Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook
Reproduced with permission from
David L. Strait and the Franklin County Public Defender Office
Also see Public Records.
For cases on authentication and use of copies, see Exhibits.
Evidence Rule 803(6) -- Business records exception to the hearsay rule.
Evidence Rule 803(7) -- Absence of entry in record in a business record.
Evidence Rule 803(8) --Public records and reports.
Evidence Rule 803(9) -- Records of vital statistics.
Evidence Rule 803(10) -- Absence of public records.
Evidence Rule 803(11-17) -- Further exceptions for records of religious organizations, marriage and baptismal
family records, documents affecting an interest in property, ancient documents and
Evid. R. 902 -- Self-Authentication.
Evid. R. 1002 -- Requirement of original.
Evid. R. 1003 -- Admissibility of duplicates.
Evid. R. 1004 -- Admissibility of other evidence of contents.
Evid. R. 1005 -- Public Records (use of certified copies).
Evid. R. 1006 -- Summaries if documents are voluminous.
R.C. 2317.40 -- Records as evidence.
R.C. 2317.41 -- Photographic copies of records admissible as competent evidence.
R.C. 2317.42 -- Reports or certified copies to be admitted.
State v. Mays, 119
Ohio St. 3d 406,
2008-Ohio-4539, ¶77 – A codefendant‘s plea allocution is not admissible as a
v. Bahns, 185 Ohio App. 3d 805,
2009-Ohio-5525 – Deception to obtain drugs prosecution was
based on comparison of computerized records covering issuance of
drugs to nurses and patient records. Evidently the former were
introduced but the patient records were not. Ordinarily business
records must be provided and authenticated before a witness may
testify as to their contents. Untimely mention in a Rule 29
motion did not preserve the issue for appeal. Failure to object
did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel.
Sikora v. Gibbs (1999), 132 Ohio App. 3d 770, 774-775 -- Unsworn statement of an officer sued by arrestee, prepared after
civil suit was filed, was not admissible under the public records exception to
the hearsay rule as the contents are likely to be self-serving, thus not
satisfying the trustworthiness requirement of Evid. R. 803(6).
State v. Scurti, 153 Ohio App. 3d 183,
2003-Ohio-3286 -- BAC Datamaster was taken out of service for software
modifications. Issue was whether it had been reapproved by the Director of the
Ohio Department of Health following modifications. Letters from the department
to the company qualified for admission as public records. Letters from the
company to the department did not, but met the requisites for admission as
business records. CEO of the company was sufficiently qualified as an expert.
State v. Myers, 153 Ohio App. 3d 547,
2003-Ohio-4135, ¶ 11 -- Evidence Rule 803(6) does not require the witness whose
testimony establishes the foundation for a business record to have personal
knowledge of the exact circumstances of preparation and production of the
document. But the witness must demonstrate he or she is sufficiently familiar
with operations and record keeping procedures to able to reasonably testify that
the record is what it purports to be, and that it was made in the ordinary
course of business.
State v. Young, Montgomery App. No. 19466,
2003-Ohio-4706, ¶ 33-48 -- Statements to an emergency room nurse identifying the
defendant as the person who molested her were not admissible as business records
pursuant to Evid. R. 803(6). But they were admissible pursuant to Evid. R.
804(4) as statements relating to diagnosis and treatment as identification may
be tied to addressing sexually transmitted diseases, the potential of future
abuse, and emotional and psychological impact.
Mastran v. Urichich (1988), 37 Ohio St. 3d 44, 48-49 -- Statements by patient, as to cause of injuries, included in
patient records is not admissible under the business records exception as they
lack the necessary indicia of trustworthiness. Also see Peppers v. Ohio Dept.
of Rehab. and Corr. (1988), 50 Ohio App. 3d 87.
Ohio Dept. of Mental Health v. Milligan (1988), 39 Ohio App. 3d 178 -- Headnote 2: "Where a patient's medical file
contains records derived from more than one medical institution or similar
source, the current custodian of the file may authenticate the entire file for
purposes of Evid. R. 803(6)."
State v. Combs (1991), 62 Ohio St. 3d 278, 284 -- Medical records properly excluded absent evidence as to when and why
blood test was given, who gave it, what circumstances it was given under, and
that record was made at or near the time the test was administered.
State v. Spikes (1981), 67 Ohio St. 2d 405 -- Paragraph one of the syllabus: "R.C. 2317.422, which established a
procedure for admitting hospital records in evidence, via a sworn, written
certification from the custodian of records, preserves the confrontation rights
of a criminal defendant...(State v. Tims (1981), 9 Ohio St. 2d 136,
overruled, in part.) Also see State v. Walker (1978), 53 Ohio St. 2d 192
(copies of logbook pages relating to OMVI tests).
Hardesty v. Corrova (1986), 27 Ohio App.
3d 332 -- Proper foundation laid for admission of account records when attorney
testified as to manner in which they were prepared at his direction. One error
in an account record does not render the record inadmissible.
State v. Vrona (1988), 47 Ohio App. 3d 145 -- Custodian of the records need not have firsthand knowledge of the
transaction entered. Instead, must have sufficient familiarity with operation of
the business and preparation and maintenance of the record to establish that it
was kept in the ordinary course of business in accordance with the requirements
of Evid. R. 803(6). Also see WUPW TV-36 v. Direct Results Marketing, Inc.
(1990), 70 Ohio App. 3d 710.
State v. Knox (1984), 18 Ohio App. 3d 36 -- Telephone company security manager sufficiently qualified as custodian of the
records to authenticate printouts generated by traps placed on phone lines to
record and identify source of incoming phone calls.
State v. Hirtzinger (1997), 124 Ohio App. 3d 40 -- Victim's cell phone bill was improperly admitted as a business record
as there was no testimony from the phone company called to testify as to the
nature of their billing practices. The victim's personal experience as a
customer could not give her the knowledge needed to lay a foundation for
admission. Reversed on finding error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
State v. Lane (1995), 108 Ohio App. 3d 477 -- Cellmark laboratory casefile relating to DNA testing was prepared for
litigation and lacked the necessary trustworthiness for admission as a business
Columbus v. Lacy (1988), 46 Ohio App. 3d
161, 164-165 -- Proper foundation for admission of urinalysis results not laid
where witness was not the custodian of records for the company that actually
performed the tests. Instead, he was custodian only for company that collected
samples and forwarded them to lab.
St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Ohio Fast Freight, Inc. (1982), 8 Ohio App. 3d 155 -- Headnote 1: "There is no
hearsay exception, either in Evid. R. 803 or 804, that allows a witness to give
hearsay testimony as to the content of business records based only upon a review
of those records."
McCormick v. Mirrored Image, Inc. (1982), 7 Ohio App. 3d 232 -- Correspondence, here between attorney and adverse party,
not admissible as a business record unless strictly meets foundation requirements of Evid. R. 803(6).
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