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In Massachusetts criminal proceedings, the prosecution is required to give certain evidence to the defendant prior to trial.  This “mandatory discovery” consists of police records, 911 calls, forensic tests results, or similar material which is listed in Rule 14.

However, a defendant may need additional records or documentation that a prosecutor is not obligated to provide. 

Such items may include work records, phone records, school records, medical records, etc.

If such records are needed for the defendant’s case, he must file a motion with the court, pursuant to Mass.R.Crim.P. 17(a)(2), seeking an order directing the person or agency that possesses the records to provide them to the defendant.

According to Mass.R.Crim.P. 17(a)(2)

A summons may…command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents, or other objects designated therein. 

If the defendant files such a motion, the court will schedule a hearing and apply the following standard to determine whether the motion should be granted.

the party moving to subpoena documents to be produced beforetrial must establish good cause, satisfied by showing

(1) that thedocuments are evidentiary and relevant;

(2) that they are not otherwiseprocurable reasonably in advance of trial by exercise ofdue diligence;

(3) that the party cannot properly prepare for trialwithout such production and inspection in advance of trial and thatthe failure to obtain such inspection may tend to unreasonably delay the trial; and

(4) that the application [was] made in good faith and is not intended as a general fishing expedition.

Commonwealth v. Lampron, 441 Mass. 265, 269 (2004).