Do I need a court order to submit copies of text messages to my dec?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Seattle, WA

I have to submit a dec in response to the respondent. Can I attach copies of text messages that the respondent sent to me or do I need a court order?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. John Robert Bonin

    Contributor Level 10

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is hard to answer a question posed like this because I really do not know the question I am answering. I suggest you re write your question with a little more specifics - like which court (superior or district) and what type of proceeding (dissolution, protection order, anti-harassment order). While the rules are basically the same, the courts have some measure of discretion that might mean something to you depending on what you are trying to do and the time frames involved for you to respond. If this is "family law" in nature the court facilitator in King County should be able to give you a very quick answer on what the Court will and will not look at. Generally speaking (and this is only very, very general) a declaration that properly identifies the attachment in a way that establishes the foundation for the document is what most frequently works. Argument to strike or admissibility are potentials for even the most proper and conforming exhibit you might make - whether it is "hearsay" an "exception to hearsay" or "relevant" or "irrelevant" is an entirely different question and if the document is hurtful enough to the other side and the other side is smart enough to argue it - there will certainly be objections made for the court to decide. Sorry, but a more specific answer to this is on the verge of trying to teach you how to practice law - and we are not allowed to do that. Pay a local attorney for half an hour and present all your materials for proper and direct opinions about what he/she thinks the court might do when the court sees it. Either that or take advantage of the free legal assistance that is available at domestic violence shelters (if applicable) or with the Court Facilitator. Good luck.

  2. Thomas Martin Morningstar

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Contact King County Bar Association pro bono programs. They have "Neighborhood Legal Clinics: which give you a half hour with a lawyer for free. IMHO if the person who sent the text messages is in court to be cross examined regarding their content, then they are technically "hearsay", but you can get them in because the "declarant" is in court for further inquiry. You could use these for other exceptions to the hearsay rules (there's a couple dozen exceptions). Reserving discoverable matter with the intent to "zing" someone at court is very much frowned upon. I'd agree you should lay the foundation for each text in your dec; attach complete legible copies and serve the other side with the whole works in plenty of time to prevent any claim you surprised anyone. Be complete in your disclosures and don't get clever.

  3. John R. Cantrell Jr.

    Contributor Level 8

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a rather vague question, so it will be hard to give a precise answer. You should have identified the type of court action that you are involved in, and the court as well. Sometimes procedure varies between state and federal courts, or even different types of state courts. However, in general, you could attach copies of any documents sent to you by the opposing party, since that would be admissible against that party as an admission, assuming that it is relevant to the issue in dispute. It sounds like you really need an attorney's advice, unless perhaps you are trying a matter in magistrate or small claims court, in which case the judge will have to sort it out at trial.

  4. Michael T Millar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Cantrell.

    If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education... more
  5. Constantine D. Buzunis

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with attorney Cantrell. Sounds like you are talking about a harrassment situation? You should retain a lawyer experienced in that area of law. You need to file an ex parte application for a restraining order, with a declaration in support and proposed order. You can attach the text messages, picutures and any other evidence to the declaration stating the foundation for the documents and that they are true and correct copies of the original text, photo, etc. Good Luck and remember the restraining order is only worth the paper it is written on and you must be aware of your saftey at all times. Good luck to you.

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more

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