[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Michael J. Pelletier, Alan D. Goldberg, and Todd T. McHenry, all of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.
Anita M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg, Miles J. Keleher, and Douglas P. Harvath, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.
[374 Ill.Dec. 609] OPINION
HOWSE, Presiding Justice.
¶ 1 Following a bench trial, the circuit court of Cook County convicted defendant Zoneike Porter-Boens of aggravated battery and resisting a police officer and sentenced her to a two-year term of felony probation. On appeal, we are asked to determine whether the trial court's ruling quashing defendant's subpoena for the records of civilian complaints against Lieutenant Glenn Evans, the arresting officer, was correct. Defendant requests this court examine the records, which were reviewed by the trial court in camera, to determine if its judgment was correct. The State agrees that an in camera examination of the documents by this court is necessary to properly review the trial court's ruling. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court's evidentiary ruling.
¶ 2 BACKGROUND
¶ 3 Briefly stated, the evidence presented at trial established that on September 19, 2008, while en route to a reported burglary alarm, Lieutenant Evans stopped to investigate a pit bull running in the vicinity of 7500 South Parnell in Chicago apparently chasing a couple of children. Lieutenant Evans saw a man, later identified as Sam Boens, with the dog off leash. He told Boens to leash the dog. Boens did not do so, and Lieutenant Evans testified the dog began approaching him in an aggressive manner. Lieutenant Evans fired three shots, one of which hit the dog. Defendant approached Lieutenant Evans, screaming. Lieutenant Evans asked if the dog belonged to her and defendant replied that it did. Lieutenant Evans attempted to place defendant under arrest and, Lieutenant Evans testified, defendant stepped back and punched him in the chest. Lieutenant Evans attempted to restrain defendant and she continued to strike Lieutenant Evans. Other officers arrived to assist and ultimately arrested defendant. Lieutenant Evans suffered minor lacerations and bite marks and a broken ankle as a result of the altercation with defendant.
[374 Ill.Dec. 610] ¶ 4 At the time of the shooting, Lieutenant Evans had 19 prior complaints filed against him. Defense counsel indicated to the trial court that he wanted to review all Office of Professional Standards (OPS), now the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), files related to Lieutenant Evans, including an investigation concerning the shooting of Boens' dog. Defense counsel stated he sought the information to learn what the investigation into this incident had learned and " to find out if this has ever happened before with the officer." The trial judge instructed defense counsel to subpoena the records and request that OPS hand deliver the files to the trial court for an in camera review. After more than a year, OPS and the IPRA provided 12 of the 19 requested documents. The trial court learned from the IPRA attorney that seven older files were still under the control of the OPS and were stored in a warehouse, and IPRA was having difficulty retrieving them.
¶ 5 On July 29, 2010, the trial court ruled that 3 of the 12 complaints, filed between 2000 and 2005, were too remote in time from the 2008 shooting to be relevant. In the court's view, the remaining nine complaints concerned " generalized misconduct." The court quashed defendant's subpoena. The court subsequently found defendant guilty following a bench trial. This timely appeal followed.
¶ 6 ANALYSIS
¶ 7 The sole issue on appeal is whether the trial court's ruling quashing defendant's subpoena for Lieutenant Evans' records was proper. Defendant does not contend that the records are not confidential. When confidential records are sought in discovery, the trial court should review the records in camera and use its discretion to disclose only material information. People v. Bean,137 Ill.2d 65, 99, 147 Ill.Dec. 891, 560 N.E.2d 258 (1990). Any " immaterial" record should remain undisclosed. Id. at 102, 147 Ill.Dec. 891, 560 N.E.2d 258. On appeal, defendant asks this court to ...