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E. Discovery materials

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  • 4th Circuit

    In an unpublished decision, a district court in the Fourth Circuit held that the public has at least a common law right of access to Brady and Giglio materials that are filed with the court with the objective of obtaining judicial action. In re Voluntary Disclosures in Fifty-Five Closed Cases, No. 7:16-cr-00044-MFU, 2018 WL 3540281, *5 (W.D. Va. July 23, 2018) (denying motion to seal Brady and Giglio materials filed in connection with a motion for leave to intervene).

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  • Idaho

    No Idaho court has specifically addressed the issue of whether discovery materials are subject to public disclosure.  Generally, discovery materials are not filed with a court so as to become a “court record.”  Thus, Idaho Court Administrative Rule 32 would not apply.  Once a document is filed with the court, it would fall within the provisions of Rule 32.  The Idaho Public Records Act states that exemptions to the act may not be used to limit the availability of documents and records for discovery in the normal course of adjudicatory or administrative proceedings.  Idaho Code § 74-115(3).

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  • Pennsylvania

    While Pennsylvania courts have not ruled whether there is right of access to discovery materials in criminal cases, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a civil case, has stated that “[a]ccess rights to litigation are at their nadir” during the discovery phase. R.W. v. Hampe, 626 A.2d 1218, 1224 (Pa. Super. 1993) (citation omitted). Proceedings under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 500, which are held for the purposes of preserving the testimony of a witness in anticipation of a criminal trial, are not subject to a First Amendment right of access. Commonwealth v. Selenski, 996 A.2d 494, 499 (Pa. Super. 2010) (holding that there is no right of access to testimony preservation hearing under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 500, and likening such proceedings to discovery depositions.).

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