Admissibility of Computerized Records

How do you get computerized records into evidence? A recent case, In re: Vinhnee, 2005 WL 3609376 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Dec. 16, 2005), has an extended discussion of the issue.

This case conflicts with the law in our federal circuit, United States v. Salgado, 250 F.3d 438, 453 (6th Cir. 2001), which has a more permissive approach to laying the requisite foundation.

The case is the subject of a discussion in this article published at website. The article cites several different cases on the subject.

The article also refers to the book written by Edward J. Imwinkelried, “Evidentiary Foundations. Section ㋔4.03[2] of that text suggests the following 11-step foundation for authenticating computer records:

*The business uses a computer.
*The computer is reliable.
*The business has developed a procedure for inserting data into the computer.
*The procedure has built-in safeguards to ensure accuracy and identify errors.
*The business keeps the computer in a good state of repair.
*The witness had the computer read out certain data.
*The witness used the proper procedures to obtain the readout.
*The computer was in working order at the time the witness obtained the readout.
*The witness recognizes the exhibit as the readout.
*The witness explains how he or she recognizes the readout.
*If the readout contains strange symbols or terms, the witness explains the meaning of the symbols or terms for the trier of fact

I recommend you file this article away for future use.

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