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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 118112
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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what are the methods that a nine year child can testify in

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what are the methods that a nine year child can testify in court?
Thank you for your requesting me. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

It is fairly rare a 9 year old will be allowed to testify in open court. In order to accept the child's testimony, the court has to find the child is of sufficient educational and emotional maturity to understand the nature of the action and consequences of their testimony. Generally, this does not happen until about 12-15 years of age in most cases. However, the court CAN interview the child in chambers (in camera) to ask questions, but most courts will not put a 9 year old through the trauma of going on the stand in open court.

In an in camera interview, it is usually the judge and the child and court reporter and most times the attorneys. The reason for this is to remove the pressure on the child of having to face either parent while testifying.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

waht happens when you have a pro se parent as one of the litigants? Are the questions agreed upon prior to children testifying?Is there cross examination?

Thank you for your response.

In that case, the judge will ask the questions to be written down for him to ask the child. The key the judge wants to avoid is having a parent influencing the testimony of the child who most often is not just scared but they do not want to hurt either parent. Both parents will submit their questions and the judge will share them with both parents and then will take the child in their chambers and ask the questions and interview the child. There is no real cross examination and the judge is free to evaluate the testimony of the child to determine if it is influenced or if the child understands the nature of their testimony in deciding whether or not to consider it as part of the court's decision. Many times the court will just not they interviewed the child and will not say what the child said to avoid the child getting a hard time from any parent they may have said something negative about. The primary concern of the court in this type of situation is not the parents, but protecting the child.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

in camera means without a court reporter but with camera?

No, "in camera" is Latin and a legal term meaning "In chambers" and it takes place in the office of the judge.