We have continued the COVID safety measures put in place during the Pandemic.
Everyone entering the building must:
Plexiglass shields have been installed in each courtroom and in the Clerk’s Office.
Air filters are provided in select areas around the building.
The court is interested in ensuring that all trials are fair. In order for a trial to be fair, both the prosecutor and the defendant need to have all the available evidence. For this reason, the law allows the prosecutor and defendant to exchange relevant evidence. This exchange of information is called discovery.
In most cases, defendants are going to want to have an idea of the evidence that the prosecutor has against them. The defendant can initiate discovery by providing the prosecutor with a written demand for discovery within 21 days after the initial appearance.
Then the prosecutor usually has to give the defendant copies or photographs of certain items related to the particular case if they are important to the preparation of the defense, intended for use by the prosecutor as evidence at trial, or were obtained from or belong to the defendant.
The items include:
If a defendant requests discovery from the prosecutor, the prosecutor has a right to obtain discovery from the defendant.
An expert witness for either side has to prepare a written report summarizing the expert’s testimony, findings, conclusions, or opinions and include the expert’s qualifications. That report must be provided to the other side at least 21 days before trial. If it is not, the judge can stop the expert from testifying at trial.
All discovery must be completed before the day of trial, which means all requests for evidence and the exchange of evidence must take place before the day of trial.
If either party does not follow the rules of discovery or any court order concerning discovery, the court may order the offending party to permit the discovery, grant a continuance, or prohibit the party from using the material that was not disclosed as evidence in court. Discovery problems must be brought to the court’s attention by motion filed in writing at least 7 days before the day of trial.
If the defendant does not have a lawyer, the court can determine the time, place, and manner in which the defendant has access to discoverable material.