People v. Some Dude

Motion to Allow Admission of Extrajudicial Statements of Non-Testifying Persons


This is a motion I wrote while assisting attorney Erin Ormonde in a trial for home invasion robbery in Fresno, California. While she was busy at trial adapting to the shifting sands of various inconsistent rulings, I often left court to return to the office and write motions such as this one.

Here, the prosecution argued, and the court accepted, that extrajudicial statements we sought to have admitted to show their effect on our client, or to show his state of mind in acting as he did, were hearsay. We unsuccessfully argued that the statements were not hearsay and, alternatively, even if they were, they were covered by exceptions.

Although admissibility here would appear to be black letter law, because we did not ask that they be admitted for the truth of the matter, or content, but only to show that they had been said, the court ruled against us on the grounds that the statements were inadmissible hearsay.

Ironically, the prosecution ended up introducing the same statements through police "witnesses," although our motion was denied. In MY opinion (I did not discuss this with Ms. Ormonde), this proves what I've always said: whether or not something is admissible usually depends upon whether it is a prosecutor, or a defense attorney, who seeks to have it admitted.

Anyway, while Ms. Ormonde was handling the trial in the courtroom, I ran back to the office and pounded this motion out after the prosecution convinced the court to deny admission. I returned to the courtroom before lunch and we filed the motion.

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Reference Info:State, 9th Circuit, California | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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