Assembly Bill 1600 Shortens Notice Requirements For Pitchess Motions In Criminal Cases And Allows Disclosure Of Some Supervisorial Officer Records

Category: Fire Watch
Date: Dec 9, 2019 02:18 PM

On October 8, 2019, Governor Newson signed Assembly Bill 1600 (AB 1600) into law. AB 1600 amends the law in two ways.  First, it amends Evidence Code Section 1043 to shorten the notice requirement from 16 to 10 days in a criminal case when a defendant files a motion to discover records of police officer misconduct—i.e., a Pitchess motion.  The notice requirement for Pitchess motions in civil cases remains 16 days.

Second, AB 1600 amends Evidence Code Section 1047.  Existing law prohibited the disclosure of records of peace officers or custodial officers, including supervisorial officers, who either were not present during an arrest or had no contact with the party seeking police records from the time of arrest until the time of booking or who were not present within a jail at the time the conduct at issue is alleged to have occurred. AB 1600 amends Section 1047 to permit the disclosure of records of a supervisorial officer if that officer issued command directives or had command influence over the circumstances at issue and (i) had direct oversight of a peace officer or a custodial officer who was present during the arrest, (ii) had contact with the party seeking disclosure from the time of the arrest until the time of booking, or (iii) was present at the time the conduct at issue is alleged to have occurred within a jail facility.


LCW can provide legal guidance when navigating requests for the disclosure of peace officer (e.g., arson investigator) records pursuant to a Pitchess motion.


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