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Can I authenticate the documents that I will present as evidence myself?

Ventura, CA |

These documents are considered ancient documents as they are 30 years old. Documents will be presented in an evidentiary hearing. These are federal tax records and check stubs. How can I authenticate them as they cannot be certified. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If they are documents which you created, were present when they were created, and/or have been in your custody for all those years, you can probably authenticate them. If you have time before the hearing, there are methods in discovery to assist in this regard such as requests for admissions and/or getting the opposing party to make admissions about the documents in the course of a deposition. The judge usually has very wide latitude and while we cannot go into all of the rules of evidence and their exceptions, these are a couple of ideas which could help. If the issues are important you should consult with local counsel.


  2. I agree with my colleague. You just made me realized that because I'm over 30 years of age, I must be considered an ancient person!


  3. If you prepared the documents and recall doing so (or they refresh your memory as to doing so) then you can authenticate them, regardless of their age. However, while they may be authenticated, and thus admissible as evidence, this does not preclude another party from arguing that while they are admissible, they are not credible - mainly for the same reason that you can authenticate them in that you created them.