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Menendez v. Superior Court

Supreme Court of California
834 P.2d 786 (Cal. 1992)


Jose and Mary Louise Menendez were allegedly killed by their sons, Lyle and Erik (brothers) (defendants). The Municipal Court of the Beverly Hills Judicial District of Los Angeles County issued a search warrant and obtained tapes from four sessions the brothers had with their psychologist, Dr. Oziel. The recordings of the first two sessions reflected that Lyle Menendez implicitly, if not directly, threatened to kill Dr. Oziel because his brother, Erik, had confessed the murders to him. The latter two sessions contained no such threats. Dr. Oziel filed a motion in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming the tapes fell under the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The Los Angeles Superior Court rejected Dr. Oziel’s claim as to all four sessions and the court of appeals affirmed. The brothers appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)

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