Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PEOPLE v. MERRITT – FVI1404194 - RESPONSE TO REQUEST TO UNSEAL SEARCH WARRANTS



MICHAEL A. RAMOS
District Attorney
BRITT P. IMES - 195212
Supervising Deputy District Attorney
SEAN W. DAUGHERTY - 214207
Deputy District Attorney
316 N. Mountain View Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Telephone: (760) 243-8600
Attorneys for Plaintiff

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF SAN BERNARDINO


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
Criminal Case No.    FVI1404194






vs.


Plaintiff,


RESPONSE TO REQUEST TO UNSEAL SEARCH WARRANT; REQUEST FOR
REDACTIONS


CHARLES RAY MERRITT,
Defendant.
TO THE HONORABLE MICHAEL SMITH, JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, COUNTY OF SAN BERNARDINO and COUNSEL FOR THE DEFENDANT:
Comes now the plaintiff, the People of the State of California, by and through their attorneys, MICHAEL A. RAMOS, District Attorney; BRITT P. IMES, Supervising Deputy District
Attorney and SEAN W. DAUGHERTY, Deputy District Attorney, and respectfully submits the following response to unseal search warrants and request for redactions. / / / / / /
/ / /
Request for Redactions
If the court grants the third party request to unseal search warrants in this case, the People hereby respectfully request, in addition to any other redactions suggested by the Court or the Defendant, the following redactions to protect confidential identifying information of subjects contained therein and to protect the privacy of such people.
1.    Warrant #14-0631: request the warrant remained sealed in its entirety.
2.    Warrant #14-1096:
a.    Redact the telephone number on page 2 under You Are Commanded to
Search
b.    Redact the telephone number subject to the court order listed in paragraph
1, page 3 under Items to Be Seized & Collected.
c.    Redact the telephone number listed in the Statement of Probable Cause on
paragraph 7 on page 5.
3.    Warrant #14-1097:
a.    Redact out the vehicle identifying information (license and VIN numbers) on
page 2 under You Are Commanded to Search
b.    Redact out the vehicle identifying information (license and VIN numbers),
name and address of current owner of the vehicle subject to the warrant on
page 6, paragraph 7 of Statement of Probable Cause
c.    Redact out the name of the current owner of the vehicle subject of the
warrant as listed on page 6, paragraph 8 of the Statement of Probable
Cause.
d.    Redact out the vehicle identifying information (license and VIN numbers), of
the vehicle subject to the warrant on page 9, paragraph 1 of Return to
Search Warrant.


e. Redact out the address, name and license number from the Search Warrant Receipt on page 10.
4.    Warrant #14-1293:
a.    Redact the telephone number listed on Return to Search Warrant
b.    Redact the telephone number listed on page 2 under For the Following
Property.
c.    Redact the telephone number listed in full paragraphs 1 and 2 of page 6
under Statement of Probable Cause.
5.    Warrant #14-1294:
a.    Redact the telephone number listed on Return to Search Warrant
b.    Redact the telephone number listed on page 2 under For the Following
Property.
c.    Redact the telephone number listed in full paragraphs 1 and 2 of page 6
under Statement of Probable Cause.
6.    Warrant #14-1494:
a. Last three sentences of paragraph 4, page 5 of the Statement of Probable Cause.
7.    Warrant #14-1589:
a.    Redact the last three sentences of paragraph 4, page 3 of the Affidavit.
b.    Redact sentence 7 and 9 of the first full paragraph, page 4 of the Affidavit.
c.    Redact sentence 7 and 9 of the third full paragraph, page 5 of the Affidavit.
8.    Warrant #14-1594:
a.    Redact page 2, paragraph 5, sentences 4, 5 and 6 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
b.    Redact page 4, paragraph 2, sentences 7 and 9 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.


9.    Warrant #14-1595:
a.    Redact page 2, paragraph 5, sentences 4, 5 and 6 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
b.    Redact page 4, paragraph 1, sentences 7 and 9 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
10.    Warrant #14-1666:
a.    Redact page 4, paragraph 6, sentence 4 continuing to sentence 5 and 6 on
page 5 of the Statement of Probable Cause.
b.    Redact bank account numbers from first full paragraph on page 5 of the
Statement of Probable Cause.
c.    Redact sentence 7 and 9 of paragraph 5 on page 6 of Statement of
Probable Cause.
11.    Warrant #14-1842:
a.    Redact sentences 4, 5 and 6 from paragraph 5 of page 2 of the Statement
of Probable Cause.
b.    Redact sentences 7 and 9 from paragraph 1 on page 4 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
12.    Warrant #14-1844:
a.    Redact phone number from Return to Search Warrant.
b.    Redact the name and phone number from the further description under You
Are Commanded to Search on the face of the Warrant.
c.    Redact the phone number from the Items to Be Seized & Collected on
Attachment A.
d.    Redact the phone number from sentence 6 of paragraph 7 on page 5 of the
Statement of Probably Cause.
13.    Warrant #14-1846: Request the warrant remain sealed in its entirety.


14.    Warrant #14-1848:
a.    Redact sentences 4, 5 and 6 from paragraph 5 of page 2 of the Statement
of Probable Cause.
b.    Redact sentences 7 and 9 from paragraph 1 on page 4 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
15.    Warrant #14-1849:
a.    Redact sentences 4 and 5 of paragraph 5 on page 2 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
b.    Redact sentences 1 and 2 of paragraph 1 on page 3 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
c.    Redact sentences 7 and 9 from paragraph 4 on page 4 of the Statement of
Probable Cause.
16. Warrant #14-1850:
a.    Redact sentences 4, 5 and 6 of paragraph 4 on page 3 of the Affidavit.
b.    Redact sentences 7 and 9 of paragraph 2 on page 4 of the Affidavit.

II.
The Court Has Authority to Protect Third Party Privacy Rights by Redactions and
Sealing Orders
To the extent relevant to the minor redactions at issue, the People reincorporate here the points and authorities we filed on January, 26, 2015, in our written Opposition to Unseal Search Warrant Materials. (See, e.g., People v. Jackson (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1009 [upholding over media objection the sealing of warrant affidavit materials to protect private victim information and defendant's right to fair trial].) Although we now withdraw opposition to unsealing most of the sealed warrant materials, we still rely on those authorities—and the Court may also safely rely on them to the extent relevant—in order to protect sensitive personal information of third parties and victims. The Court retains


the authority to weigh any competing interests and make appropriate findings and protective, sealing orders.
Here, we add that in California, victims (broadly defined) have robust privacy rights under the Victims' Bill of Rights in the state Constitution:
(b) In order to preserve and protect a victim's rights to justice and due process, a victim shall be entitled to the following rights:
(1)    To be treated with fairness and respect for his or her privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse, throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process.
(2)    To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant.



(4) To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, which could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim's family or which disclose confidential communications made in the course of medical or counseling treatment, or which are otherwise privileged or confidential by law.

(California Constitution, Article 1, § 28 (b), emphasis added.)
(As a side note, the court must realize that disclosure of personal information to the media must be assumed necessarily to disclose that same information to the defendant.)
Then there is the general right to privacy recognized by California Constitution, Article I, Section 1.
All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy. (Emphasis added.)


Here, were disclosure of the warrant materials to include the private, personal information of victims and third parties, their Constitutional privacy rights would be breached without notice, an opportunity to be heard, and without all other due process. (See People v. Connor (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 669 [holding that newspaper had no broad First Amendment right to access defendant's probation report; that after statutory 60-days of unfettered access expires, court must hold hearing and balance competing interests; and to satisfy due process, defendant [or those affected] must receive notice and opportunity to be heard concerning release of personal information.].)



MICHAEL A. RAMOS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY
30 June 2015

By:_________________________________
BRITT P. IMES,
Supervising Deputy District Attorney


SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY

PROOF OF SERVICE


STATE OF CALIFORNIA                                        )
) ss. )
COUNTY OF SAN BERNARDINO        )


I, Mari Luna, declare:

That I am a citizen of the United States and employed in San Bernardino County, over eighteen years of age and not a party to the within action; that my business address is 316 North Mt. View, San Bernardino, CA 92415.

That I am readily familiar with the business practice for collection and processing of correspondence for mailing with the United States Postal Service. Correspondence would be deposited with the United States Postal Service that same day in the ordinary course of business.

That on June 30, 2015 I served the within REQUEST FOR REDACTIONS was served on interested parties:

Jimmy Mettias, Esq.                                                                       Kelly Aviles
c/o The Mettias Law Firm, APLC                               1502 Foothill Blvd., Suite 103-140
14393 Park Ave. Ste. 100
                                              La Verne, CA 91750
Victorville, CA 92392                                                              Fax: 909-991-7594
Fax: 760-843-6855

I certify under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct, and that hits declaration was executed at San Bernardino, California, on June 30, 2015.



Maria Luna

9 comments:

  1. ABC

    They have been unsealed. 306 pages with redactions. No online link or news article about what is in them yet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here, we add that in California, victims (broadly defined) have robust privacy rights under the Victims' Bill of Rights in the state Constitution:

    (b) In order to preserve and protect a victim's rights to justice and due process, a victim shall be entitled to the following rights:

    (1) To be treated with fairness and respect for his or her privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse, throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process.

    (2) To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant.










    (4) To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or any other person acting on behalf of the defendant, which could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim's family or which disclose confidential communications made in the course of medical or counseling treatment, or which are otherwise privileged or confidential by law.




    (California Constitution, Article 1, § 28 (b), emphasis added.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can think of at least one person, acting on behalf of the defendant who is in serious violation of this law.

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is your gig dude. We have no room for children here.

      Delete
  4. There is no gig. I just want One-Eyed Jack, to fully explain, his opinion. And, inform us, of what he knows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know who they're referring to. This was 3 years ago, you're too late in the game. How much do you know about the case anyways? What you caught on the CNN specials?

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete