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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11665
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am pro se. I am currently sole custodian of child and

Customer Question

I am pro se. I am currently sole custodian of child and father has visitation. I asked to have a GAL appointed. I obtained a cell phone that my young child brought into our house. The cellphone contains proof (to my allegation) that father's girlfriend hit my daughter. I tried to get the cell phone admitted into evidence. I didn't succeed. We are toward the end of the hearing, but the hearing won't continue until next month. The cell phone also proves that the father has committed perjury now and in the past. It also proves that the GAL (an attorney) was not "unbiased or neutral" prior to the GAL report submission which was unfavorable towards me. Since the judge already ruled the cell phone inadmissible "during this custody hearing", is there any way possible to change his mind since the cell phone is proof?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  mkc1959 replied 1 year ago.

Can you explain what attempt was made to have the cellphone admitted? In my mind, I am thinking you asked the Court to accept the phone itself into evidence. Is that correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The GAL let the other party know at the calendar call that I had the cell phone. So, the judge stated that the cell phone would be heard first on the pre-trial date. I asked for the cell phone to be admitted. I even subpoenaed the police officer that came to my home after the cell phone was reported stolen right after the calendar call.
Expert:  mkc1959 replied 1 year ago.

Okay, I think the correct step is to prepare to get the contents of the cellphone admitted. For example, if there is a picture on the phone that you want to have admitted, you would need to have the picture printed out. Then, you have to be prepared to Authenticate the picture. To authenticate the picture you need to call a witness to the stand that has personal knowledge of the picture. Then

You should ask the following questions in order to establish the foundation for photographs to be admitted into evidence:

  • I am showing you what has been marked as Exhibit "C" for identification. Do you recognize what is shown in this photograph?
  • Are you familiar with the scene (person, product, etc.) portrayed in this photograph?
  • How are you familiar with the scene portrayed in the photograph?
  • Does the scene portrayed in the photograph fairly and accurately represent the scene as you remember it on (date in question)?

Move the photograph into evidence. If there are voice recordings on the phone, then to authenticate the voice recording you need to call a witness who has knowledge of the phone call. Than

You should ask the following questions in order to establish the foundation for tape recordings to be admitted into evidence:

  • Have you had the opportunity to hear the voice of Mr. X before?
  • How many times have you heard his voice?
  • Tell us how you are familiar with Mr. X's voice?
  • Have you heard the recording marked as Exhibit "B" for identification?
  • Do you recognize the voice?
  • To whom does the voice belong?

Move the recording into evidence. Before your next hearing date, you will certainly have some homework to do. You can read about authenticating evidence at: http://caught.net/prose/advtt/hbfound.htm And you can also find other good sources. You need to identify the persons that you will need as witnesses and you may need to have those persons served with subpoenas to make sure they attend the next hearing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Even though the judge ruled the cell phone inadmissible for this hearing?
Expert:  mkc1959 replied 1 year ago.

Yes, the cellphone itself is not evidence and that, as I understand it, is why the Judge did not admit it. You are Pro Se and held to the same procedures as attorneys. That is why you will have to take the steps to get the pictures, recordings or other matters authenticated and then admitted by the Court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The cell phone and the contents of the cell phone... cannot be used. I don't believe I made that clear. Is there any way, especially since the GAL is not doing what she swore to do and representing the child's best interest, to get the cell phone and all the contents of the cell phone admitted? I gave the phone back (evidence and phone preserved) prior to the hearing via paralegals. The judge ruled I cannot use it....
Expert:  mkc1959 replied 1 year ago.

I afraid I cannot be of any assistance. If the judge has ruled you cannot use the contents of the phone, then your "remedy" would be to file an interlocutory appeal to try and get a higher court to overrule the judge -- in other words, to get an appellate court to tell the judge to allow you to use the phone and the contents of the phone. If at all possible, please try to work with a local attorney as this site does not allow me to provide specific legal assistance.