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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: G032076
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/04/2004
Subsequent History: Req to depub. den. 7/21/04
Summary

The trial court erred in summarily denying the defendant’s Pitchess motion. Defense counsel had submitted a Pitchess motion supported by a declaration asserting that the arresting officer untruthfully claimed that defendant had asked to purchase heroin and cocaine, and that the defendant maintained that he had only asked to buy marijuana. The motion requested the officer’s personnel records pertaining to incidents involving dishonesty or the filing of false reports. The trial court summarily denied the motion. On review, the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the defendant was entitled to an in camera review of the requested records because his motion satisfied the requirements of Evidence Code section 1043. A declaration executed by defense counsel on information and belief is sufficient under the statute, and in this case the declaration set forth a sufficient factual foundation for the request. The court remanded for an in camera review of the personnel records, and further ordered that if the trial court determined that evidence existed that should have been disclosed, that court should determine whether a reasonable probability exists that the outcome would have been different had the evidence been turned over to the defense.