Motion for Discovery of Peace Officer Personnel Records (Pitchess Motion)

In Pitchess v. Superior Court, 11 Cal.3d 531 (1975), the court first used what is commonly referred to today as a Pitchess Motion. The California Legislature codified “Pitchess motions” in 1978 through amendments and additions to the Penal Code, specifically sections 832.7 and 832.83 and Evidence Code sections 1043 through 1045.4. A Pitchess Motion is required when “discovery or disclosure is sought of peace or custodial officer personnel records or records maintained pursuant to Penal Code § 832.5 or information from those records.” (Evid. Code § 1043(a).)

An initial question under Pitchess is whether the moving party has shown that the requested review would be material to the issues in the case. (Warrick v. Superior Court, 35 Cal.4th 1011, 1027 (2005).)

Section 1043(b) of the evidence code requires that a Pitchess motion must include:

  1. “identification of the proceeding in which discovery or disclosure is sought, the party seeking discovery or disclosure, the peace or custodial officer whose records are sought, the governmental agency which has custody and control of the records, and the time and place at which the motion for discovery or disclosure shall be heard;
  2. a description of the type of records or information sought; and
  3. affidavits showing good cause for the discovery or disclosure sought, setting forth the materiality thereof to the subject matter involved in the pending litigation and stating upon reasonable belief that the governmental agency identified has the records or information from the records.”

(Evid. Code § 1043(b).)

To show good cause, which is “a relatively low threshold for discovery,” (City of Santa Cruz v. Municipal Court, 49 Cal.3d 74, 83 (1989).), the defendant must “establish not only a logical link between the defense proposed and the pending charge, but also to articulate how the discovery being sought would support such a defense or how it would impeach the officer’s version of events.” (Warrick, 35 Cal.4th at 1021.) But “the information sought must, however, be ‘requested with adequate specificity to preclude the possibility that defendant is engaging in a ‘fishing expedition.’” (City of Santa Cruz, 49 Cal.3d at 85.)

Plaintiffs may be “entitled to the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the complainants and witnesses.” (Warrick, 35 Cal.4th at 1019.)

“When a trial court concludes a defendant’s Pitchess motion shows good cause for discovery of relevant evidence contained in a law enforcement officer's personnel files, the custodian of the records is obligated to bring to the trial court all "potentially relevant" documents to permit the trial court to examine them for itself.” (City of Santa Cruz, 49 Cal.3d at p. 84.) A court reporter should be present to document the custodian's statements, as well as any questions the trial court may wish to ask the custodian regarding the completeness of the record. (People v. Jackson, 13 Cal.4th at p. 1221, fn. 10.)

Useful Rulings on Discovery of Police Officer Misconduct Records

Recent Rulings on Discovery of Police Officer Misconduct Records

NICOLE MEHRINGER VS MICHAEL MOORE, ET AL.

Nor does Petitioner show prejudice from the Board’s ruling on the Pitchess motion only for the penalty phase. In her writ briefs, Petitioner fails to show any probability that evidence from the Pitchess motion could impact the result on the guilt phase. Based on the foregoing, Petitioner does not show that Board abused its discretion in its ruling on the Pitchess motion, or that Petitioner was prejudiced by any perceived error in Board’s ruling.

  • Hearing

    Sep 15, 2020

  • Type

    Administrative

  • Sub Type

    Writ

HTTP://WWW.SCSCOURT.ORG (FOR CLERK'S USE ONLY)

Under the discovery process established by Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531, a party seeking disclosure of peace officer personnel records must file an affidavit showing good cause for the disclosure sought, setting forth the materiality of the records sought to the subject matter of the pending litigation. (Evidence Code, § 1043(b)(3); Penal Code, §§ 832.7-832.8.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 10, 2020

REYES V. CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL

“Documents clearly irrelevant to a defendant's Pitchess request need not be presented to the trial court for in camera review. But if the custodian has any doubt whether a particular document is relevant, he or she should present it to the trial court.” (Id. at p. 1229.) Once the court concludes that good cause exists for production, then an in camera review of the records is required to ensure that only relevant information is disclosed.

  • Hearing

    Aug 31, 2020

KRISTA PEREZ VS THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

In its initial responses, County objected to Interrogatory No. 15.1, which asked for facts and evidence supporting its denials of material allegations in the Complaint, on the grounds that it called for Pitchess protected materials. But this court has ordered materials disclosed through the Pitchess procedure, and Perez is entitled to know the facts supporting County’s defensive case.

  • Hearing

    Aug 26, 2020

ALFONSO MUNOZ VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Legal Standard A motion to discover a law enforcement officer’s personnel file or other police agency record that contains relevant information is called a Pitchess motion. (Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531, 536-540.) The Pitchess motion has been partly codified in Evidence Code section 1043, which makes law enforcement personnel records privileged and subject to disclosure only by noticed motion. (Evid. Code, § 1043; Penal Code, § 832.7, subdivision (a).)

  • Hearing

    Aug 26, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

T D VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

M Y VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

H VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

PS VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

L R VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

M VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

M VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

C VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

AH VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

M Y VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

M Y VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

C VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

A VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

NG VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

T D VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

F VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

AH VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

FALSETTO VS FISCHER

TENTATIVE RULING The hearings on plaintiffs' joint Pitchess motion is CONTINUED to September 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Although a joint Pitchess motion was filed, it was only filed in one of the cases: K.P. v. Fischer (17-45448). ROA ## 131, 110. That case has settled and has been placed on a dismissal calendar. ROA ## 188-190. A notice of motion, declaration and reply (but not a motion) was filed in L.R. v. Fischer (17-47075). ROA ## 96, 97, 123. The County filed its opposition only in S.H. v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 25, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

MATTHEW FARMER V. BUREAU OF CANNABIS CONTROL; LORI AJAX

Pitchess (1971) 5 Cal.3d 258, 267–268 [citations omitted].) Petitioner argues that it is immaterial that income taxes do not support the Bureau’s implementation and enforcement of the Advertising Placement Regulation and there is no need for him to show that he paid excise taxes as a Bureau licensee because the unlawfully spent funds do not have to come from tax revenues.

  • Hearing

    Aug 11, 2020

COUNTY OF ORANGE VS. GENOVESIO

Defendants have titled their motion as one brought under the Pitchess procedure. Pursuant to Penal Code section 832.7(a), peace officer “personnel records and records maintained by any state or local agency pursuant to Section 832.5, or information obtained from these records, are confidential and shall not be disclosed in any criminal or civil proceeding except by discovery pursuant to Sections 1043 and 1046 of the Evidence Code.” (See Davis v.

  • Hearing

    Aug 06, 2020

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