Yeary v. State, S10G1085, Supreme Court of Georgia, June 20, 2011.
Lisa Yeary was convicted in a bench trial of driving under the influence per se based on evidence that the Intoxilyzer 5000 recorded her breath alcohol as .179 grams. The Trial Court had denied Yeary’s motion to obtain evidence possessed by CMI, Inc., a Kentucky corporation, and manufacturer of the Intoxilyzer 5000. The Trial Court had found that Yeary’s request for the source code of CMI Inc.’s Intoxilyzer 5000 was neither relevant nor material. The Court of Appeals had found that the Uniform Act to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses from Without the State, O.C.G.A. 24-10-90 could be used to obtain the testimony of witnesses but could not be used to obtain evidence with identifying the witness possessing the documents located in another state. This made it very difficult to get evidence.
The Georgia Supreme Court reversed holding that under the Sixth Amendment to the United States and Georgia Constitution, criminal defendants are guaranteed the right to compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in their defense. While the Uniform Act only expressly directs the attendance of witnesses, it has been used to compel witnesses to bring documents. The Georgia Supreme Court held that the Uniform Act can be used to produce documents from a foreign corporation, not authorized to do business in this state, not registered to do business in this state, doing business in this state, and with a registered agent in this state. The foreign corporation must identify a human agent through whom it will act and produce the requested documents.