Copeland v. Commonwealth

In Copeland v. Commonwealth, 19 Va. App. 515, 452 S.E.2d 876 (1995), Copeland was charged with a drug-related felony. He filed "a motion for production and inspection of documents, including, specifically 'certificates of analysis.'" Id. at 516, 452 S.E.2d at 876. The Commonwealth's attorney failed to provide Copeland a copy of the certificate of analysis at least seven days prior to trial, as required by Code 19.2-187. Reversing the admission of the certificate of analysis into evidence, the Court held: Copeland's counsel requested from the attorney for the Commonwealth the certificate of analysis. The attorney for the Commonwealth delivered the certificate of analysis to Copeland's counsel three days before trial. That delivery was not timely. Id. at 517, 452 S.E.2d at 877. The Court rejected the Commonwealth's argument that Code 19.2-187 required the request to be directed to the clerk of the court. See id.