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AZ Court Sets Standard For Defendant Requests To Use Victim Mental Health Records

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A new Arizona Supreme Court decision sets a standard for trial courts to use when deciding whether to open the door for a criminal defendant to possibly use a victim’s mental health records.

The court said Thursday that defendants can ask a trial court to review the records if there’s a “reasonable possibility” they would be useful as evidence or needed to cross-examine a witness. The decision in the case of a man awaiting trial in a Maricopa County homicide case overturned a state Court of Appeals ruling that said a defendant must satisfy a more stringent standard called “substantial probability.”