The Rule Against Hearsay and Its Exceptions

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Impeachment by Evidence of a Criminal Conviction.


  1. Indiana Rules of Evidence.
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Religious Beliefs or Opinions. Writing or Object Used to Refresh Memory. Calling and Interrogation of Witnesses by Court and Jury. Excluding Witnesses. Unrecorded Statements During Custodial Interrogation. Opinion Testimony by Lay Witnesses. Testimony by Expert Witnesses. Opinion on an Ultimate Issue. The Rule Against Hearsay.

Exceptions to the hearsay rule - Court Stage - Enforcement Guide (England & Wales)

Hearsay Within Hearsay. Authenticating or Identifying Evidence.

Evidence that is Self-Authenticating. Definitions that Apply to this Article. Requirement of the Original Admissibility of Duplicates. Admissibility of Other Evidence of Contents. Copies of Public Records to Prove Content. Summaries to Prove Content. Testimony or Statement of a Party to Prove Content. Functions of the Court and Jury. Evidence Rules Review Committee. These rules apply to proceedings in the courts of this State to the extent and with the exceptions stated in this rule.

These rules apply in all proceedings in the courts of the State of Indiana except as otherwise required by the Constitution of the United States or Indiana, by the provisions of this rule, or by other rules promulgated by the Indiana Supreme Court.

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If these rules do not cover a specific evidence issue, common or statutory law shall apply. The rules and laws with respect to privileges apply at all stages of all actions, cases, and proceedings. The rules, other than those with respect to privileges, do not apply in the following situations:.


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  3. Exceptions to the hearsay rule.
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The determination of a question of fact preliminary to the admission of evidence, where the court determines admissibility under Rule a. These rules should be construed so as to administer every proceeding fairly, eliminate unjustifiable expense and delay, and promote the development of evidence law, to the end of ascertaining the truth and securing a just determination.

A party may claim error in a ruling to admit or exclude evidence only if the error affects a substantial right of the party and:. Once the court rules definitively on the record at trial a party need not renew an objection or offer of proof to preserve a claim of error for appeal. The court may make any statement about the character or form of the evidence, the objection made, and the ruling. The court may direct that an offer of proof be made in question-and-answer form. To the extent practicable, the court must conduct a jury trial so that inadmissible evidence is not suggested to the jury by any means.

A court may take notice of a fundamental error affecting a substantial right, even if the claim of error was not properly preserved. When deciding whether to admit evidence, the court must decide any question of fact by a preponderance of the evidence. The court must decide any preliminary question about whether a witness is qualified, a privilege exists, or evidence is admissible. In so deciding, the court is not bound by evidence rules, except those on privilege.

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8. The Hearsay Rule — First-hand and More Remote Hearsay Exceptions

When the relevance of evidence depends on whether a fact exists, proof must be introduced sufficient to support a finding that the fact does exist. The court may admit the proposed evidence on the condition that the proof be introduced later. The court must conduct any hearing on a preliminary question so that the jury is not present and cannot hear if:. By testifying on a preliminary question, a defendant in a criminal case does not become subject to cross-examination on other issues in the case.

This rule does not limit a party's right to introduce before the jury evidence that is relevant to the weight or credibility of other evidence. If the court admits evidence that is admissible against a party or for a purpose—but not against another party or for another purpose—the court, on timely request, must restrict the evidence to its proper scope and instruct the jury accordingly. If a party introduces all or part of a writing or recorded statement, an adverse party may require the introduction, at that time, of any other part—or any other writing or recorded statement—that in fairness ought to be considered at the same time.

The court may judicially notice:. A court may judicially notice a law, which includes:. The court:. The court may take judicial notice at any stage of the proceeding. On timely request, a party is entitled to be heard on the propriety of taking judicial notice and the nature of the fact to be noticed. If the court takes judicial notice before notifying a party, the party, on request, is still entitled to be heard. In a civil case, the court must instruct the jury to accept the noticed fact as conclusive. In a criminal case, the court must instruct the jury that it may or may not accept the noticed fact as conclusive.

In a civil case, unless a constitution, statute, judicial decision, or these rules provide otherwise, the party against whom a presumption is directed has the burden of producing evidence to rebut the presumption.

Hearsay in United States law

But this rule does not shift the burden of persuasion, which remains on the party who had it originally. A presumption has continuing effect even though contrary evidence is received. The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence. Evidence of a person's character or character trait is not admissible to prove that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character or trait.

The following exceptions apply in a criminal case:. Evidence of a witness's character may be admitted under Rules , , and Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person's character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character. This evidence may be admissible for another purpose, such as proving motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident. On request by a defendant in a criminal case, the prosecutor must:. When evidence of a person's character or character trait is admissible, it may be proved by testimony about the person's reputation or by testimony in the form of an opinion.

On cross-examination of the character witness, the court may allow an inquiry into relevant specific instances of the person's conduct. If, in a criminal case, a defendant provides reasonable pretrial notice that the defendant intends to offer character evidence, the prosecution must provide the defendant with any relevant specific instances of conduct that the prosecution may use on cross-examination.

When a person's character or character trait is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense, the character or trait may also be proved by relevant specific instances of the person's conduct. Evidence of a person's habit or an organization's routine practice may be admitted to prove that on a particular occasion the person or organization acted in accordance with the habit or routine practice.

The court may admit this evidence regardless of whether it is corroborated or whether there was an eyewitness. When measures are taken that would have made an earlier injury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove:. But the court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as impeachment or—if disputed—proving ownership, control, or the feasibility of precautionary measures. Compromise negotiations include alternative dispute resolution. The court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as proving a witness's bias or prejudice, negating a contention of undue delay, or proving an effort to obstruct a criminal investigation or prosecution.

In a civil or criminal case, evidence of the following is not admissible against the defendant who made the plea or participated in the plea discussions:. The court may admit such a plea, offer, or statement:.

Capsule 13 - Hearsay Exceptions: Overview, Admissions, Res Gestae