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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Protecting Victims from Invasive Discovery Requests

July 02, 2012

NCVLI was recently asked to provide technical assistance to a victim’s attorney who sought to prevent a defendant—who is charged with the attempted murder of the victim—from deposing the victim as part of civil restraining order proceedings.  The victim has the right to refuse defendant’s discovery requests, including deposition requests, but defendant argued that this right did not extend to the civil protective order proceedings.  NCVLI provided support to the victim’s attorney as she sought to ensure that victims’ rights are protected, and defendants are prevented from using civil protective order proceedings to make an end run around these rights and the limitations on discovery in criminal proceedings.  Victims are entitled to protection from harassing and invasive discovery requests from defendants, regardless of whether the discovery is sought as part of the criminal proceedings or related civil proceedings!  The victim’s attorney expressed her gratitude for NCVLI’s assistance:  “Thank you so much for this information.  I really appreciate your quick response given my short turn around.  I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.  Thank you for the support!”

NCVLI is happy to report that the case resulted in a positive outcome—the court granted the victim’s attorney’s request and quashed defendant’s subpoena to depose the victim!  Thank you to our partners on the ground for working with us to ensure protection of this victim’s rights.

 

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