People v. Turner

109 P.3d 639 (2005)

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People v. Turner

Colorado Supreme Court
109 P.3d 639 (2005)

Facts

In 2003, the State of Colorado (plaintiff) filed domestic-violence charges against Robert Turner, Jr. (defendant) for assaulting and harassing his girlfriend, MP. During discovery, the defense counsel served two subpoenas duces tecum to Alliance, a domestic-violence victim-advocacy center that had worked with MP. The subpoenas requested documents pertaining to any assistance Alliance had provided to MP and any domestic violence that MP had reported to Alliance. In response to the subpoenas, Alliance sent a letter to the defense counsel, stating that the center did not have to comply with the request because of the victim-advocate privilege under Colorado Revised Statute § 13-90-107. The defense counsel then filed a motion to compel, alleging that the victim-advocate privilege covered only communications made by a domestic-violence victim. Therefore, the defense counsel argued that information on the assistance provided to MP was not covered by the privilege. Alliance moved to quash the subpoena on the ground that the privilege should apply to the documents pertaining to assistance. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court found that the victim-advocate privilege did not cover information regarding assistance provided to a victim. The trial court ordered Alliance to provide the defense counsel with an outline of the type of assistance it had provided to MP. Alliance petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court to review the trial court’s finding. In response to the petition, the defense counsel alleged that without the information, Turner’s due-process rights would be violated.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kourlis, J.)

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