Q: I wasnt allowed to submit a police report as evidence in a civil case. Judge said it wasnt "certified". What is?
I couldn't afford an attorney, I filed a civil case pro se. The police report was the "smoking gun" and had the facts. The judge would not allow it as evidence because it was not "certified". I contacted that police department, they are unaware of what a "certified police report is". I spoke with a friend that was the Asst. Chief of Police, he says its "certified" once signed by the supervisor. I lost the case over this, if the police department doesn't know how to "certify" the report... what can you do?
A: Welcome to the world of civil litigation, where having a skilled trial lawyer often makes the difference between losing and winning. Teaching point: Regardless of what the official document is, "the smoking gun" notwithstanding, most courts will not allow introduction of any document (because it is hearsay) unless it is the original, or is certified by the originating state or local agency as a conformed copy of the original, or is allowed into evidence by the opposing side.
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