Neilson v State

Nielson appealed his drug convictions arguing that his case should have been dismissed under Rule of Evidence 505 as State did not disclose the identity of a confidential informant. The Court reversed and remanded. It held that under the plain language of 505, the only relevant issue is whether there is reasonable probability that the confidential informant can give testimony essential to the fair determination of guilt, that the district court improperly used a three part test from an earlier Court case which improperly included safety of the informant and the interest in having informants inform as considerations and thus the case must be remanded for consideration using the proper test. The Court rejected State’s arguments to the contrary holding the commentary on the rules of evidence demonstrate that the one factor test drawn from the language of 505 is the test and the three part test was not transplanted into the new rule as the earlier decision did not base its decision on the language of the then applicable rule and also erred in its discussion and interpretation of the controlling United States Supreme Court case.