Minnesota Source Code Update: 1st Judicial District Consolidating Cases

Posted On September 09, 2009 by Charles Ramsay

The fight over Minnesota's Intoxilyzer 5000 continues to rage on. Now that CMI (the breath test manufacturer) has agreed to permit defense experts access to the breath test machine's software, the defense bar has assembled a team of experts to analyze the source code.

Analysis will take time, however. I believe we'll have our expert analysis completed before the end of January. Most courts are pushing cases out well into 2010 to accommodate our schedule.

In Minnesota's First Judicial District, the judges are consolidating all the source code cases before Judge Abrams. The district is comprised of the following counties: Carver - Dakota - Goodhue - LeSueur - McLeod - Scott - Sibley.

A preliminary hearing will be held in November. Today, Judge Abrams said in court that about one-thousand cases have already been combined.

I believe this is just the start. Judges from other districts have begun to consolidate all of the cases before them. I predict the state will consolidate all such cases soon. Given the complexity of the issues involved and the uniqueness of issues I expect the analysis will reveal, consolidation is not the answer.

Hennepin County has taken steps to streamline the process to obtain an order for the source code. Chief Judge Swenson has issued a standing order addressing this process. In civil cases -- where drivers challenge the revoked drivers' license -- attorneys must file a Petition for Judicial Review, a motion for discovery of the source code and an affidavit addressing the requirements of Underdahl II and Brunner. In criminal cases, attorneys must file a motion for the source code along with the same affidavit. The county does not require a memorandum. It is important to note that the county imposes time requirements in addition to those in the rules of criminal procedure.

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