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State v. Hegyi

Supreme Court of Arizona

July 7, 2017

State of Arizona, Petitioner,
v.
The Honorable Hugh Hegyi, Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, in and for the County of Maricopa, Respondent Judge, Josh Rasmussen, Real Party in Interest.

         Special Action from the Superior Court in Maricopa County The Honorable Hugh E. Hegyi, Judge No. CR2013-102236

         Opinion of the Court of Appeals, Division One 240 Ariz. 251 (App. 2016) VACATED.

          William G. Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney, Jeffrey R. Duvendack, Amanda M. Parker (argued), Deputy County Attorneys, Phoenix, Attorneys for State of Arizona.

          Joshua M. Blumenreich, The Blumenreich Law Firm, PLLC, Phoenix; and Natalee Segal (argued), Ballecer & Segal, LLP, Phoenix, Attorneys for Josh Rasmussen.

          Kevin D. Heade (argued), Mikel Steinfeld, Phoenix, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

          JUSTICE GOULD authored the opinion of the Court, in which CHIEF JUSTICE BALES, VICE CHIEF JUSTICE PELANDER, and JUSTICES BRUTINEL, TIMMER, BOLICK and LOPEZ joined.

          OPINION

          GOULD, JUSTICE.

         ¶1 We hold that, pursuant to Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 11.4(b), a defendant who asserts an insanity defense and voluntarily undergoes a mental health exam must disclose a complete copy of the expert's examination report, including any statements made by the defendant concerning the charges against him. Accordingly, we disapprove the holding in Austin v. Alfred, 163 Ariz. 397 (App. 1990) to the extent it permits a defendant to redact such statements under Rule 11.4(b).

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 Defendant Josh Rasmussen was indicted for armed robbery and felony murder. After the charges were filed, his attorney consulted with several mental health experts regarding a possible insanity defense. Based on their opinions, defense counsel filed a supplemental notice of defenses listing insanity, or guilty except insane, as a defense. A.R.S. § 13-502(A).

         ¶3 Rasmussen eventually retained a psychologist to testify in support of his insanity defense. The State and Rasmussen also agreed to an examination by a joint expert. Both experts prepared reports that included statements Rasmussen made about the pending charges.

         ¶4 The State requested copies of the experts' reports. Defense counsel produced copies, but redacted Rasmussen's statements. The State moved to compel, seeking disclosure of complete copies. Rasmussen objected based on Austin, 163 Ariz. at 400, and the superior court denied the State's motion. Cf. Austin, 163 Ariz. at 400 (stating that Rule 11.4(b) implicitly allows a defendant to redact his statements from a mental health expert's report). The State then petitioned the court of appeals for special action relief.

         ¶5 The court of appeals accepted jurisdiction and granted relief, reversing the superior court's order. State v. Hegyi, 240 Ariz. 251, 256-57 ¶¶ 21-22 (App. 2016). Departing from Austin, the court held "that a defendant who is examined by a non-court-appointed expert cannot, after giving notice of the guilty-except-insane defense . . . redact his statements from his expert's report under Rule 11.4(b)." Hegyi, 240 Ariz. at 256 ¶ 18.

         ¶6 We granted review to resolve whether Rule 11.4(b) requires a defendant to disclose his statements contained in a mental health expert's report. We have jurisdiction pursuant to article 6, section ...


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