Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Are emails are legally admissible in court?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    6

    Default Are emails are legally admissible in court?

    Well, I know they are, or can be, admissible, but I am wondering what
    specifically I would have to do to present my email as evidence in a civil
    matter. I have the full headers of the email, but since some of them are
    years old, I doubt I will be able to get anything further than the full
    headers. Plus, they are all stored on the email server anyway.

    So, will my emails be okay to present before a judge in a "he said, she
    said" type of case to help prove my point?

    Thank you,
    -James



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    275

    Default Are emails are legally admissible in court?

    In article <X6Kdnc8poeCKtjGiRVn-vA@bway.net>, "JD" <james@bway.net> wrote:
    Well, I know they are, or can be, admissible, but I am wondering whatspecifically I would have to do to present my email as evidence in a civilmatter. I have the full headers of the email, but since some of them areyears old, I doubt I will be able to get anything further than the fullheaders. Plus, they are all stored on the email server anyway.So, will my emails be okay to present before a judge in a "he said, shesaid" type of case to help prove my point?
    Depends on your jurisdiction, but you'll need to lay a foundation, like
    you would for any email. Someone would have to be able to say they sent
    the email, or received it, or something like that to know its the same
    email that is at issue in the case.

    Also, it's hearsay, so you would need one of the hearsay exceptions.
    Generally not too hard if the email is from the defendant, but otherwise
    it could be tough.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Are emails are legally admissible in court?

    "JD" <james@bway.net> wrote in message
    news:X6Kdnc8poeCKtjGiRVn-vA@bway.net...
    Well, I know they are, or can be, admissible, but I am wondering what specifically I would have to do to present my email as evidence in a civil matter. I have the full headers of the email, but since some of them are years old, I doubt I will be able to get anything further than the full headers. Plus, they are all stored on the email server anyway. So, will my emails be okay to present before a judge in a "he said, she said" type of case to help prove my point?
    The e-mail message is admissible if it can be authenticated.
    "Authentication" means prove that this piece of paper is actually what you
    claim it to be. ("Foundation" means do the authentication in advance,
    before the judge or jury or a witness may consider, or possibly even see,
    the evidence). If the other party doesn't object to the evidence, then it's
    admissible without authentication, unless you are in small claims court.

    I can't tell you specifically how to authenticate an e-mail because I don't
    know the technology well enough. But here is a hypothetical concerning
    authentication of a photograph:
    Plaintiff submits the photograph as evidence.
    Defendant objects on the grounds of "foundation" or "authentication."
    Objection sustained (tentatively).
    Plaintiff calls the photographer to testify.
    Photographer testifies (a) that he took the picture, developed it personally
    or had it developed under his personal supervision or had it developed by an
    independent service which will testify next, (b) that he kept the exposed
    film and this particular print in his possession exclusively, except when it
    was in the hands of the developer and except for periods when it was locked
    in a cabinet which no one but the photographer had access to, until the
    moment that it was handed to the clerk or to the attorney who submitted it,
    and (c) that this print is the same one that he handed to the clerk or to
    the attorney.

    Plaintiff resubmits the evidence.
    Defendant cross-examines the photographer.
    Objection renewed.
    Objection overruled.

    McGyver



Similar Threads

  1. court next friday
    By signature in forum Child Custody & Support
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-18-2005, 07:02 AM
  2. Court Rulings relating to income taxes ...
    By ChristianAnarchist in forum Federal and State Tax Law
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-08-2005, 10:06 AM
  3. Staten Island Traffic Court: Toughest in City
    By Toastmaster in forum Traffic Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-07-2004, 12:30 PM
  4. bankruptcy in the uk
    By Blatt in forum Debt and Loans
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-10-2003, 10:32 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •