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United States v. Davidson

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 16, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
WAYNE DAVIDSON, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM

          MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge.

         Before the court is the pre-trial motion to compel discovery under Fed.R.Crim.P. 16, (Doc. 26), filed by defendant Wayne Davidson. Defendant seeks the court to issue an order compelling the government to produce medical records and the identities of alleged victim-witnesses in this case in which it is charged that the use of the narcotics the defendant allegedly distributed resulted in serious bodily injury. The motion of defendant has been briefed. For the reasons set forth below, the court will DENY the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         By way of relevant background, on December 14, 2017, defendant was indicted and charged by a grand jury with two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1). In Count 1, it was also alleged that the use of the narcotics distributed by the defendant resulted in serious bodily injury.

         On April 12, 2018, the grand jury then indicted the defendant and a co-defendant, Raymond Howard, in a Superseding Indictment, and charged Davidson with four additional counts, to wit: conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. §846; and three additional counts of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1). (Doc. 30). Further, two of the additional counts against Davidson charge that the use of the narcotics he distributed resulted in serious bodily injury.

         II. DISCUSSION

         1. Motion to Compel Medical Records of Victims Under Rule 16

         In U.S. v. Yawson, 2014 WL 3401663, *1 (W.D.Pa. July 10, 2014), the court stated:

Generally, governmental disclosure of evidence in criminal cases is governed by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16(a). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has recognized that discovery in criminal cases is limited to those areas delineated in Rule 16(a)(1) “with some additional material being discoverable in accordance with statutory pronouncements and the due process clause of the Constitution.” United States v. Ramos, 27 F.3d 65, 68 (3d Cir. 1994). As a general matter, these other areas are limited to the Jencks Act and materials available pursuant to the “Brady doctrine.” Id.

         Rule 16(a)(1) provides, in part, that a defendant is entitled to “documents, objects, books, papers, photographs, etc. that will be used during the government's case-in chief” and “reports of examinations or tests.” Insofar as defendant seeks the medical records of the alleged victims, such a request falls more specifically under Rule 16(a)(1)(E) which provides:

(E) Documents and Objects. Upon a defendant's request, the government must permit the defendant to inspect and to copy or photograph books, papers, documents, data, photographs, tangible objects, buildings or places, or copies or portions of any of these items, if the item is within the government's possession, custody, or control and:
(i) the item is material to preparing the defense;
(ii) the government intends to use the item it its ...

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