Carolyn Kendall Examines Pennsylvania’s Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) and Obtaining Criminal History/Law Enforcement-Related Material for PACDL's For the Defense
In the September 2021 issue of For the Defense, the official publication of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL), Carolyn H. Kendall authored the article, "Navigating CHRIA – Obtaining Criminal History Record Information and Law Enforcement-Related Material in Discovery."
The article examines Pennsylvania’s Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) and its impact on information requests to prosecutors and law enforcement agencies that are often reluctant or unwilling to provide it.
Ms. Kendall notes:
"Law enforcement agencies are repositories of information about people and events and are in a unique position to gather and maintain information by using their power to obtain search warrants and interview witnesses. This makes them attractive targets for discovery requests both in civil and criminal cases."
"Although CHRIA does not operate as a total bar to discovery of all criminal history record information or law enforcement-related information, it does prevent dissemination of certain types of 'protected material' to non-criminal justice agencies, which can leave litigants with no way to make their case. Practitioners seeking criminal history information and law enforcement-related material through discovery, whether civil or criminal, must be familiar with CHRIA to effectively evaluate and challenge attempts to refuse production based on claimed-CHRIA protections."