Los Angeles, July 11, 2017 - The state's 2nd District Court of Appeal is the latest Court to rule in ALADS' favor preventing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department from releasing to the District Attorney's Office, or anyone outside the Sheriff's Department, the list of deputy sheriffs it has identified as having potential Brady issues. Below is the statement from the ALADS Board of Directors.
A bedrock principle of American jurisprudence is that no person shall be "twice lawfully punished for the same offense." Similarly, the United States Constitution prohibits ex-post facto laws which increase the punishment for an offense after the offense occurred. California law prohibits any agency from taking punitive action against a deputy because that deputy's name was placed on a Brady List. The discipline that is imposed on a deputy must be final, and not subject to revisiting and increase at a later date.
The 2nd District Court of Appeal court made clear that Penal Code section 837.2 (Pitchess) complies with the Constitution and provides adequate procedures for requesting Brady information about deputies. It also sharply noted that the plain language of the section "categorically prohibits disclosure absent compliance with the Pitchess statutes. The confidentiality of the information protected by the Pitchess statutes does not depend upon who is seeking it or for what purpose it is sought." The court also correctly noted "disclosure of a deputy from the Brady List will cause stigma and irreparable harm to the individual deputy's reputation, while non-disclosure will cause no comparable harm to the LASD or the other real parties."
While the court took no action regarding internal lists created by the Sheriff's Department or the department's newly proposed Brady policy issued during the pendency of the case, the ruling was a clear statement that long established court procedures for outside parties to access the personnel records of deputies are constitutional and must be followed.
We are pleased that the court recognized that ALADS is correct that the names of peace officers are confidential and not subject to disclosure absent a Pitchess Motion when connected or linked with the officer's discipline under Copley Press, POST, and Long Beach.