TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR USE OF THE CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CASE SEARCH (DACS) BY DEFENSE COUNSEL

The 91st Judicial Criminal District Attorney’s Office has permitted electronic access to criminal discovery by defense attorneys as a part of our current open file policy pursuant to Texas CCP Article 39.14.  All criminal cases will be electronically accessed through a web access point (DACS) on the Criminal District Attorney tab of the Eastland County website (eastlandcountytexas.com).

The attorney of record on a criminal case will have electronic access to the state’s file (excluding any attorney work product) through the DACS.  Discovery access through DACS is offered strictly as a courtesy to defense counsel in order to satisfy the state’s duty to disclose any exculpatory or mitigating evidence under the 91st Judicial District Court’s standard discovery order.

Any disclosure of information through the DACS is strictly for discovery purposes and does not constitute a public disclosure under any state or federal public information act, including, but not limited to, the Texas Public Information Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

You are asked to carefully read the Terms and Conditions before contacting the Criminal District Attorney’s Office in order to register to use the DACS.  By completing registration and receiving a password, you are indicating that you agree with all the terms and conditions of its use.

The information contained within the DACS is STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL and is disclosed to defense counsel for the sole purpose of preparing the Defendant’s case and with the expectation that any of the information garnered will not be used improperly.  CCP 39.14 (2)(f) governs the dissemination of discovery information. Under this article, Defense Counsel, his investigator, expert, consulting legal counsel or agent, is NOT permitted to give copies of the information provided through DACS to the Defendant, a witness, prospective witness or any person, other than to provide a copy of the witness’s own statement.  The defendant may NOT be the agent for the attorney representing the defendant. 

Before allowing any person to view a discovery document or the witness statement of another, pursuant to  CCP 39.14(2)(f),  Defense Counsel SHALL redact the address, telephone number, driver’s license number, social security number, date of birth, and any bank account or other identifying numbers contained in the document or witness statement.

 Defense counsel is strictly forbidden to:

·         Disseminate information to any person for any purpose beyond what is necessary to effectively represent the defendant; and/or

·         Utilize this information to harass, threaten, or otherwise intimidate victims and/or witnesses.

·         Provide printed copies of electronic discovery to any person outside of defense counsel’s employment.

Defense counsel accepts sole responsibility to ensure that none of the information obtained from the DACS is used or disseminated improperly.  Defense counsel accepts responsibility to advise all his/her employees or agents of the limits and restrictions contained within this agreement, with respect to the use of the DACS and to ensure that all employees and agents abide by the terms and conditions contained herein.

Any breach of this agreement may result in the immediate termination of the use of the DACS and a request for contempt proceedings. 

 

POLICIES AND PROCEDURE FOR DACS ACCESS

Defense Counsel must have signed and submitted to the Criminal District Attorney’s Office, the document entitled “Agreement Regarding Discovery Information.”

Defense Counsel will be required to register with the Criminal District Attorney’s Office to use the DACS.  The registration process requires the attorney’s bar number, e-mail address and a password.

Use of the DACS enables the attorney of record to access his/her pending cases any time and from any computer with Internet access.

Defense counsel will access the DACS by entering his/her e-mail address and a password.  In the event counsel believes his/her password has been compromised, counsel must immediately:

1.       Change the password

2.       Notify the Criminal District Attorney’s Office of the compromised password via e-mail at

ecda@eastlandcountytexas.com .

Access cannot be given to any case not yet filed with the Criminal District Attorney or to any case where the defendant has not been arrested.  Access to a particular case will only be given once Counsel has notified the Criminal District Attorney’s Office that counsel is attorney of record by providing a letter of representation or if an Order of Court Appointed Counsel has been received.  Only the attorney of record may access the DACS for a particular criminal case.   Should counsel find that he/she does not have access to a particular criminal case where counsel is of record, counsel may request access by sending an email to: ecda@eastlandcountytexas.com .  Requests made on weekends, holidays, or after 5:00 pm on regular business days will not be processed until the next business day.  Counsel’s access to a case will remain open until disposition of the case or until counsel is no longer the attorney of record.  In the event that defense counsel is inadvertently given access to a case for which he/she is not the attorney of record, counsel should refrain from accessing the case and immediately notify the Criminal District Attorney’s Office at ecda@eastlandcountytexas.com.

It is defense counsel’s sole responsibility to:

1.       Review his/her case discovery through DACS;

2.       Review the discovery prior to any court hearings , status conferences or trials for any additions or updated information;

3.       Advise the Criminal District Attorney’s Office if counsel believes information is missing or incomplete;

4.       Schedule an appointment to review any physical evidence;

5.       Request a copy of any dvd/video; and

6.       Advise the Criminal District Attorney’s office via email if there are any problems with access to the DACS.

NOTICE:  Medical Records, EMS Records, Child Protective Services Records, and any records relating to the Child Advocacy Center will be made available for inspection by appointment with the District Attorney’s Office.  These records may be reflected in DACS but they will not be viewable.  To make an appointment please call (254) 629-2659.

Juvenile cases will not be entered into DACS and thus juvenile records will not be available for viewing.  Juvenile Discovery will be made available by appointment with the District Attorney’s office.  To make an appointment please call (254) 629-2659.