Friday, January 25, 2008

Trial Court May Conduct In Camera Review of Otherwise Privileged Victim Records

The defendant scores a victory in State v. Worthen, a case involving the State's appeal of the trial judge's decision to permit in camera review of the alleged victim's medical records. The State argued that the trial judge erred by failing to determine whether the defendant's request for medical records fell within the exception set forth in Utah R. Evid. 506(b) and whether the requested documents related to an element or claim of the defendant's defense.

Notably, the Utah Court of Appeals rejects the State's contention that the materials did not relate to an element or claim of the defendant's defense, ultimately holding that "elements of a criminal offense do not necessarily correlate with the elements of a criminal defense." In so holding, the court recgonized the importance of making available records critical to the defense, even when the content of those documents is somewhat speculative. In Worthen, the court holds that the defendant had made a sufficient showing at the trial court level to demonstrate the need for an in camera determination.

1 comment:

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)