People v. Tsiamas, 2015 IL App (2d) 140859 (December 2015). Episode 122 (Duration 5:12)
Add this case to the list of “DUI Discovery Violation” cases we should know about. Defense team is entitled to the booking room video.
The Four Cases
These cases are:
- People v. Kladis, 2011 IL 110920
- People v. Moravec, 2015 IL App (1st) 133869
- People v. Aronson, 408 Ill. App. 3d 946 (2nd Dist. 2011)
- People v. Tsiamas, 2015 IL App (2d) 140859 (December 2015)
See also more Illinois DUI Opinions and Cases.
So What Happened Here
People v. Kladis supports some kind of discovery sanction in this DUI case where police failed to turnover booking room video.
After a traffic stop, Defendant gets arrested for possession of cannabis. At the station they say he failed the fields. The events in the booking room were recorded on video maintained by the police department.
Notice To Produce
The same day defendant filed his rescission petition, he also filed a motion for pretrial discovery under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 214 and a notice to produce at trial under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 237.
After 30 days, the police department informed the court, that it “ha[d] no recordings” responsive to the subpoena. Thereafter, defendant made an oral motion for sanctions against the State.
Trial Judge Refused To Find a Discovery Violation
Here, the trial court incorrectly framed the controlling issue: The question was not whether Kladis specifically had yet been “extended to the booking room.” Rather, the question was whether, in the trial court’s discretion, a properly requested recording of field sobriety testing or the warning to motorists—regardless of where either was performed— was discoverable in a rescission proceeding.
The answer is YES, and it would have been an abuse of discretion had the trial court exercised its discretion and found otherwise.
Booking Room Video Discoverable
The FSTs were done in the booking room, accordingly, because the booking room recording was discoverable, a subpoena to obtain the recording was not required. Once defendant filed his motions, the State was officially on notice to take action to preserve the recording for its eventual production either before trial or at trial. The State also suggested that it was defendant’s burden to determine when the recording was destroyed. This notion was handsomely struck down.
For one thing, the State simply ignored the request for discovery. It is well settled that when counsel presents his adversary with a Rule 237 notice to produce, absent being served with objections, “he has the right to assume that his opponent has complied.”
The court held that if the police record a driver’s field sobriety tests or the officer’s recitation of the warning to motorists, and the driver timely requests that recording in discovery in his or her rescission case, it should be provided as expeditiously as possible.
Trial court was reversed, and the case remanded so the trial judge can craft an appropriate remedy. The court need not automatically impose the sanction used in Kladis, viz., barring the arresting officer’s testimony. Rather, the court is free to exercise its discretion and craft a sanction befitting the situation at hand.
…So we should keep an eye on this one to see what happens on remand.