Can you use a memorandum of judgment in a civil lawsuit

Asked almost 2 years ago - Fort Bragg, NC

short explanation as to how you could use it in a civil lawsuit

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Rachel Lea Hunter

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Any attorney would need a whole lot more information. What are you trying to do? Are you involved in a civil or criminal suit here? Was the memorandum of judgment entered in this or another case? Bottom line - evidence is generally admissible if it is relevant, i.e., if it makes more or less probable one of the issues for trial. However, the opposing side can always object and seek to exclude it for various reasons (they could argue its not relevant or too prejudicial). Court records, like judgments can be admitted, but they have to be properly authenticated and introduced. If they come from another court then it should be a certified copy from that court. Then there are other types of cases (child custody comes to mind) where a court of state A renders a decision. There is a very specific process that must be done in order to get the order from state A entered in North Carolina before it can be enforced. But that is a whole separate issue.

    You ask how you would use it. This is not a substitute for a law school course on evidence. There is an evidentiary code in NC. To be admitted, documents must be relevant and authenticated and admitted into evidence properly. Assuming these hurdles are met, the document can be introduced into evidence all on its own. It can be used in other ways - like marked as an exhibit, shown to a witness and then the witness can be questioned about it. You could also wait till a witness testifies. If the substance of their testimony is contrary to what is set forth in the memorandum of judgment, then it can be used as impeachment evidence. Example - a witness says he has never been sued. You pull out the memorandum of judgment showing that the witness was sued and a judgment was entered. So you have proven the witness to be a liar and your argument to the jury would be that if the witness would lie about this one thing, he/she could be lying about the issues in the case. Of course the evidence must still be relevant to an issue in the case or the witness' credibility/memory/perception.

    This is all very sophisticated stuff and is not for a non-lawyer to be worrying about. If you are involved or soon to be involved in a court case, you need a litigation lawyer who practices in the county/state where the action is or will be filed. This is not really the kind of question that can be posted in a public forum because an attorney would have to know the specifics of the case and the memorandum to evaluate admissibility. But you can try re-posting with more facts. The lawyer, who is armed with all the information about your case, can then review the memorandum of judgment and see if it can be used or not. Not all relevant pieces of evidence get admitted and not all pieces of evidence are relevant. But that only becomes clear if you know what is involved and at issue.

    Any attorney would need a whole lot more information. What are you trying to do? Are you involved in a civil or criminal suit here? Was the memorandum of judgment entered in this or another case? Bottom line - evidence is generally admissible if it is relevant, i.e., if it makes more or less probable one of the issues for trial. However, the opposing side can always object and seek to exclude it for various reasons (they could argue its not relevant or too prejudicial). Court records, like judgments can be admitted, but they have to be properly authenticated and introduced. If they come from another court then it should be a certified copy from that court. Then there are other types of cases (child custody comes to mind) where a court of state A renders a decision. There is a very specific process that must be done in order to get the order from state A entered in North Carolina before it can be enforced. But that is a whole separate issue.

    You ask how you would use it. This is not a substitute for a law school course on evidence. There is an evidentiary code in NC. To be admitted, documents must b

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