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Name: People v. Nguyen
Case #: G036837
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/13/2007

A Pitchess motion compels disclosure of police personnel records only if they are material to the pending litigation. (Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531.) Following her conviction for bribery, defendant filed a Pitchess motion to gather evidence for a new trial motion on the basis of ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to file a motion to gather evidence to impeach detectives, but the motion was denied. After reviewing the police files, the trial court agreed that disclosure may have resulted if trial attorney had filed a Pitchess motion prior to jury trial but concluded that the material was of such little probative value that it probably would not have been admitted and even if it had been, it would not have raised a reasonable doubt about the officer’s testimony. The appellate court affirmed the denial, holding that because appellant had already been convicted, the pending litigation was the new trial motion and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in concluding the requested records were immaterial to the claim.