California Hearsay Objections

Hearsay Admission Exceptions

Admissions – Evidence of a statement is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule when offered against the declarant in an action to which he is a party in either his individual or representative capacity, regardless of whether the statement was made in his individual or representative capacity. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1220]

Adoptive Admissions – Evidence of a statement offered against a party is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement is one of which the party, with knowledge of the content thereof, has by words or other conduct manifested his adoption or his belief in its truth.[Cal. Evid. Code § 1221]

Authorized Admissions – Evidence of a statement offered against a party is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if: (a) The statement was made by a person authorized by the party to make a statement or statements for him concerning the subject matter of the statement; and (b) The evidence is offered either after admission of evidence sufficient to sustain a finding of such authority or, in the court’s discretion as to the order of proof, subject to the admission of such evidence. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1222]

Co-Conspirators’ Admissions – Evidence of a statement offered against a party is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if: (a) The statement was made by the declarant while participating in a conspiracy to commit a crime or civil wrong and in furtherance of the objective of that conspiracy; (b) The statement was made prior to or during the time that the party was participating in that conspiracy; and (c) The evidence is offered either after admission of evidence sufficient to sustain a finding of the facts specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) or, in the court’s discretion as to the order of proof, subject to the admission of such evidence. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1223]

Declarant’s Liability – When the liability obligation, or duty of a party to a civil action is based in whole or in part upon the liability, obligation, or duty of the declarant, or when the claim or right asserted by a party to a civil action is barred or diminished by a breach of duty by the declarant, evidence of a statement made by the declarant is as admissible against the party as it would be if offered against the declarant in an action involving that liability, obligation, duty, or breach of duty. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1224]

Statement of Right or Title – When a right, title, or interest in any property or claim asserted by a party to a civil action requires a determination that a right, title, or interest exists or existed in the declarant, evidence of a statement made by the declarant during the time the party now claims the declarant was the holder of the right, title, or interest is as admissible against the party as it would be if offered against the declarant in an action involving that right, title, or interest. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1225]

Minor’s Injuries – Evidence of a statement by a minor child is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if offered against the plaintiff in an action brought under Section 376 of the Code of Civil Procedure for injury to such minor child. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1226]

Wrongful Death – Evidence of a statement by the deceased is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if offered against the plaintiff in an action for wrongful death brought under Section 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1227]

Declarations Against Interest – Evidence of a statement by a declarant having sufficient knowledge of the subject is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the declarant is unavailable as a witness and the statement, when made, was so far contrary to the declarant’s pecuniary or proprietary interest, or so far subjected him to the risk of civil or criminal liability, or so far tended to render invalid a claim by him against another, or created such a risk of making him an object of hatred, ridicule, or social disgrace in the community, that a reasonable man in his position would not have made the statement unless he believed it to be true. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1230]

Prior Inconsistent Statement – Evidence of a statement made by a witness is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement is inconsistent with his testimony at the hearing and is offered in compliance with Section 770. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1235]

Prior Consistent Statement – Evidence of a statement previously made by a witness is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement is consistent with his testimony at the hearing and is offered in compliance with Section 791. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1236]

Past Recollection Recorded [Cal. Evid. Code § 1237]

  • (a) Evidence of a statement previously made by a witness is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement would have been admissible if made by him while testifying, the statement concerns a matter as to which the witness has insufficient present recollection to enable him to testify fully and accurately, and the statement is contained in a writing which:
    • (1) Was made at a time when the fact recorded in the writing actually occurred or was fresh in the witness’ memory;
    • (2) Was made
      • (i) by the witness himself or under his direction or
      • (ii) by some other person for the purpose of recording the witness’ statement at the time it was made;
    • (3) Is offered after the witness testifies that the statement he made was a true statement of such fact; and
    • (4) Is offered after the writing is authenticated as an accurate record of the statement.
  • (b) The writing may be read into evidence, but the writing itself may not be received in evidence unless offered by an adverse party.

Prior Identification – Evidence of a statement previously made by a witness is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement would have been admissible if made by him while testifying and: (a) The statement is an identification of a party or another as a person who participated in a crime or other occurrence; (b) The statement was made at a time when the crime or other occurrence was fresh in the witness’ memory; and (c) The evidence of the statement is offered after the witness testifies that he made the identification and that it was a true reflection of his opinion at that time. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1238]

Spontaneous Statement – Evidence of a statement is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement: (a) Purports to narrate, describe, or explain an act, condition, or event perceived by the declarant; and (b) Was made spontaneously while the declarant was under the stress of excitement caused by such perception. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1240]

Contemporaneous Statement – Evidence of a statement is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement: (a) Is offered to explain, qualify, or make understandable conduct of the declarant; and (b) Was made while the declarant was engaged in such conduct. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1241]

Dying Declaration – Evidence of a statement made by a dying person respecting the cause and circumstances of his death is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement was made upon his personal knowledge and under a sense of immediately impending death. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1242]

State of Mind [Cal. Evid. Code § 1250]

  • (a) Subject to Section 1252, evidence of a statement of the declarant’s then existing state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation (including a statement of intent, plan, motive, design, mental feeling, pain, or bodily health) is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule when:
    • (1) The evidence is offered to prove the declarant’s state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation at that time or at any other time when it is itself an issue in the action; or
    • (2) The evidence is offered to prove or explain acts or conduct of the declarant.
  • (b) This section does not make admissible evidence of a statement of memory or belief to prove the fact remembered or believed.

Statement of Declarant’s Previously Existing Mental/Physical State – Subject to Section 1252, evidence of a statement of the declarant’s state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation (including a statement of intent, plan, motive, design, mental feeling, pain, or bodily health) at a time prior to the statement is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if: (a) The declarant is unavailable as a witness; and (b) The evidence is offered to prove such prior state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation when it is itself an issue in the action and the evidence is not offered to prove any fact other than such state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation.[Cal. Evid. Code § 1251]

Testamentary Statements [Cal. Evid. Code § 1260]

Business Records – Evidence of a writing made as a record of an act, condition, or event is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule when offered to prove the act, condition, or event if: (a) The writing was made in the regular course of a business; (b) The writing was made at or near the time of the act, condition, or event; (c) The custodian or other qualified witness testifies to its identity and the mode of its preparation; and (d) The sources of information and method and time of preparation were such as to indicate its trustworthiness. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1271]

Absence of Business Records – Evidence of the absence from the records of a business of a record of an asserted act, condition, or event is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule when offered to prove the nonoccurrence of the act or event, or the nonexistence of the condition, if: (a) It was the regular course of that business to make records of all such acts, conditions, or events at or near the time of the act, condition, or event and to preserve them; and (b) The sources of information and method and time of preparation of the records of that business were such that the absence of a record of an act, condition, or event is a trustworthy indication that the act or event did not occur or the condition did not exist. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1272]

Official Records – Evidence of a writing made as a record of an act, condition, or event is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule when offered in any civil or criminal proceeding to prove the act, condition, or event if all of the following applies: (a) The writing was made by and within the scope of duty of a public employee. (b) The writing was made at or near the time of the act, condition, or event. (c) The sources of information and method and time of preparation were such as to indicate its trustworthiness. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1280]

Absence of Official Records – Evidence of a writing made by the public employee who is the official custodian of the records in a public office, reciting diligent search and failure to find a record, is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule when offered to prove the absence of a record in that office [Cal. Evid. Code § 1284]

Vital Statistics – Evidence of a writing made as a record of a birth, fetal death, death, or marriage is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the maker was required by law to file the writing in a designated public office and the writing was made and filed as required by law. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1281]

California Vital Statistics [Cal. Health and Safety Code § 10577]

Federal Records [Cal. Evid. Code § 1282, 1283]

A written finding of presumed death made by an employee of the United States authorized to make such finding pursuant to the Federal Missing Persons Act (56 Stats. 143, 1092, and P.L. 408, Ch. 371, 2d Sess. 78th Cong.; 50 U.S.C. App. 1001–1016), as enacted or as heretofore or hereafter amended, shall be received in any court, office, or other place in this state as evidence of the death of the person therein found to be dead and of the date, circumstances, and place of his disappearance. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1282]

An official written report or record that a person is missing, missing in action, interned in a foreign country, captured by a hostile force, beleaguered by a hostile force, beseiged by a hostile force, or detained in a foreign country against his will, or is dead or is alive, made by an employee of the United States authorized by any law of the United States to make such report or record shall be received in any court, office, or other place in this state as evidence that such person is missing, missing in action, interned in a foreign country, captured by a hostile force, beleaguered by a hostile force, besieged by a hostile force, or detained in a foreign country against his will, or is dead or is alive. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1283]

Former Testimony [Cal. Evid. Code §§ 1290, 1291, 1292]

As used in this article, “former testimony” means testimony given under oath in: (a) Another action or in a former hearing or trial of the same action; (b) A proceeding to determine a controversy conducted by or under the supervision of an agency that has the power to determine such a controversy and is an agency of the United States or a public entity in the United States; (c) A deposition taken in compliance with law in another action; or (d) An arbitration proceeding if the evidence of such former testimony is a verbatim transcript thereof. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1290]

  • (a) Evidence of former testimony is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the declarant is unavailable as a witness and:
    • (1) The former testimony is offered against a person who offered it in evidence in his own behalf on the former occasion or against the successor in interest of such person; or
    • (2) The party against whom the former testimony is offered was a party to the action or proceeding in which the testimony was given and had the right and opportunity to cross-examine the declarant with an interest and motive similar to that which he has at the hearing.
  • (b) The admissibility of former testimony under this section is subject to the same limitations and objections as though the declarant were testifying at the hearing, except that former testimony offered under this section is not subject to:
    • (1) Objections to the form of the question which were not made at the time the former testimony was given.
    • (2) Objections based on competency or privilege which did not exist at the time the former testimony was given. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1291]
  • (a) Evidence of former testimony is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if:
    • (1) The declarant is unavailable as a witness;
    • (2) The former testimony is offered in a civil action; and
    • (3) The issue is such that the party to the action or proceeding in which the former testimony was given had the right and opportunity to cross-examine the declarant with an interest and motive similar to that which the party against whom the testimony is offered has at the hearing.
  • (b) The admissibility of former testimony under this section is subject to the same limitations and objections as though the declarant were testifying at the hearing, except that former testimony offered under this section is not subject to objections based on competency or privilege which did not exist at the time the former testimony was given. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1292]

Judgments [Cal. Evid. Code § 1300, 1302]

Ancient Writings [Cal. Evid. Code § 1331]

Commercial and Scientific Publications [Cal. Evid. Code § 1340]

General Interest [Cal. Evid. Code § 1341]

Corroborative Evidence [PG&E v. G.W. Thompson Drayage & Rigging Co. (1968) 69 Cal.2d 33; Rodgers v. Kemper Constr. Co. (1975) 50 Cal.App.3d 608]

Family History Statement [Cal. Evid. Code § 1310]

Family History Record [Cal. Evid. Code §§ 1312, 1315, 1316]

Family History Reputation [Cal. Evid. Code § 1314]

Community History Reputation [Cal. Evid. Code § 1320]

Public Interest in Property [Cal. Evid. Code § 1321]

Boundary Reputation and Custom [Cal. Evid. Code § 1322]

Property Recital [Cal. Evid. Code § 1330]

Boundary Statement [Cal. Evid. Code § 1323]

Character/Reputation – Evidence of a person’s general reputation with reference to his character or a trait of his character at a relevant time in the community in which he then resided or in a group with which he then habitually associated is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule. [Cal. Evid. Code § 1324]