State ex rel. Romley v. Hutt

987 P.2d 218 (1999)

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State ex rel. Romley v. Hutt

Arizona Court of Appeals
987 P.2d 218 (1999)

Facts

Robin Treen (defendant) was charged with the theft of a car owned by James Hickey. Hickey refused Treen’s request for an interview. Judge Sherry Hutt ordered that Hickey submit to the interview. The court’s ruling permitted Treen to explore Hickey’s reasons for refusing to grant an interview and the substantive allegation that Treen lacked permission to use Hickey’s car. The court explained that not permitting a pretrial interview would effectively deny Treen the ability to prepare a defense. The state (plaintiff) filed a petition for a special action, contending that Judge Hutt’s order requiring Hickey to be interviewed violated the Arizona victims’ bill of rights. Treen argued that she should be allowed to ask Hickey why he refused to be interviewed because (1) a witness’s refusal to grant a pretrial interview demonstrated bias, interest, or hostility and was relevant to the witness’s credibility, and (2) Treen’s Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses under the federal constitution outweighed the victim’s rights under the state constitution.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Thompson, J.)

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