Tag Archives: Hearsay – Child Statements

ADMISSIBILITY OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM (GAL) REPORTS: How to overcome hearsay objections (20-01)

Almost every GAL report I have ever read included statements made by the parties as well as the child(ren). Sometimes those statements can be extremely prejudicial, especially those made by young children (many of whom are too young or otherwise unable to testify in court).

Statements such as: “I saw daddy hit mommy in the face” or “daddy touches my privates late at night” or “I get mad at mommy because she leaves me home alone” or “when mommy gets really mad she slaps my face and it hurts”.

Because those type of statements could form the basis for charging a party with a criminal offense, many defense attorneys will vehemently demand those statements be stricken from the report arguing that they constitute inadmissible hearsay.

Whether you are a prosecutor or a Guardian Ad Litem, how do you plan on responding to the hearsay objection? And if you are the presiding judge what legal analysis do you apply to reach a proper ruling?

The attached Training Update answers all those questions and also provides prosecutors and Guardians with a sample in-court script to follow.

Click here for a print ready copy of Update 2020-1

Please feel free to share this update with other prosecutors, guardians or judges that might benefit from it.

GUARDIAN AD LITEM (GAL) REPORTS AND THE FOOL-PROOF HEARSAY TEST (13-08) [OUTDATED SEE NEW VERSION AT 20-01]

QUESTION: GAL reports usually contain “out of court statements” made by various third parties including the child(ren) at issue, such as “I saw daddy punch mommy in the face.” What legal analysis should the court follow if an attorney objects to the admissibility of such statements on hearsay grounds?

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ MORE [This update is outdated. See new version at 20-01, dated March 31,2020]

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Residual Hearsay Exception Rule, Minn. R. Evid. 807 (10-12)

QUESTION: THE MORNING OF TRIAL YOU ARE ASKED TO RULE ON THE ADMISSIBILITY OF A HEARSAY STATEMENT UNDER THE RESIDUAL EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY RULE (Minn. R. Evid. 807). WHAT IS THE RESIDUAL HEARSAY EXCEPTION RULE AND WHAT 6 STEP ANALYSES MUST YOU FOLLOW TO PROPERLY RULE?

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

Pendleton10.12-Residual_Hearsay_Exception_Rule

Determining Admissibility of Hearsay – Crawford v. Washington (10-08)

The Morning Of Trial, While Addressing Motions-In-Limine, You Are Asked To Rule On The Admissibility Of A Hearsay Statement For Use In The State’s Case In Chief. The Following Is A Seven Step Analysis The Court Should Apply In Determining Admissibility Of Any Hearsay Statement Under Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004); see State v. Cox, A08-145 March 18, 2010.

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

Pendleton10.08-Determining_Admissibility_of_Hearsay-Crawford