Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. Superior CourtAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that when a law enforcement agency creates a so-called internal Brady list, and a peace officer on that list is a potential witness in a pending criminal prosecution, the agency may disclose to the prosecution the name and identifying number of the officer and that the officer may have relevant exonerating or impeaching material in that officer's confidential personnel file.
The "Pitchess statutes" restrict a prosecutor's ability to learn of and disclose certain information regarding law enforcement officers. Some law enforcement agencies created Brady lists enumerating officers that the agencies identified as having potential exculpatory or impeachment information in their personnel filed - i.e., evidence that may need to be disclosed to the defense under Brady and its progeny. Petitioner in this case obtained a preliminary injunction preventing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department from disclosing the identity of deputies on the Department's Brady list, but the injunction included and exception permitting disclosure to prosecutors when a deputy is a potential witness in a pending prosecution. The court of appeal concluded that the exception was impermissible under the Pitchess statutes. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Pitchess statutes merit such disclosure.