Thursday, June 2, 2011

State Attorney General Paula T. Dow Releases Directive No. 2011-2 to All Law Enforcement Agencies in the State Regarding Retention of Police Notes.

On May 23, 2011 the State Attorney General’s Office sent a directive to all state, county and local police departments advising them that their investigators can no longer destroy crime investigative notes, and that all notes must be preserved, effective May 27, 2011.  The directive states that all notes, whether in written or oral form, including every type of media, which memorializes the police officers observations regarding his crime investigation or his interview with any witnesses must be preserved, and handed over to defense counsel at the appropriate time.

However, pursuant to the directive the investigator need not turn over any notes regarding his investigative techniques or deliberative process which according to the directive is still privileged. 

In defining a “witness interview”, the directive held that it only applies to investigations regarding crimes of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree crimes, whether committed by a juvenile or adult offender.  However, the directive makes no mention of notes being preserved for disorderly person’s offenses or motor vehicle charges. To read the directive in full go to:

This directive was made by the Attorney General’s Office pursuant to the recent New Jersey Supreme Court case, State v. W.B. decided on April 27, 2011.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Union County, Elizabeth, N.J.
Dated: June 2, 2011
N.J. Criminal Lawyer

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