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Kling v. Superior Court, S176171

By FindLaw Staff on October 19, 2010 11:51 AM

Court of appeal erred in unduly restricting the state's role at the in camera hearing regarding documents subpoenaed by defendant

Kling v. Superior Court, S176171, concerned a challenge to the court of appeals' holding that the government was entitled to notice of, and to be present at, an in camera hearing once responsive documents requested by the defendant via subpoena have been produced, but was not permitted to learn the identity of the subpoenaed party or the nature of the documents requested, in a prosecution of defendant for two murders with the special circumstances of multiple murder, lying in wait, and financial gain, in addition to other felony offenses.

 

In reversing the judgment, the court remanded the matter in concluding that the court of appeal erred in unduly restricting the People's role at the in camera hearing, in that the prosecutor may participate in and argue at the hearing, if the trial court so desires.  Further, the court of appeal erred in categorically denying the People the right to discover the identity of the subpoenaed party and the nature of the documents sought under the third party subpoena inasmuch as the People's due process right to a meaningful opportunity to be heard may typically require at least that much information.

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