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JEFFREY ROSEN

District Attorney, #163589


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ALISON FILO
3 Deputy District Attorney, #183894

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70 W. Hedding Street, 6th Floor

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4 San Jose, California 95110
Telephone: (408) 792-2891
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Attorneys for the People

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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

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SANTA CLARA COUNTY
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THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF Case No.: Cl 777801

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CALIFORNIA, )
12 ) OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO DISMISS
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Plaintiff, ) (TRUMBETTA)
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v. ) Date: August 17, 2018
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) Dept.: 48
15 SUSAN HAZLETT BASSI, ) Time: 1 :30 p.m,
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16 Defendant. )
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20 STATEMENT OF FACTS
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On August 31, 2017, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Jacobs observed the
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defendant taking photographs inside the courthouse at the Family Justice Center. Another Santa
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Clara County Sheriff's Deputy had personally admonished the defendant on December 8, 2016, and
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January 20, 2017, that taking photographs inside the courthouse was a violation of a Santa Clara
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26 County Superior Court order. There is also a large sign posted at the front entry of the courthouse
OPPOSITION TO TROMBETTA MOTION
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announcing the Court order. The initial complaint for violating a court order (Penal Code section

2 166) was filed on or abqut November 15, 2017.

3 Apparently, as the initial charges were being considered, the defendant was back at the

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4 Family Justice Courthouse. On November 14, 2017, S anta Clara County Sheriff deputies were

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contacting an w1related third party who was violating the court order prohibiting photographs and

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asked him to delete the photographs he had taken. As he was complying with their request, the
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defendant confronted the officers and took out her cell phone with the lens facing the officer. When
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the defendant refused to stop recording the officers (in violation of Court order and in violation of

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10 Penal Code section 632), the officer told her that he would confiscate her phone. When she
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11 continued to record, the officer physically took the phone from the defendant. A s truggl e ensued,

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and the defendant was ultimately charged with violating Penal Code section 148(a)(I).
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On March 19, 2018, while criminal charges were pending for a violation of Penal Code
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section 166(a)(4), defendant was observed on court surveillance at the Family Justice Center taking
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a picture and recording with an iPad on the eighth floor of the courthouse. The defendant recorded
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an interaction with an Administrative Receptionist and the Public Information Officer for the court.
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18 That incident led to additional charges being filed.


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19 During the pendency of the case, the defendant sought to compel all "video surveillance of
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Ms. Bassi inside the Family Justice Center on November 14, 2017, including that ofber after the

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inoident and in the main lobby of the courtroom." Video surveillance of the defendant's interaction
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with the Sheriff's Deputies inside the clerk's office was capt ured on swveillance video and has been
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produced to the defense. The People do not know whether there ever was surveillance video of the
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25 ha!Iway(s) surrounding the clerk's office. If it existed, the People stipulate that the evidence was

26 lost or destroyed in the normal course two weeks after the incident occurred.
OPPOSITION TO TROMBETTA MOTION
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With respect to lhe potential surveillance video either before or after the incident, the

2 defendant files the instant motion alleging that alleging that the loss or destruction of "material

3 evidence, or of evidence which was exculpatory in nature" warrants a dismissal of the action.

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Because the defendant has made no showing that the evidence is either exculpatory or incapable of

being presented with other available evidence, the motion fails.

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7 LAW & ARGUMENT

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8 Dismissal is an available remedy when the lost evidence possesses an exculpatory value that

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was apparent before the evidence was destroyed and be of such a nature that the defendant would be
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unable to obtain comparable evidence by other reasonably available means (California v, Trombetta

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(1984) 467 U.S. 479.) 1
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The defendant's claims do not satisfy either element.
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It is not until page six of the defendant's motion that she alleges, without support, that the
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"exculpatory value is readily apparent, the video would support Ms. Bassi's account of events and
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15 would contradict the Sheriff's Deputies [sic] assertions at trial." There is no discussion in the
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motion as to what "Ms. Bassi' s account of events" is or why it is alleged that the video evidence

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would support that version of events. Instead, the defendant simply repeats the allegation that Ms.
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Bassi "had requested the video and that it was crucial to her defense." She makes no showing as to
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how the video would support her defense and/or that it could not be replicated by other evidence.
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21 By failing to identify what happened in those areas that would be relevant to the case, she can't say
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22 that other comparable "evidence" is unavailable,

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1 Although lhc defendant devotes a significant portion of her motion to the standards announced in Youngblood v.
26 Arizona ( 1984) 467 U.S. 479, she does not seek relief under Youngblood so the prosecution will not address il.
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Instead, the defendant attaches a November 14, 2017, email to County Counsel Lisa Herrick

2 (apparently on the theory that she is the attorney for the Court), the Presiding Judge of the Superior

3 Court and other associated court personnel in which she asks that the video be preserved because it

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4 "may be evidence for administrative complaints and formal criminal proceedings." She never

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indicates that the footage will exonerate her own criminal liability. In fact, at the time she requested

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that the footage be preserved, she was quite clear that her request is pursuant to her "claim that the
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court has acted in a retaliatory manner related to [her] newsgathering activities and [she] again

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request[ s] the court move [her] dissolution matter, and [her] civil matter out of the county and

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10 appoint an independent investigator with whom [she] can lodge a formal complaint with the court."
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11 In other words, Ms. Bassi asked that the footage be preserved so that she could make a claim

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of bias on behalf of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, not that the video contained any footage
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which would exonerate her from criminal responsibility.
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III.
IS CONCLUSION
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The defendant asks that the case against her be dismissed because video evidence was lost o
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destroyed. Because she fails to identify the exculpator y natuI'e of that evidence or establish that it
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cannot be replicated by other evidence, the motion fails.
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Dated: August 8, 2018 Respectfully submitted,


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22 JEFFREY ROSEN
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DISTRICT ATTORNEY
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By: LIL
ALISON FILO
Deputy District Attorney
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OPPOSITEON TO TROMBETTA MOTION
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