Documentary evidence is the most reliable and admissible in court. A document may be defined as any record or written statement that becomes proof of a fact by virtue of the law itself or by the admission by the party against whom it is offered. The chief types of documentary evidence are:
Documentary Evidence Admissible By The Court
Documentary evidence admissible in court, meaning it can be used as evidence to prove a fact. Documentary evidence includes written or printed statements of fact that can be proved as true by the production of the original document. It is not hearsay because it was not made out of court and does not involve any personal knowledge or observation on behalf of anyone who testifies about it.
Documentary evidence does not have to comply with all rules of evidence which apply to oral testimony (oral statements).
Non-Expert Testimony Is to Be Avoided
The court can decide the case based on documentary evidence alone. This means that it is not necessary to have expert testimony in order to prove the documentary evidence admissible. For example, if you have a business contract, then you can use this contract as your primary source of evidence on whether or not there was fraud committed by your partner in crime.
Documentary Evidence Admissible the Rule of Thumb
Generally, documentary evidence is admissible in all cases. However, there are a few exceptions:
- In civil cases, documentary evidence may not be admitted as proof of the facts stated in it unless the party offering it has proven that the document was made by an authoritative source (i.e., a public officer who has the duty to keep records) at or near the time of its alleged creation and has been kept safe and available for inspection since then;
- In criminal cases, documentary evidence may not be admitted as proof of any fact unless its genuineness is established by testimony or other competent evidence; and
- In family cases such as divorce or separation proceedings where one spouse claims financial support from another spouse because they have been living together as husband/wife without interruption for at least 5 years before separation occurred (or 10 years if there were no children born during this period), there are special rules regarding what kinds of documents can be used as proof for these claims.
Documentary Evidence Admissible in Civil Cases
Documentary evidence is admissible in civil cases as long as it is relevant and material. The following are examples of documentary evidence:
- Affidavits (signed statements by witnesses)
- Correspondence (letters, emails, etc.)
Documentary Evidence Is Not Admissible in Court
In a civil case, documentary evidence is admissible. This means that the court can consider documents such as contracts, letters and receipts to determine whether or not one party has fulfilled their obligations under a contract. However, it is important not to rely solely on documentary evidence when considering whether or not a particular event occurred.
On occasion parties may submit non-expert witness statements in support of their case; however, these are often unreliable and tend not to be considered by the court unless they have been corroborated by other reliable sources such as photographs or video recordings. In order for you (as an attorney) or one of your clients’ witnesses’ statements to be admissible they must be able to give accurate details about what happened during their involvement with this case so far – including dates/times etcetera – without relying solely upon memory recall alone.”
We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of documentary evidence admissible by the court. We also hope that it has informed you of some of the common misconceptions surrounding this topic so that you can better prepare yourself for future litigation proceedings involving documents.