dying declaration

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A dying declaration is a statement made by a declarant, who is unavailable to testify in court (typically because of the declarant's death), who made the statement under a belief of certain or impending death. The statement must also relate to what the declarant believed to be the cause or circumstances of the declarant's impending death.


An out-of-court statement is referred to as hearsay. A dying declaration is a type of hearsay. However, unlike regular hearsay, a dying declaration is admissible in court. As such, a dying declaration is as an exception to the hearsay rule.

Other general rules of admissibility also apply, such as the requirement that the declaration must be based on the declarant's actual knowledge.

The dying declaration may be used in civil law cases and criminal law cases.

Federal Rules of Evidence

The exception is listed in Section 804(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Evidence

Further Reading

For more on dying declarations, see: