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Citing Case References, Federal vs. State


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#1 luckygerm

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

Hello. This is in California. I was just wondering, when preparing a motion for the Court (in Superior Court) is it okay to reference Federal Rules of Evidence to back up the request? Or does the Court prefer us to use only state statutes, rules, etc.?

I just want to be sure the judge doesn't get angry with me for using all the Federal Rules that I want to include, because I don't know if it's okay or not.

Thank you.

#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:16 AM

The Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) only apply in federal court. In California courts, evidence issues are controlled by the California Evidence Code. In states like mine where the rules of evidence are based on the FRE, citing a federal appellate court decision on a federal rule of evidence that matches the state evidence rule is useful as persuasive authority when there is no state court decision on that issue. The California Evidence Code, however, is not based on the FRE. So, it's pretty unlikely that the federal rule you wish to cite will be useful. What federal rule do you wish to cite and what is your argument for why the state court should care about it when deciding your motion?

#3 pg1067

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:20 AM

when preparing a motion for the Court (in Superior Court) is it okay to reference Federal Rules of Evidence to back up the request?


It's perfectly "okay" to refer to the FRE in a document filed with a California state court.


Or does the Court prefer us to use only state statutes, rules, etc.?

I just want to be sure the judge doesn't get angry with me for using all the Federal Rules that I want to include, because I don't know if it's okay or not.


It isn't an issue of "preference." The FRE govern evidentiary issues in federal courts (except that, in diversity cases, state law regarding evidentiary privileges governs). California has its own Evidence Code (http://www.leginfo.c...debody=&hits=20), and that's what governs evidentiary issues in California state courts. While the Cal. Evidence Code is similar to the FRE in many respects, it is quite different in a number of important respects. Therefore, as noted above, while it's "okay" to refer to the FRE in a document filed in a California state court, it would rarely be useful to do so.

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:46 AM

What motion is this concerning?

#5 luckygerm

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:27 PM

Sorry, never got back to you on this one. It was/is for a Motion in Limine to exclude all evidence and testimony about plaintiff's alleged lifestyle, reputation, and the restraining order that defendant has against the plaintiff. Below is how I was wanting to use it. But I am sure I can find some California citations or evidence codes to compare with the Fed. R. Evid. I had found.


A. All Statements Related to Plaintiff’s Reputation Are Inadmissible Hearsay Under Fed. R. Evid. 801 and 802.


Testimony by any witness regarding Plaintiff’s alleged “reputation” should be excluded because it is inadmissible hearsay. “Hearsay” is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted. FED. R. EVID. 801(c ). Hearsay statements are inadmissible under Fed. R. Evid. 802.

This type of testimony about Plaintiff’s alleged “reputation,” which (intentionally left blank) has mentioned for no other reason than to prove the truth of the matter asserted, is not based on personal knowledge and should not be allowed. Defendant has never been in the same room as Plaintiff at any time that she allegedly took drugs or acted in a violent manner. Any past drug history or use of Plaintiff was not observed by Defendant and cannot be ascertained by his own personal knowledge. “Hearsay reputation evidence . . . . is not competent to establish the truth of the matter asserted.” Parada v. Gonzales, 204 Fed.Appx. 610, 611 (9th Cir. 2006); See Turner v. Calderon, 281 F. 3d 851, 877 (9th Cir. 2002) (affirming District Court’s exclusion of declarations containing hersay testimony about a defendant’s reputation). (intentionally left blank's) testimony is not competent to establish the truth of Plaintiff’s alleged “reputation” and the Court should exclude such testimony.


B. Testimony About Plaintiff’s Alleged Reputation Should Be Excluded Under Fed. R. Evid. 403.


Any testimony about Plaintiff’s alleged bad reputation, violent behavior, and past or present drug use should be excluded because the only purpose of this testimony is to improperly prejudice the jury against the Plaintiff. This is not permissible. “Although relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury.” Fed. R. Evid. 403. If (intentionally left blank) were allowed to offer testimony about Plaintiff’s “reputation,” this would have an unduly prejudicial effect on the jury by causing them to believe that Plaintiff is initiating this lawsuit against Defendant in order to obtain money for drugs, or does not have a valid reason to win her case, and her actions at any time other than what is relevant to this case were in conformity with that reputation and history. Such testimony would not have any probative value because the testimony would not be material or relevant to any element of whether or not (intentionally left blank) would be found guilty




#6 pg1067

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

I didn't read that entire long follow up. FRE 801 and 802 are rules regarding hearsay. The analogous CA rules are found in Section 1200, et seq. of the Evidence Code. The CA analog to FRE 403 is Evidence Code Section 352. Here's a link where you can read and search any of the California codes: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.

#7 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:34 PM

Character evidence is dealt with in EC code sections 1100 et. seq. and reputation is in sections 1320 et. seq.




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