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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16367
Experience:  13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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Can a family court judge read from a forensic report and use

Customer Question

Can a family court judge read from a forensic report and use it as evidence to make custody determinations prior to a hearing or a trial. And can that report be put into evidence over the objection of an attorney without the psychologist being present for cross at the time and without validating the report itself?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Hello there --


A judge has incredible leeway to do what he wishes to do within his own discretion at any phase of a proceeding. In this matter it appears that the judge accepted the report without giving the opposing side the right to cross examine the psychologist who wrote the report and he discarded the rules of evidence which require authentication of the report on the stand by the person who wrote it. In doing this, the judge has the write to decide that the report can be entered as evidence without the authentication because there are exceptions to the rules of evidence and the judge might have used such an exception by declaring that the report was a "business report" given in the ordinary course of business.


These decisions can be the subject of a Motion for Reconsideration with this judge or you can simply appeal this one ruling to the appeals court and ask that the appeals court reverse the matter so that the opposing side can at least have the due process right to be able to cross examine the author of the report on the witness stand. If the lower court judge cannot give a good legal reason why he did these things, then the appeals court should overturn the decision in the matter and remand the case bavk to the trial court for reconsideration or even a trial.


I hope that explains the situation. I wish I could give you a quick and easy way to fix this matter legally, but a request for reconsideration and/or an appeal are the only ways that you can get this report properly entered into evidence in your case. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above in the rating section so that I will be paid for my time for assisting you today. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating in the rating section above before you leave the website. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!



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