Pitchess Discovery - How to File the Motion ?

The purpose of a Pitchess discovery motion is to access a policeman personnel information, when the defendant alleges police officer misconduct. In Warrick v. Superior Court (2005) 35 Cal.4th 1011, 1026 (Warrick), our Supreme Court clarified the standard required to show good cause for Pitchess discovery. As explained in Warrick, defense "counsel's affidavit in support of the Pitchess motion must . . . describe a factual scenario supporting the claimed officer misconduct. That factual scenario, depending on the circumstances of the case, may consist of a denial of the facts asserted in the police report. . . . In other cases, the trial court hearing a Pitchess motion will have before it defense counsel's affidavit, and in addition a police report, witness statements, or other pertinent documents. the court then determines whether defendant's averments, 'viewed in conjunction with the police reports' and any other documents, suffice to 'establish a plausible factual foundation' for the alleged officer misconduct and to 'articulate a valid theory as to how the information sought might be admissible' at trial. . . . What the defendant must present is a specific factual scenario of officer misconduct that is plausible when read in light of the pertinent documents." (Warrick, supra, 35 Cal.4th at pp. 1024-1025.) "A plausible scenario of officer misconduct is one that might or could have occurred. Such a scenario is plausible because it presents an assertion of specific police misconduct that is both internally consistent and supports the defense proposed to the charges. a defendant must also show how the information sought could lead to or be evidence potentially admissible at trial. Such a showing 'puts the court on notice' that the specified officer misconduct 'will likely be an issue at trial.' Once that burden is met, the defendant has shown materiality under Evidence Code section 1043." (Id. at p. 1026.)