State of Utah v Travis Dee Timmermann Edit Case Brief help

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State of Utah v. Travis Dee Timmermann 2009 UT 58

State of Utah v. Travis Dee Timmermann 2009 UT 58

Procedural History

The State of Utah v. Travis Dee Timmermann was a case upon which the Utah Supreme Court came to the unanimous decision and affirmed the district court denied the motion and allowed the admission of Mrs. Timmermann statement giving voluntary to law enforcement and SANE nurse. The admission of the statement did not violate spouse marital privilege because it does not cover voluntary statement giving to law enforcement outside of the court preceding. Mr. Timmerman argue that under the sixth amendment of the United States Constitution and article 1, section 12 of the Utah Constitution prevents the used of out of court voluntary statement (2015). Mr. Timmerman was charged with attempted rape, forcible sexual abuse, and assault. At the preliminary hearing, the victim, Mrs. Timmerman, invoked her spousal privilege not to testify against her husband (2015). The State then introduced into evidence Mrs. Timmerman’s previous statements to the police and to a sexual assault nurse. With those statements, the magistrate bound Mr. Timmerman over for trial (2015).

Facts

During the early morning of June 30, 2007, the Timmeran’s neighbor heard a woman screaming “stop it!” and “help me!” Around 7:00 am, the neighbor notified the police. Officer Mclelland interviews Mrs. Timmeran he notcies she had bruises the  ask Mrs. Timmerann to supply a witness statement. In her statement, Mrs. Timmeran wrote that Mr. Timmeran repeatedly to hit her and force her to have intercourse. Another police officer asked her to submit to a sexual assault examination with a SANE nurse. At the preliminary hearing, Mrs. Timmeran invoked her spousal privilege not to testify against her husband. The State then introduced into evidence Mrs. Timmeran’s previous statements to law enforcement and to a sexual assault nurse. Mr. Timmeran subsequently filed a motion to quash the bindover. The district court denied the motion. Mr. Timmerman now appeals the district court’s denial of this motion.

ISSUE

Does the district court admission Mrs. Timmerman’s statements to law enforcement and medical personnel violate Mr. Timmerman’s constitutional right spousal testimonial privilege.

Procedural History

The State of Utah Supreme court denied the motion Mr. Timmermann’s to quash because Mrs. Timmermann constitutional rights did not get violate her spousal privilege rights. 

There is an exception, adopted from English common law, exists for crimes or torts committed by one spouse against the other.  Most jurisdictions refuse to apply the privilege in cases where one spouse is accused of committing a crime or tort against the other.  The exception is defined differently among the jurisdictions.  In Connecticut, the privilege is suspended only for crimes of bodily injury or violence by one spouse against the other.[47]

Ruling

Affirm.

Concurrence 

The district court denied the motion and held that the admission of Mrs. Timmerman’s statements did not violate Mr. Timmerman’s constitutional rights or Mrs. Timmerman’s spousal testimonial privilege. Mr. Timmerman now appeals the district court’s denial of his motion. We are asked to consider whether the Confrontation Clauses of the United States Constitution and Utah Constitution apply to preliminary hearings and whether the spousal testimonial privilege embodied in the Utah Constitution applies to a spouse’s voluntary, out-of-court statements. We affirm the trial court.

The unanimous decisionopinion of the court made by Chief Justice Durham’s.All Chief Justice concur with the circuit court that spouse constitutional privilege was not violated due to spouse testimonial privilege does not apply to statements and testimony collected outside of court preceding.  Spousal testimony applied only to court testimony, which is this case, did not happen. Mrs. Timmerman was not force to testify in court room or to given involuntary testimony against her husband.  Prosecutor using Mrs. Timmerman voluntary statement to the police and SANE nurse did not violate her spousal testimony privilege. If the court block the used Mrs. Timmermann statements it would left out relevant information and evidence from the preliminary hearing more than it will hurt the marital harmony. 

Reference:

[47] Spousal Privileges“Honey, the Judge Says We’re History!”*By Sally A. Roberts Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-84a (exception to privilege applies when one spouse “received personal violence from the other”).

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