TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR USE OF THE 266TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY CASE SEARCH (DACS) BY DEFENSE COUNSEL
266th Judicial District Attorney’s office has permitted electronic
access to felony discovery by defense attorneys as part of our current open file
policy. All felony cases will be
electronically accessed through a web access point (DACS) on the District
Attorney page of the
The attorney of record in a felony case will have electronic access to the State’s file (excluding any attorney work product) through the DACS. This open file policy is offered strictly as a courtesy to defense counsel in order to satisfy the State’s duty to disclose any exculpatory or mitigating evidence and in anticipation of any standard discovery order pursuant to Article 39.14 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The District Attorney’s office reserves the right to terminate this manner of discovery, in whole or in part at any time without notice.
Any disclosure of information through the DACS is strictly for discovery purposes and does not constitute a public disclosure under any state or federal public information act, including, but not limited to, the Texas Public Information Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
You are asked to carefully read the Terms and Conditions before contacting the District Attorney’s office in order to register to use the DACS. By completing registration and receiving a password, you are indicating that you agree with all the terms and conditions of its use.
The information contained within the DACS is CONFIDENTIAL and is disclosed to defense counsel for the sole purpose of preparing the Defendant’s case and with the expectation that any of the information garnered will not be used improperly. Defense counsel is strictly forbidden to:
· Disseminate information to any person for any purpose beyond what is necessary to effectively represent the defendant; and/or
· Utilize this information to harass, threaten, or otherwise intimidate victims and/or witnesses.
· Provide printed copies of electronic discovery to any person outside of defense counsel’s employment.
Please review the restrictions on use and dissemination of discovery materials codified at Code of Criminal Procedure art. 39.14 (e), (f).
Defense counsel accepts sole responsibility to ensure that none of the information obtained from the DAACS is used or disseminated improperly. Defense counsel accepts responsibility to advise all his/her employees or agents of the limits and restrictions contained within this agreement, with respect to the use of the DACS and to ensure that all employees and agents abide by the terms and conditions contained herein.
Any breach of this agreement may result in the immediate termination of the use of the DACS and in such an event, discovery will be complied with by inspection rather than by reproduction in all future cases.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR DACS ACCESS
Defense counsel must have signed and submitted to the District Attorney’s Office, the document entitled “Agreement Regarding Discovery Information.”
Defense Counsel will be required to register with the District Attorney’s office to use the DACS. The registration process requires the attorney’s bar number, e-mail address and a password.
Use of the DACS enables the attorney of record to access his/her pending cases any time and from any computer with Internet access.
Defense counsel will access the DACS by entering his/her e-mail address and a password. In the event counsel believes his/her password has been compromised, counsel must immediately:
1. Change the password;
2. Notify the District Attorney’s office of the compromised password via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access will not be provided for any case not yet filed with the District Attorney by law enforcement, a case for which no true bill of indictment has been filed, or to any case in which the defendant has not been arrested. Access to a particular case will only be given once Counsel has notified the District Attorney’s office that counsel is attorney of record by providing a letter of representation or if an order appointing counsel has been received. Only the attorney of record may access the DACS for a particular case. Should counsel find that he/she does not have access to a particular case when counsel is of record, counsel may request access by sending an email to email@example.com. Requests made on weekends, holidays or after 5:00 pm on regular business days will not be processed until the next business day. Counsel’s access to a case will remain open until disposition of the case or until counsel is no longer the attorney of record. In the event that defense counsel is inadvertently given access to a case for which he/she is not the attorney of record, counsel should refrain from accessing the case and immediately notify the District Attorney’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is the defense counsel’s sole responsibility to:
1. Review his/her case discovery through DACS;
2. Review the discovery prior to any court settings, hearings or trials for any additions or updated information;
3. Advise the District Attorney’s office if counsel believes information is missing or incomplete;
4. Schedule an appointment to review any physical evidence;
5. Request a copy of any dvd/video; and
6. Advise the District Attorney’s office via email if there are any problems with access to the DACS.
Please note the new duties of the prosecutor and the defendant to acknowledge disclosure and receipt of discovery. Code of Criminal Procedure art. 39.14 (j). “Before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or before trial, each party shall acknowledge in writing or on the record in open court the disclosure, receipt, and list of all documents, items, and information provided to the defendant under this article.”
records, EMS records, Child Protective Services records, and any records
relating to the