evidence

Civil Forfeiture

Overview

Civil forfeiture occurs when the government seizes property under suspicion of its involvement in illegal activity. Such a proceeding is conducted in rem, or against the property itself, rather than in personam, or against the owner of the property; by contrast, criminal forfeiture is an in personam proceeding. For this reason, civil forfeiture case names often appear strange, such as United States v. Eight Rhodesian Stone Statues,

Federal Rules of Evidence

These are the Federal Rules of Evidence, as amended to December 1, 2015.  Click on any rule to read it.

Effective Date and Application of Rules

Pub. L. 93–595, §1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1926, provided: “That the following rules shall take effect on the one hundred and eightieth day [July 1, 1975] beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 2, 1975]. These rules apply to actions, cases, and proceedings brought after the rules take effect. These rules also apply to further procedure in actions, cases, and proceedings then pending, except to the extent that application of the rules would not be feasible, or would work injustice, in which event former evidentiary principles apply.”

Historical Note

The Federal Rules of Evidence were adopted by order of the Supreme Court on Nov. 20, 1972, transmitted to Congress by the Chief Justice on Feb. 5, 1973, and to have become effective on July 1, 1973. Pub. L. 93–12, Mar. 30, 1973, 87 Stat. 9, provided that the proposed rules “shall have no force or effect except to the extent, and with such amendments, as they may be expressly approved by Act of Congress”. Pub. L. 93–595, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1926, enacted the Federal Rules of Evidence proposed by the Supreme Court, with amendments made by Congress, to take effect on July 1, 1975.

The Rules have been amended Oct. 16, 1975, Pub. L. 94–113, §1, 89 Stat. 576, eff. Oct. 31, 1975; Dec. 12, 1975, Pub. L. 94–149, §1, 89 Stat. 805; Oct. 28, 1978, Pub. L. 95–540, §2, 92 Stat. 2046; Nov. 6, 1978, Pub. L. 95–598, title II, §251, 92 Stat. 2673, eff. Oct. 1, 1979; Apr. 30, 1979, eff. Dec. 1, 1980; Apr. 2, 1982, Pub. L. 97–164, title I, §142, title IV, §402, 96 Stat. 45, 57, eff. Oct. 1, 1982; Oct. 12, 1984, Pub. L. 98–473, title IV, §406, 98 Stat. 2067; Mar. 2, 1987, eff. Oct. 1, 1987; Apr. 25, 1988, eff. Nov. 1, 1988; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §§7046, 7075, 102 Stat. 4400, 4405; Jan. 26, 1990, eff. Dec. 1, 1990; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994; Sept. 13, 1994, Pub. L. 103–322, title IV, §40141, title XXXII, §320935, 108 Stat. 1918, 2135; Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997; Apr. 24, 1998, eff. Dec. 1, 1998; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Mar. 27, 2003, eff. Dec. 1, 2003; Apr. 12, 2006, eff. Dec. 1, 2006; Sept. 19, 2008, Pub. L. 110–322, §1(a), 122 Stat. 3537; Apr. 28, 2010, eff. Dec. 1, 2010; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec. 1, 2011; Apr. 16, 2013, eff. Dec. 1, 2013; Apr. 25, 2014, eff. Dec. 1, 2014.

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Rule 803. Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay

The following are not excluded by the rule against hearsay, regardless of whether the declarant is available as a witness:

(1) Present Sense Impression. A statement describing or explaining an event or condition, made while or immediately after the declarant perceived it.

(2) Excited Utterance. A statement relating to a startling event or condition, made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement that it caused.

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Foundation

Definition

1) In evidence  

The basis for admitting testimony or evidence into evidence. For example, an attorney must lay a foundation in order to admit an expert witness' testimony or a company's business records into evidence. Laying a foundation establishes the qualifications of a witness or the authenticity of evidence. 

2) Fund or endowment

A fund or endowment established for a benevolent purpose, such as charity, religion, education, or research.

Brady material

Evidence known to the prosecution that is favorable to the defense. Under the U.S. Supreme Court case of Brady v. Maryland, the prosecution's failure to hand over this exculpatory evidence is a violation of a defendant's due-process rights, but if the defendant is convicted, this error won't necessarily result in a reversal of the conviction.

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