May Criminal Defendant Avoid Reciprocal Discovery by Obtaining Police Documents Via Public Records Request?
Or Is Defense Limited to Obtaining Records Through Discovery Under Criminal Rule 16
State of Ohio v. Gary Athon, Case no. 2012-0628
First District Court of Appeals (Hamilton County)
While a criminal case is pending before a trial court, may the defendant or a person acting on the defendant's behalf use a records request under the state Public Records Act to obtain copies of police reports and other discoverable information about his case that is in the possession of the state, or is the defendant limited to obtaining such information through a discovery request under Ohio Criminal Rule 16, which triggers a reciprocal discovery right of the state to obtain information from the defendant about the witnesses and evidence the defense plans to present at trial?
If a criminal defendant or a person acting on his behalf obtains information about his case from the state that was discoverable under the Criminal Rules by means of a records request under the Public Records Act, does the filing of the public records request trigger the state's reciprocal right to demand discovery from the defendant under Crim R. 16?