Thursday, September 15, 2016

Case of the Day: State v. Harris, 2016 Iowa App. LEXIS 951 (Iowa App. Ct. Sept. 14, 2016)


Defendant challenges his conviction for robbery, based inter alia on the claim that the district court erred in allowing a witness deposition to be read into the record. The witness, who was Korean, relocated to Korea after the deposition and the prosecution was unable to contact him for the trial testimony.

The court found that the prosecution expanded reasonable effort in trying to locate the witness. After attempting to contact the family of the witness, the prosecution found the witness's Facebook page that appeared to show that the witness relocated to Korea to serve his mandatory military service. Although the prosecution did not attempt to contact the Korean government or take other actions, the court found that the prosecution did enough.


Procuring witness is a constant challenge when the litigation involves a foreign witness. Here is the standard when you have a witness who leaves the country.

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