By: Rebecca Brooks.
Under Crim. R. 16, when a criminal defendant makes a demand for discovery, the defendant owes a reciprocal duty of disclosure to the state.
In State v. Athon, 138 Ohio St. 3d 43, a criminal Defendant chose to make a public records request to the State Highway Patrol rather than request the information through discovery. The State moved for the Defendant to provide discovery arguing that because the information that the public records request was seeking could have been provided through discovery, the request triggered the Defendant’s reciprocal duty of disclosure.
The Court held, in reversing the holding of the Court of Appeals, that the Defendant could not manipulate the discovery duty by obtaining information from the State Highway Patrol that could have been obtained through discovery. Therefore, the Defendant owed a reciprocal duty of disclosure to the state.