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Polygraph results as evidence


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#1 kraut32

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

Hello, this is in the state of California. Pursuant to Cal. Evd. Code, sections copied below, I am curious on if polygraph results would be allowed as evidence in a civil case by the plaintiff who wants to substantiate her allegations as set forth in the case?


351. Except as otherwise provided by statute, all relevant evidence
is admissible.


351.1. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the results
of a polygraph examination, the opinion of a polygraph examiner, or
any reference to an offer to take, failure to take, or taking of a
polygraph examination, shall not be admitted into evidence in any
criminal proceeding, including pretrial and post conviction motions
and hearings, or in any trial or hearing of a juvenile for a criminal
offense, whether heard in juvenile or adult court, unless all
parties stipulate to the admission of such results.
(B) Nothing in this section is intended to exclude from evidence
statements made during a polygraph examination which are otherwise
admissible.

#2 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

Evidence that a polygraph was taken and the results themselves are inadmissible. The answers to the questions given during the polygraph, however, are admissible.

#3 pg1067

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:56 PM

Pursuant to Cal. Evd. Code, sections copied below, I am curious on if polygraph results would be allowed as evidence in a civil case by the plaintiff who wants to substantiate her allegations as set forth in the case?


As its plain wording indicates, EC 351.1 has no application in civil cases. EC 351 is nothing but the basic law on relevance and has no direct bearing on polygraph results. Therefore, if your question was limited to asking whether these two statutes would allow admission of polygraph results, the answer is no.


The answers to the questions given during the polygraph, however, may be admissible.


I edited "LegalwriterOne's" statement above to make it more accurate. The answers might be admissible depending on who was being examined, what the questions where, who is seeking to offer the answers, and for what purpose that person is offering them. In other words, without a lot more information, we can't tell you much of anything useful regarding the admissibility of polygraph questions and answers. As far as the admissibility of polygraph results in a civil case, I suggest a visit to a law library and a review of Witkin's California Evidence treatise.

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

You may want to read the blog: Are Lie Detectors Admissible in Court? to learn more about this subject matter.


#5 luckygerm

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:04 AM

The blog was helpful, I'm going to print it up and bring it to the judge when I ask about introducing polygraph results. Thanks much! I just want to prove that I am not the liar in this case. My opponent is a good one. I wish he would take one! LOL

#6 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

The blog was helpful, I'm going to print it up and bring it to the judge when I ask about introducing polygraph results. Thanks much! I just want to prove that I am not the liar in this case. My opponent is a good one. I wish he would take one! LOL


Don't bother. It's not a legal treatise and it's not legal authority.

#7 Fallen

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

"I wish he would take one! LOL"

So ... I'm confused. If he hasn't taken one, what's the point of your question? (I'd hope you aren't actually thinking of asking the court to order him to submit to one, 'cause that won't happen.)

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#8 luckygerm

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

No. What I wanted to do was take one myself, and have the examiner ask me if everything in my complaint is true (and that's a yes), and then if the defendant has told lies in his declaration, answer, etc. (that is also a yes).

I was hoping something above and beyond to corraborate my story would assist to verify I have been honest; thus help me win.

#9 pg1067

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

First of all, are "kraut32" and "luckygerm" different screen names being used by the same person?


The blog was helpful, I'm going to print it up and bring it to the judge when I ask about introducing polygraph results.


Even if this article were mandatory legal authority, you don't simply print out authorities and show them to the judge in court (at least not in most circumstances). You haven't described the context in which you want to do this, so I would simply say that you should be careful with this. More importantly, while the article to which the moderator provided a link was written by a California lawyer, it is not specific to California law and cites not actual legal authority. Indeed, it focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a case called Daubert, which itself has nothing to do with polygraphs (except to the extent that it contains a discussion of an old federal appellate case called Frye, which involved "a crude precursor to the polygraph machine"). Daubert set the standard in federal courts regarding the use of scientific evidence. Daubert is not binding authority in California; California has its own standards under the California Evidence Code (which is different than the Federal Rules of Evidence). If you were to show the article to a judge, his/her response likely would be to say, "ok, show me a California case that would allow me to consider the results of a polygraph test."


What I wanted to do was take one myself, and have the examiner ask me if everything in my complaint is true (and that's a yes), and then if the defendant has told lies in his declaration, answer, etc. (that is also a yes).

I was hoping something above and beyond to corraborate my story would assist to verify I have been honest; thus help me win.


You cannot do that. If you have real evidence that corroborates your testimony, by all means use it. If you have evidence that controverts what you believe will be the other party's story, use it. If you have evidence that may impeach the other party's credibility, use it. But you can't manufacture artificial evidence to bolster your own credibility.

#10 Fallen

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

I'm afraid a polygraph demonstrating your belief (or certainty) that the other guy is lying won't be admissible. You need to demonstrate by other means that he's lying (or at least that it is more likely than not that he's lying).

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#11 luckygerm

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

Okay, I'm just so squeaky honest that I thought it might help. Everything else is looking good, though. You know when someone is being deceitful, it gets harder and harder for them to cover it up as time goes on... that's what is happening now. Thank you.




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