Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

A Reber Motion

My defendant wishes to make a Reber Motion. I've never heard of this & would like the correct citation so he can quote and argue his motion in front of a judge. Suposedly this is a California case. The judge indicated she has never heard of this motion & asked for his points & authorities. I have no further information. Thank You.

Asked on 7/10/03, 9:44 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Lyle Johnson Bedi and Johnson Attorneys at Law

Re: A Reber Motion

I have never heard of a Reber motion. There is however, a case Peo v. Reber 177 CA3d 523, addresses the right of the defendant to obtain psychiartric reocords of a victim or witness. You can find the case by going to findlaw, california cases, and typing Reber into the box for party name.

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Answered on 7/11/03, 2:17 am
Arnon Sincoff Law Office of Arnon I. Sincoff

Re: A Reber Motion

I have made a Reber motion in the past regarding a prosecution witness who I suspected to be mentally unreliable to testify. The motion is heard during trial even if made pre-trial, and requires criminal law expertise to be successful.

What concerns me is that your question presupposes that (1) the defendant is somehow "your" defendant, indicating that you may be a paralegal of some kind, and (2) the case must be getting close to trial for this issue to arise. Therefore, the issue is probably a serious and significant defense step in the overall strategy of the case, and if the judge stated that she has never heard of the motion, she is probably used to civil cases and is inexperienced in criminal law. All of this boils down to an unpredictable situation in which the worst could happen. The defendant needs a knowledgeable lawyer NOW, if he or she can afford one and wants to avoid a conviction.

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Answered on 7/12/03, 8:54 am
Jacqueline Goodman Rubio Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman Rubio

Re: A Reber Motion

My compliments to Mr. Sincoff-- I just read his response. I agree with his every sentiment. Except, to me, it sounded as if YOU ARE an attorney, perhaps not too familiar with criminal law. I'll give you a little more info on the Reber motion, but first I'll advise you to consult a criminal law "specialist" for assistance overall. There is no shame in not knowing this area of the law. There is great shame, however, in proceeding forward to trial alone, despite such unfamiliarity. Perhaps co-counsel at trial, or the Public Defender, would be best.

Regarding the Reber motion: The defense may secure the privileged psychiatric medical records of prosecution witnesses if the defense can show good cause for discovery of the records. Defense counsel should have a subpoena duces tecum for the records served upon the person who has the records. The records should be subbed so that they arrive before a hearing is held on their admissibility (a "Reber hearing"). If the defense shows good cause, the court then examines the records in camera and determines whether and what parts of the records should be disclosed. The court must wiegh the constitutional right of cross-X against the statutory privilege, and then release only those records essential to vindicate the defendant's constitutional rights. The cite for Reber is (1986) 177 Cal.App.3d 523. A copy of all of the psych records must be kept by the court (sealed) for appellate purposes.

If you need any further assistance, feel free to call me at 714-879-5770. Good luck with your trial.

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Answered on 7/12/03, 6:18 pm

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