When cases are brought to court, often the evidence is deemed inadmissible. Evidence is considered a hardcore material proof against a suspect which would prove that they were involved in unlawful activity.
Best Evidence Definition
Presenting a case to a court or jury frequently requires utilizing composed, recorded or photographic proof. These kinds of evidence incorporate pictures of property harm, voice message accounts and recordings. At the point when composed, recorded or photographic proof is required for a meeting or trial, the Federal Rules of Evidence give that the ‘first composition, recording, or photo must be given to demonstrate its substance except if the first is lost, annihilated, or in any case unobtainable.’
This undergirding standard of evidentiary law is known as the Best Evidence Rule, likewise alluded to as the original writing rule. The establishment of the Best Evidence Rule is that the original composition, recording or photo is the most ideal approach to demonstrate the genuine substance of the proof.
This is on the grounds that requiring best evidence guarantees that defendants give proof that will best solve a dispute in court. Other proof of the composition, recording, or photo will be acceptable ONLY if the first report isn’t accessible.
Best Evidence Rule FRE
According to the Federal Rule of Evidence, the Rule 1002: Requirement of the Original says, ‘An original writing, recording, or photograph is required in order to prove its content unless these rules or a federal statute provides otherwise’.
The Best Evidence Rule Examples
There are everyday examples of the best evidence rule being used in court. For instance, a witness may affirm that she gave payment to someone without entering a receipt for the installment into proof. In this situation, the witness isn’t vouching for what the receipt says, however is vouching for making payment.
The payment presented is by entering the receipt into proof doesn’t imply that the Best Evidence Rule necessitates that the receipt be entered.
But if the other person doesn’t recall receiving the payment, but has a receipt and wants to testify as to what the receipt shows, the Best Evidence Rule will apply since it’s the content of the receipt that is being offered. The best evidence of what the receipt shows is the receipt itself and the original receipt (or a photocopy) should be entered into evidence.
Another example of best evidence rule is that a plaintiff may present a duplicate of a lease agreement in a landlord-tenant dispute. But if the defendant claims that the document is fraudulent and has been forged somehow- after having some merit to the claim- then the judge may ask the plaintiff to bring forward the original lease agreement. That would be the best evidence considered in this particular case.
Best Evidence Rule Exceptions
In every court, the best evidence rule applied wherever there may be confusion about the credibility of the evidence. However, not always does the best evidence rule apply. There are certain exceptions to this rule:
Exceptions to the Best Evidence Rule exist. The original writing, recording or photographic evidence is not required when:
- All the originals are lost or destroyed and not by the party offering the evidence acting in bad faith
- The original cannot be obtained by any available judicial process
- The party who the original document would be offered against had control of the original, was put on notice that the original would be a subject of proof at the trial or hearing, and fails to produce it
- The writing, recording or photograph is not closely related to a controlling issue in the case
Public records can be proven with a copy of an official record, or of a document that was recorded or filed in a public office, when:
- The record or document is otherwise admissible
- The copy is certified as correct; or a party who has compared the copy to the original testifies that the copy is correct.
Most times a case is completely ruled out because the evidence is not admissible, because it isn’t complying with the best evidence rule.It is common sense really; unless the evidence is relevant to the defendant and the case, the prosecutor can’t bring in any evidence. The judge will rule it out and it will be considered inadmissible in court- meaning excluded from the reports and that particular evidence will not impact the verdict in any case.
Moreover, if the evidence seems irrelevant at the start but later connects on with the case; either legally or logically, can then be added to the evidence list and be deemed as admissible. There are different cases how this might be possible; if a case can describe the motive for a person to commit a certain crime, it is admissible and relevant in front of the jury.
The best evidence rule is really helpful in shaping up the nature of proofs in a case, since forgery and fraudulent documents are so common, it is often hard to trust photocopies. Thus the availability of having an original document really helps the case.
Other than that it is up to the judge whether to rule out the evidence based on each case individually.