Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State ex rel. Healea v. Tucker

Supreme Court of Missouri, En Banc

May 1, 2018

STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. SHAYNE HEALEA, Relator,
v.
THE HONORABLE FREDERICK P. TUCKER, Respondent.

          ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN MANDAMUS

          MARY R. RUSSELL, JUDGE

         After it was discovered the Columbia Police Department had surreptitiously recorded a conversation between Shayne Healea and his attorney at the police department, all parties agreed the recording infringed on Healea's attorney-client privilege and violated his Sixth Amendment rights. The infringement and violations are not at issue in this case. Rather, the issue is whether the relief ordered by the trial court is adequate.

         The trial court, to determine whether the recording violated Healea's Sixth Amendment rights, appointed a special master to review the recording. The master's report concluded the recording violated Healea's Sixth Amendment rights, but the master found no discussion of trial strategy because most of the attorney's voice on the recording was unintelligible or completely inaudible. Paragraph 10 of the report, however, specifically described the substance of questions Healea posed to his attorney. Despite this, the trial court directed the circuit clerk to unseal the entire report. Healea now seeks a writ of prohibition or mandamus to prevent the trial court from unsealing the master's report, along with other relief. The court of appeals issued a preliminary writ, which it made permanent in part and quashed in part in a subsequent opinion.

         The preliminary writ is made permanent in part and quashed in part. Paragraph 10 of the master's report, which described the substance of questions Healea posed to his attorney, shall be sealed. The remainder of the master's report, however, shall remain unsealed as it contains no confidential statements by Healea. Healea's additional request to order the trial court to conduct a hearing on his objections to the master's report is denied because the trial court had already conducted two hearings at which Healea presented his arguments about the matter. His attempt to challenge the validity of a search warrant by a writ is likewise denied because adequate relief can be afforded on appeal. This Court does not address Healea's other proposed requests for relief as they were not refused by the trial court and must be first ruled upon before this Court can issue writ relief.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Healea was arrested in October 2014 for allegedly backing his truck into a restaurant's outside wall, which resulted in four patrons sustaining injuries. He was charged with four counts of second-degree assault and one count of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Healea was taken to the police department, where he requested to speak with his attorney privately. The arresting officer placed Healea in a holding room, where he used his cell phone to call his attorney. Unbeknownst to Healea, there was a recording device in the holding room that captured video and audio of Healea's 15-to 20-minute conversation with his attorney.

         Shortly after the arrest, the police department turned over case materials to the Attorney General's Office, including a DVD labeled "Building Video Copy #1." The DVD contained the video and audio recording of Healea's conversation with his attorney at the police station on the night of his arrest. There was no indication in the record that anyone in the Attorney General's Office ever heard or knew of the contents of the DVD at that time.

         The next month, Healea acquired a copy of the recording through discovery. Neither party raised any issue concerning the recording for the next two years until Healea filed a motion to suppress the DVD as an infringement of the attorney-client privilege and a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial. The State immediately divested itself of its only copy of the DVD. Healea also requested the trial court appoint a special master to conduct a hearing to address his request to suppress the DVD and to exclude blood test results.

         The trial court appointed a master, who filed his report and accompanying exhibits. Although the master indicated most of the attorney's side of the conversation was unintelligible or completely inaudible, paragraph 10 of the master's report described the substance of questions Healea posed to his attorney.[1] The master concluded the police department violated Healea's Sixth Amendment rights. Healea requested all charges be dismissed with prejudice, but the master's report recommended "a remedy less drastic than complete dismissal of the charges will be adequate to protect [Healea]'s right to a fair trial."

         The trial court adopted the recommendation of the master, rejecting Healea's request to dismiss the case. The trial court initially directed the circuit clerk to seal the master's report and exhibits from public view to protect any privileged communications between Healea and his attorney. After a hearing on the matter, the trial court directed the circuit clerk to unseal the master's report in its entirety, allowing Healea eight days to seek writ relief, while keeping the exhibits sealed.

         Healea filed a petition for a writ of prohibition and/or mandamus in the court of appeals to prevent the trial court from unsealing the master's report and for other relief. The court of appeals issued a preliminary writ, which it made permanent in part and quashed in part in a subsequent opinion. This Court granted transfer pursuant to article V, section 10 of the Missouri Constitution.

         Standard of Review

         Pursuant to article V, section 4.1 of the Missouri Constitution, this Court has the authority to "issue and determine original remedial writs, " including the extraordinary writ of mandamus. See State ex rel. Hewitt v. Kerr, 461 S.W.3d 798, 805 (Mo. banc 2015). A relator must demonstrate "a clear, unequivocal, specific right to a thing claimed." Id. This Court, however, will not issue a remedial ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.