sheriff’s department had no power to interfere with federal deportation proceedings. Further, there was no evidence that the sheriff’s department had any knowledge of the materiality of the witness’s testimony. Receiving a subpoena does not establish the materiality of the testimony sought. Therefore, there was no violation of Jacinto’s rights to compulsory process or to due process, and the trial court erred in granting the motion to dismiss.