Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Source Code Not Discoverable Under Subpoena Powers

Posted On September 11, 2009 by Charles Ramsay

*Court Side-Steps Whether Confrontation Clause Gives Access

The home state supreme court of Intoxilyzer Manufacturer CMI, Inc. has rejected a driver's claim for the source code under Kentucky's version of a subpeona duces tecum. The court refused to determine whether drivers are entitled to inspect the software under the constitution's confrontation clause. In doing so, the court reversed the state's lowe court of appeals decision in State v. House.

House does not affect Minnesota litigation. Our State Supreme Court has already ruled that the source code is discoverable in State v. Brunner. In addition, the prcedural rules of Minnesota are much broader than Kentucky. The House court noted that subpeonas are "meant to permit pre-trial inspection of evidence to be admitted at trial. It is not meant to be a discovery device..." Such is not the case in Minnesota.

The only impediment to fair access to the source code: The Minnesota Attorney General's Source Code Settlement with CMI.

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