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California restraining order-domestic violence and voice messages

Los Angeles, CA |

Is there an objection that can be used if someone is seeking to play a voice message on a cell phone to help bolster their case in a family law domestic violence restraining order setting?

Attorney Answers 3


Without knowing what the message says, what it is being offered for, and who is proffering it, there is no simple answer to your inquiry. Generally speaking, however, out-of-court statements typically trigger hearsay objections, but there are multiple exceptions. Also, a foundation for evidence must be established, to wit authenticity and relevance.

Notwithstanding, at domestic violence restraining order hearings the judicial officer will almost always admit any evidence that they are interested in, given the fact that there is no jury. This is especially true if the parties are pro per.

If you believe that a recording will make or break the DVRO hearing, you should consult with a family law or criminal defense attorney and discuss specifics.

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Depends what the speaker is saying and what the voice message is being offered for.

If the speaker is the respondent (i.e. defendant or person to be restrained), then it's probably admissible. most of the time the message is offered to show harassment - which means it's not hearsay. If it is hearsay, it might fall within one of the exceptions, like party admission or declaration against interest. When they go to play the message, assert the objection anyway. Worst thing the judge can do is overrule it.

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Restraining Order hearings are often not as strict on the evidence code as other hearings. You do not say who is offering the message or the contents of the message.

The message has to relevant, authenticated and overcome hearsay.

Contact an attorney in your area for assistance.

Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship

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