Virginia Code 19.2-187 Example Case

In Coleman v. Commonwealth, 27 Va. App. 768, 772, 501 S.E.2d 461, 463 (1998), the defendant filed a discovery motion that specifically requested a copy of the certificate of analysis under Code 19.2-187. The trial court entered a discovery order permitting the defendant to inspect the certificate at the Commonwealth's Attorney's office. Both parties requested the order, but the defendant never inspected the certificate. The defendant objected at trial that he had not received a copy of the certificate, but the trial court ruled that he was bound to the terms of the discovery order. On appeal, Coleman argued that his request for a copy of the certificate was included in his general motion for discovery and that a request in that manner was sufficient. This Court affirmed the trial court and noted: "appellant never made a direct request for the certificate of analysis under Code 19.2-187, which specifically provides that the request be made to the clerk of the circuit court or to the attorney for the Commonwealth. Instead, when he proceeded through the discovery process, he chose to intermingle Code 19.2-187 and Rule 3A:11." Id. at 775, 501 S.E.2d at 464. Coleman waived any objection concerning delivery of the certificate by failing to conduct discovery as prescribed by the discovery order. See id. at 775, 501 S.E.2d at 464-65. The discovery order, to which the defendant agreed, permitted the defendant to inspect and copy the requested documents at the prosecutor's office during specified hours until ten days before the scheduled trial. The defendant did not avail himself of the opportunity to copy the documents at the prosecutor's office. At trial, he objected to the introduction of a certificate of analysis. See id. at 771, 501 S.E.2d at 462. On appeal, the Court concluded that the prosecutor "reasonably could rely upon the agreed discovery order as controlling all requests made in the motion for discovery, including the request for any certificate of analysis." Id. at 774, 501 S.E.2d at 464. The defendant, having chosen to "intermingle Code 19.2-187 and Rule 3A:11," was bound by the terms of the discovery order for all matters of discovery. Id. at 775, 501 S.E.2d at 464.