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Question: In your office, do you allow defense attorneys to review the video interviews of child abuse victims prior to trial?
Does anyone give them a copy or do you just allow them to view the interview?

Thanks!
 
Posts: 9 | Location: San Marcos, Texas | Registered: January 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We just let them view it.
 
Posts: 1111 | Location: Waxahachie | Registered: December 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Allow them to view.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Allow them to view it.
 
Posts: 286 | Registered: February 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Allow them to view, in our office. No copies made.
 
Posts: 2577 | Location: The Great State of Texas | Registered: December 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll echo the consensus: we allow them to be viewed in our office only with no copies made.
 
Posts: 34 | Location: Hunt County, TX | Registered: November 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We have an open file policy and some defense lawyers use their laptops to make copies of our photo CDs instead of us making them a duplicate CD.
So, to insure that there is no inadvertant copying of victim interviews, we have them view the interview CDs in our office on OUR equipment.
 
Posts: 44 | Location: Amarillo, Tx, USA | Registered: March 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We just let them view the video in our office; no copies. I recently had to write a brief on the issue for one of our judges who was about to require the State to provide a copy. He eventually ruled for the State.

However, while at a conference with folks from other states, apparently other states do give copies of the videos and seemed surprised that we didn't.
 
Posts: 74 | Location: Hempstead, TX USA | Registered: February 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Even though the Admin Code has an answer for this if it is a CPS (as opposed to criminal) case, I usually explain it by saying that we don't want the video inadvertently ending up somewhere online. As a former defense attorney, I know that no reputable lawyer would do that intentionally. But, things go through so many hands and sometimes it "just gets away". Most people are okay with that explanation.
 
Posts: 107 | Location: Wichita Falls, TX | Registered: February 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well it is best to protect. We had an attorney get a copy of a tape (don't think it was a child sexual assault tape) and leave it at the restaurant after lunch.
 
Posts: 419 | Location: Abilene, TX USA | Registered: December 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What legal grounds do y'all use to keep from having to copy the child's video and giving it over to the defense in a CPS case?
 
Posts: 286 | Registered: February 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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See Texas Rule of Evidence 615. Defendant only has a right to request production of a witness statement after direct examination of the witness.

So, there is no right to production before trial.

That leaves the State the discretion to provide access before trial.

Likewise, article 39.14, CCP, dealing with discovery, excepts written statements of witnesses from discovery as a right.

See also the Family Code, section 264.408(d), providing that ownership of the recorded forensic interview, if done at a children's advocacy center, goes to the prosecutor. And other language protecting confidentiality of contents.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you want case law, too: Dickens, 727 SW2d 542
 
Posts: 176 | Location: Hempstead, TX, USA | Registered: June 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As always, thanks
 
Posts: 286 | Registered: February 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We give a copy of the tape.
 
Posts: 131 | Location: Hondo, Texas | Registered: November 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Discovery only requires access, not that they be given a copy. We allow the defense attorneys to view it in our office. They can watch it as many times as they want and take whatever notes they want, they just can't get a physical copy to take home. If they wanted to introduce it at trial for whatever reason, we could provide the copy then.
 
Posts: 1111 | Location: Waxahachie | Registered: December 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We only allow the defense attorney to view the forensic interview in our office. When the defense has requested that the judge order a copy to be turned over, I have argued that there is a public policy interest against a recording of a child describing sex acts being out there in the public, and that if the recording made it to a perpetrator, he could use the visual and verbal description for sexual gratification. We allow the defense attorney to watch it as many times as he needs to in our office.
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Allen, Texas, USA | Registered: April 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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