United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SET DISCOVERY CUT-OFF 14 DAYS
BEFORE TRIAL RE: DKT. NO. 31
S. HIXSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Sophia De Anda requests the Court set a discovery cut-off
date of 14 days prior to trial. ECF No. 31. The government
opposes the motion. ECF No. 35. For the reasons stated below,
the Court DENIES the motion.
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87 (1963) and its
progeny, the United States is required to disclose evidence
favorable to an accused that is material to guilt or
punishment. See also United States v. Bagley, 573
U.S. 667, 676 (1985); Giglio v. United States, 405
U.S. 150, 154 (1972). In addition, California Rule of
Professional Conduct 5-110(D) requires prosecutors to
“[m]ake timely disclosure to the defense of all
evidence or information known to the prosecutor that the
prosecutor knows or reasonably should know tends to negate
the guilty of the accused, mitigate the offense, or mitigate
the sentence, ” except when the prosecutor is relieved
of this responsibility by the court. As the comment to the
Rule 5-110(D) explains, “[t]he disclosure obligations .
. . are not limited to evidence or information that is
material as defined by Brady . . . and its progeny,
” but rather includes, “at a minimum, the duty to
disclose impeachment evidence or information that a
prosecutor knows or reasonably should know casts significant
doubt on the accuracy or admissibility of witness testimony
on which the prosecution intends to rely.” Cal. Rules
of Prof. Conduct, Rule 5-110(D) cmt. 3. Rule 5-110(D) is
binding on the government's attorneys practicing in this
state. See 28 U.S.C. § 530B(a); N.D. Cal. Civ.
R. 11-4(a); N.D. Cal. Crim. R. 2-1.
there is no dispute over whether the United States is
obligated to make the disclosures in question, the only issue
here is when. De Anda argues “[t]his is a case
involving multiple forms of communication, including emails,
phone calls, voice messages, and letters, to various
recipients from different organizations, ” and
“[h]aving a clear cut-off date is therefore
particularly important in this case.” Mot. at 1.
However, the government argues any such deadline “is
both unnecessary and inappropriate” because it
“understands and appreciates its discovery obligations
under Brady and Rule 3.8(d) and is committed to
upholding them.” Opp'n at 1.
in this matter is set for July 8, 2019, which means that even
if the Court were to grant De Anda's request, the
material would have been due by June 24, 2019. Further, at
the April 18, 2019 case management conference, the parties
requested the Court set a deadline of June 5, 2019 for all
pretrial motions and a deadline of June 26, 2019 for
oppositions. ECF Nos. 20, 21. Although De Anda did not raise
her current request at that time, the deadline she requests
would be prejudicial as the government's opposition to
this motion was not due until June 26, after the proposed
cut-off date. Finally, De Anda fails to show that the
government has not complied with its disclosure obligations.
In fact, she admits in her motion that the government
“has pledged to comply” with the requirements of
Rule 5-110(D). Accordingly, De Anda's motion is DENIED.
given that the trial in this case is less than two weeks
away, if the government obtains any materials covered by Rule
5-110(D) or Brady that have yet to be produced, the
Court sets a 24-hour disclosure deadline. United States
v. Walker, 2018 WL 3023518, at *2 (N.D. Cal. June 18,
2018) (“If new exculpatory evidence is discovered after
that date, then disclosure shall be made to Defendant within
24 hours of discovery.”).
on the analysis above, the Court DENIES De Anda's motion
to set a discovery cutoff 14 days before trial. If the
government obtains new exculpatory evidence prior to trial,
then disclosure shall be made to De Anda within 24 hours of