DEFENDANT, by and through the undersigned attorney and pursuant to Rule 3.220(f), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, hereby moves this Honorable Court to enter an Order authorizing Defendant to issue a Subpoena Duces Tecum in this cause. As grounds for this Motion, Defendant states as follows:
- On October 29, 2012, Defendant was arrested and charged with the offense of Battery (M1), a violation of Section 784.03(1)(A), Florida Statutes.
- Defendant has elected to participate in the discovery process pursuant to Rule 3.220, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.
- The underlying principles supporting pretrial discovery in a criminal case are fairness, prevention of surprise by either the prosecution or the defense, and the facilitation of a truthful fact-finding process. State v. Coney, 294 So. 2d 82 (Fla. 1973); Kilpatrick v. State, 376 So. 2d 386 (Fla. 1979).
- The Defense is charged with the responsibility of investigating its case in an effort to search for the truth.
- In the course of searching for the truth, it often becomes necessary for the Defense to subpoena certain records if those records may lead to relevant and admissible evidence.
- In the instant case, a key issue will be whether Defendant acted in self-defense against an unlawful use of force (or a use of force that reasonably appeared to be imminent) by employees of a motor vehicle repair shop fictitiously known as Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care (hereinafter referred to as “Cottman Auto”).
- Defendant submits that, in the course of a dispute over automotive repairs at Cottman Auto, the alleged victims (employees of Cottman Auto) refused to return Defendant’s vehicle and demanded payment for unauthorized repairs or repair charges in excess of the final estimate.
- Defendant submits, that under applicable Florida Statutes, the alleged victims’ refusal to return Defendant’s vehicle was unlawful.
- Section 559.909(4), Florida Statutes, provides that:
- Defendant contends that Cottman Auto performed unauthorized repairs on Defendant’s vehicle, failed to provide a written estimate, failed to obtain a written waiver of said estimate, and otherwise failed to substantially comply with Chapter 559, Part IX, the “Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act.”
- Defendant contends that the alleged victims in the instant case (Cottman Auto employees) initiated the use of force against Defendant in order to unlawfully retain possession of Defendant’s vehicle.
- Defendant submits that the alleged victims were not entitled to use any degree of force or threaten any degree of force against Defendant in order to maintain possession of a vehicle that the alleged victims were holding unlawfully.
- The legality of Cottman Auto’s continued possession of Defendant’s vehicle, as well as the legality of any use of force of Cottman Auto employees, can be easily determined by an examination of the documents produced, submitted, or provided during the course of Cottman Auto’s transaction with Defendant.
- Accordingly, Defendant requests that this Court authorize the issuance of a Subpoena Duces Tecum to allow Defendant to obtain the following documents:
- The above-described Subpoena Duces Tecum would be issued to Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, located at 4711 Blanding Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32210.
- The proposed Subpoena would support the truth-finding function of discovery by facilitating the exchange of information critical to Defendant’s potential self-defense claim.
- The above-described documents and information are highly relevant, potentially exculpatory in nature, reasonably limited in scope, and are necessary for Defendant to prepare his defense.
- The requested Subpoena is limited to two categories of documents and would impose a minimal burden on Cottman Auto, which has ready access to said documents.
- The undersigned counsel has a good-faith basis in presenting this Motion to the Court.
- The documents requested in this Motion cannot be obtained through normal discovery under Rule 3.220, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.
- The undersigned has attached to the present Motion a proposed Subpoena Duces Tecum to Cottman Auto at the address described above.
b. Any and all documents provided to Defendant by Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care (and/or its agents, servants, employees, or representatives) in connection with repairs or services performed on Defendant’s vehicle or contemplated with respect to Defendant’s vehicle.
WHEREFORE, Defendant respectfully requests that this Honorable Court enter an Order authorizing Defendant to issue a Subpoena Duces Tecum to Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, 4711 Blanding Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32210, for the above-described documents. Alternatively, Defendant requests that this Court enter an Order directing the Clerk of Courts to issue the requested Subpoena Duces Tecum.