California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Second Division
ORIGINAL PROCEEDINGS; petition for writ of mandate, No.
IRC22535, Dale R. Wells, Judge.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Dale Davis, in pro. per.; and Edward J. Haggerty, under
appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Petitioner.
appearance for Respondent.
A. Hestrin, District Attorney, Emily R. Hanks, Deputy
District Attorney, for Real Party in Interest.
by McKinster, J., with Ramirez, P. J., and Codrington, J.,
Cal.Rptr.3d 194] McKINSTER, J.
this matter we have reviewed the petition, the informal
response by real party in interest, a letter filed by real
party in interest on November 3, 2015, and a subsequent
letter from petitioner. Having determined that petitioner may
have established a right to relief, we set an order to show
cause. For the reasons we set forth post, we
conclude a writ must issue to require the trial court to at
least partially grant petitioner's request for
postconviction discovery. (Pen. Code, § 1054.9.)
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
convicted petitioner of three counts of first degree murder
with enhancements. ( People v. Brown (Oct. 6, 1998,
E018586) [205 Cal.Rptr.3d 195] [nonpub. opn.].) The trial
court sentenced petitioner to multiple terms of life without
the possibility of parole.
the end of 2011, petitioner notified the trial court that he
sought postconviction discovery under section 1054.9. On
January 26, 2012, the trial court held a hearing on
petitioner's request. It ordered petitioner and real
party in interest to informally resolve the issues of what
discovery materials petitioner would receive but informed
petitioner he would need to pay for copies before anything
would be released. The parties subsequently exchanged several
letters on this topic.
March 4, 2015, petitioner once again wrote the trial court
about receiving postconviction discovery. He indicated that,
in correspondence with real party in interest, he had
narrowed the list of items he wanted to six items, including
police reports, the " Murder book," all suspects
questioned, all fingerprints collected, all DNA collected,
and all witness statements. He also argued he could not be
forced to pay for copies of discovery because he was indigent
and could not be treated differently from wealthier
party in interest filed a written opposition to
petitioner's March 4, 2015 request. It contended
petitioner's discovery requests were vague and/or
overbroad and asserted petitioner could not evade paying for
copies of postconviction discovery.
April 22, 2015, the court issued a minute order regarding
petitioner's March 4, 2015 request under section 1054.9.
It flatly denied the request for postconviction discovery
instant petition followed. After we set an order to show
cause, real party in interest opted to stand on its informal
response instead of filing a return. Real party in interest
did, however, file a letter on November 3, 2015, indicating
that Paula Mitchell, an attorney from the Innocence Project
at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles (Innocence Project), had
contacted its office and offered to pay the costs of
producing the discovery petitioner requested. A declaration
attached to that letter attests than Alan D. Tate, an
attorney in the office of real party in interest, mailed a
disk containing " electronic copies of the documentary
and photographic discovery" contained in the file from
the prosecution of ...