Owens v. State of Delaware

In Owens v. State of Delaware, Del. Pesco, J. (January 23, 2001), while the Court noted the State did not provide any of this documentation prior to trial, the State attempted to move the notes into evidence after the defendant testified. The Court concluded that since the defendant in Owens had already received documentation contained the A.I.I.R. Report, prior to trial regarding the substance of the conversation with the arresting officer. Hence, the Superior Court indicated there was no discovery violation. The Court held that the A.I.I.R. Report contained the defendant's responses to the officer's questions regarding his physical condition and his responses in requests to perform various field sobriety tests by the arresting officer. The Court noted the State did not withhold documentation of the substance of defendant's statements to the officers because these statements were already contained in the A.I.I.R. (Op. at 6). The Court in Owens went on to conclude that the "field notes at issue are merely notations the officer made at the time of the arrest in order to accurately document the content of his contact with Owens the defendant for later transfer to the A.I.I.R. Report." (Op. at 6). The Court in Owens then went on to conclude that the police officer could not interpret his field notes and testified at trial that he transferred the information from his notes into the A.I.I.R. the same night while the incident was still fresh in his mind. (Op. at 6). The Court therefore concluded that, "the delayed disclosure of the field notes is of no consequence because there contents are contained within the A.I.I.R. Further, the trial court allowed the defense counsel to review the notes and use them on cross-examination." (Op. at 6). Finally, the Court concluded the State's failure to provide the officer's field notes did not violate Superior Court Criminal Rule 16.