Prisoner wins court review of officer’s personnel file

By From page A5 | August 27, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A state prisoner charged in Solano County with possessing marijuana and heroin has the right to a court review of the personnel files for a California Department of Corrections officer who searched his cell, a state appellate court decided in a ruling filed Monday.

Lawrence Smith petitioned to set aside an order denying his request for discovery of the officer’s records and the First Appellate District said Smith established good cause for the Solano County Superior Court review likely to be done by Judge Harry S. Kinnicutt, whose previous ruling on the records check was overturned by the appellate court.

During a Jan. 14, 2013, search of Smith’s cell, officers said they found a baby powder container with a large bindle of marijuana and a second bindle – made from what appeared to be the finger of a latex glove – with heroin, according to the ruling.

Smith said he had no heroin but because he “does not sufficiently cower before correctional authority” he faces the drug charges.

The appellate court ruling states that, using the relatively low standard set in a previous court case, Smith satisfied the criteria and is entitled to an in-court review of the officer’s records.

Smith’s assertions are sufficient to “meet the low bar necessary to trigger the trial court’s obligation” to review the personnel file of the officer, the appellate court ruled.

An Oct. 23 conference is scheduled in Solano County Superior Court for Smith’s criminal case.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Tax PayerAugust 26, 2014 - 6:50 am

    So let me get this straight. He is in prison. He loses his 4th amendment rights? But wait an appellate courts rules he can now view the officers personnel file? Ridiculous! BS

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  • SKAugust 26, 2014 - 6:57 am

    That has got to be the DUMBEST court ruling that I have ever heard of, unless this Correctional Officer is suspected of planting stuff on prisoners. But then that should be taken care at the prison's administrative level, and if proven that he does that/did it, needs to be FIRED!!!!!!

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  • truth'nAugust 26, 2014 - 12:42 pm

    Once again the courts give wide freedoms to perps. This criminal aimed low and succeeded.

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  • truth'nAugust 26, 2014 - 12:44 pm

    Judge Harry S. Kinnicutt, whose previous ruling on the records check was overturned by the appellate court. No Surprise Here. Kinnicutt runs a Courtroom of Corruption.

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  • ReallyAugust 26, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    Truth'n: You have no idea of what you speak. If you knew anything about Judge Kinnicutt, you would know he is all about truth, and justice. Were you on the wrong side of the law in his courtroom?

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  • What's this aboutAugust 26, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    Shaking my head.

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