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Name: J.E. v. Superior Court
Case #: D064543
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/18/2014

When a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 827 provides a reasonable basis to believe exculpatory or impeachment evidence exists in a confidential juvenile file, the juvenile court must conduct an in camera review of the records. A petition was filed charging J.E. with petty theft and two counts of lewd conduct. The juvenile court denied J.E.'s petition under section 827 requesting that the court conduct an in camera inspection of a prosecution witness's juvenile dependency file for Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83 exculpatory and impeachment evidence. Instead, the juvenile court ruled the request should be…

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Name: Elijah W. v. Superior Court
Case #: B241011
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/08/2013
Subsequent History: opn. following rehg.

Minor defendant was entitled to his choice of expert psychologist who would not report confidential information about child abuse or threats. To assist in the preparation of his defense to a wardship petition, Elijah W. requested the appointment of a psychologist who had indicated she would respect the lawyer-client privilege and defense counsel's duty of confidentiality and would not report client information concerning child abuse/neglect or a Tarasoff threat to authorities. The juvenile court denied the appointment of the psychologist and limited Elijah to members of the court's competency to stand trial panel, even though panel members had…

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Name: In re Marcos B.
Case #: G046268
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/07/2013

The trial court must ensure that a police agency's claim of privilege for a surveillance location is supported by evidence sufficient to demonstrate that the agency's need for continued secrecy outweighs that of defendant's need for disclosure during the course of criminal prosecution. It was alleged that a minor engaged in a drug transaction and possessed drugs. During juvenile court proceedings, counsel for minor attempted to cross-examine the sole witness, a police officer, as to the location from which he had observed the alleged sales transaction. However, the prosecution asserted a claim of privilege as to the location. After an…

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Name: People v. Gray
Case #: C062668
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/28/2011

A defendant who brings presumptively privileged attorney-client communications to the witness stand and uses them to refresh his memory while testifying, waives the attorney-client privilege. Appellant was charged with and convicted of various criminal offenses related to his harassment of his estranged wife, including stalking and penetration with a foreign object, with an enhancement that he used a controlled substance to effect the penetration found true. During his trial testimony, appellant referred to notes he took with him to the witness stand to refresh his memory. He claimed the notes were attorney-client communications. In a contested hearing outside the…

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Name: People v. Gonzales
Case #: H032866
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/27/2011
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 4/27/11 (S191240)

The institution of SVPA proceedings does not strip an individual of the right to privacy against the unjustified disclosure of information protected by the psychotherapist-patient privilege such that the dangerous-patient exception automatically applies. In an SVPA proceeding, the prosecution sought discovery of appellant's psychological records pertaining to out-patient treatment ordered as a condition of parole. Over defense objection, the trial court ruled that appellant's psychological records were discoverable and admissible under the "dangerous patient" exception to the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The appellate court reversed. The dangerous patient exception should be narrowly construed, and here the prosecutor presented…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: E048416
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/23/2010

A crime victim does not waive the psychotherapist-patient privilege by requesting restitution for the costs of therapy. Appellant pled to an offense that stemmed from his act of raping his ex-girlfriend while she was passed out. At the restitution hearing at which the victim sought to be reimbursed for therapy costs, appellant sought to ask her therapist about the contents of the therapy session to make sure they actually related to the crime. The trial court disallowed the questioning based on the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The appellate court rejected appellant's argument that the victim waived the privilege by…

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Name: In re Cole C.
Case #: D053845
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/04/2009

Jurisdiction and removal were proper where abuse of siblings placed the minor at risk. Three minors were removed from their parents, due to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by Mark, the father of Cole, and the stepfather of Chloe and Ella. On appeal, Mark argued that the juvenile court erred by preventing the girls' therapist, Dr. Corbett, from testifying at trial and making statements in agency reports based on the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The appellate court rejected the argument. Counsel for Chloe and Ella held the psychotherapist-patient privilege even though he was appointed after the privileged communication…

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Name: People v. Lewis
Case #: A120636
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 04/13/2009

A surveillance location was not material for purposes of the government-information privilege. During appellant's trial for cocaine sale, the prosecution introduced testimony concerning what a police officer observed from a surveillance location, but declined to identify the location, citing Evidence Code section 1042, the government-information privilege. On appeal from his conviction, appellant argued that the identity of the location was material, and therefore the trial court should have stricken the officer's testimony. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The surveillance location was not material because the police officer's testimony was corroborated by independent evidence.…

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Name: People v. Vasco
Case #: G031916
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/30/2005
Subsequent History: rehng. den. 7/15/05

A trial court did not err in applying the newsperson’s shield law to restrict a defendant’s cross-examination of a reporter. The trial court permitted cross-examination of the reporter only as to published accounts of his interview with the defendant prior to trial, but excluded questioning regarding unpublished material. The defendant claimed that this material would bolster her claims that she lacked the intent to kill and that she suffered from battered women’s syndrome. The appellate court affirmed, holding that while a defendant’s constitutional rights may trump the newsperson’s shield law under appropriate circumstances, the defendant failed to…

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Name: People v. Jiang
Case #: H026546
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/16/2005
Subsequent History: rehearing denied 8/12/05

A trial court erred in failing to exclude a defendant’s statements that were preceded by an inadequate translation of the Miranda warnings. The officer questioning the defendant in this case used a Mandarin interpreter to interview the defendant, who read and wrote some English but was not fluent in spoken English. The interpreter provided only truncated or "badly mangled" Mandarin versions of the Miranda warnings, and the only evidence of defendant’s ability to speak or to understand spoken English indicated that his skills in those areas were rudimentary. The court found that the Attorney General had not…

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