This Is The First Part of a Continuing Series Of Material Provided To The KACDL News For Distribution In Their Monthly Newsletter.
By: KACDL Member – Joey Stidham, SRI
During the Annual KACDL conference in September I was asked to contribute to your newsletter. This request was a great honor to me. I know and respect many of the attorneys that belong to this organization and you truly are legends. Attorneys and Investigators see things from different perspectives. My background as a trooper (or as many of you say, “the dark side”) gives me unique insight as to what occurs; not only from the perspective of an investigator, but also from the perspective of the prosecution. This series is meant to provide you a sort of a checklist of items to look for in each criminal case.
Rhetorical question: Now Joey, do you actually think we don’t know to get the case report?
Answer: I am willing to take you to dinner if you know that per KSP Policy OMC-1, every 120 days the case is to be reviewed by a supervisor. The supervisor has to fill out a KSP-3 and give it to the investigating officer to review and then that investigating officer has to follow-up on what the supervisor has ordered in the KSP-3 and supplement the case. The following is the pertinent part of this policy:
CASE REPORTS AND CASE REVIEWS
A. Squad Sergeants shall ensure quality control of case reports and shall specifically be responsible for the following:
1. Requiring an officer to complete a quality control checklist if case reports do not meet quality control guidelines; and
2. Ensure the officer has completed a follow-up within 30 days of the case being opened. Letters and telephone communications may be substituted or used in addition to actual visitations as a form of follow-up investigation.
B. Case reviews shall be completed every 120 days on each officer and shall include the following:
1. Open cases: Sergeants shall review the officer’s case file to determine the appropriate action that should be taken on each case;
2. Active and Inactive KSP-41 files: Affected Sergeants shall review the officer’s active and inactive KSP-41 file advising the preferred disposition of the evidence; and
3. Evidence log: Supervisors shall request and receive a photocopy of the officer’s evidence log to review and certify that the officer’s case file and KSP-41 file coincide with the listed property on the officer’s evidence log.
C. A Sergeant may spread out the review of his squad’s case files over a four month time period. Each individual officer’s case file shall be reviewed in its entirety during a particular month. The first case review shall be completed during the months of January, February, March or April and then repeated at 120-day intervals during the calendar year. The final case review of the calendar year for each officer shall consist of a face to face meeting between the Sergeant and officer to discuss and review the case file.
D. Sergeants completing a case review, shall document the actions required by the case officer using the Case Report Review Form (KSP3). Instructions for completing the KSP-3 can be located in the Case Management Handbook. Completed KSP-3’s shall be maintained in accordance with AM-C-6. KACDL: Advocating Key Liberty Issues; Educating Criminal Defense Practitioners; Advancing Justice for Kentuckians Angela Rea, Editor KACDLNews@kacdl.net
E. Officers shall complete the Case Report Review Form as directed, and note any deviation from the requested action on the form. Officers shall supply court dispositions or note on the Case Report Review Form the reason for their inability to complete the assignment. All court orders for disposition of evidence shall be attached to the Case Report Review Form.
F. The Case Report Review Form and documentation of completed tasks, as assigned, shall be returned to the reviewing Sergeant, who shall determine if the officer has completed the instructions and tasks assigned as part of the case review. The reviewing Sergeant shall address any discrepancies. All evidence dispositions associated with the case review shall be completed.
G. The completed and reviewed documents shall be forwarded to the Investigative Lieutenant /or Operations Lieutenant for review as directed by the commander, or directly from the Sergeant to the affected clerical staff for placement in the appropriate case report file.
My guess is that virtually none of you have seen these documents in any case file that has ever been produced to you. There is a reason for this: they are stored in a case review file on post, not in the actual case file. You must request the case review file to get these documents.
Other articles in this series will appear in future KACDL newsletters and on the SRI blog. They will address additional issues that are important to thorough representation of defendants in criminal cases.
To access a copy of the KSP Policy Handbook, please visit the Document Resource Library found on the KACDL website under Resources: Members Section. Log in required.