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Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine- family law setting (california)

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Family law

In criminal law there is the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, is there such a theory in the family law setting, say on an OSC, a party illegally obtains evidence can the fruits of the illegally obtained evidence be excluded on a motion?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Yes. Such things as illegally recorded conversations, illegally intercepted e-mails, etc.are not admissible in evidence, and there may be adverse consequences to the party or attorney who obtained those matters illegally.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact 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.


  2. I agree with Mr. Conviser. Just remember that what may be "illegal" methods of obtaining evidence for the police are governed by different standards than for the public at large. The police are government agents and are bound by certain constitutional standards that regular people are not subject to.

    DISCLAIMER - The materials provided in this answer are informational and should not be relied on as legal advice. Nothing in this email message creates an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult a lawyer in your state regarding your specific legal matter.


  3. Of course, your state's attorneys are the best source of information. It is important to also remember that despite what should be uniform "rules" of evidence, as a practical matter what "evidence" will be allowed may vary considerably from court to court and even judge to judge within the same court, particularly in Family Court (where hearsay and other questionable evidence is often freely admitted). Moreover, the remedy for improperly admitted evidence is to appeal the Court's decision, which often means living with it for a long time pending an appeal. As such, it would be a mistake to assume improperly obtained evidence will not be admitted, and if such evidence is prejudicial to you then you must be prepared to defend against it just as you would any other evidence. If much is at stake, you certainly should have a confidential consultation with a local attorney who knows your court and can advise you on your issue accordingly. You can find attorneys in your area by searching among the profiles here on AVVO. Good luck!

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@hotmail.com. All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.

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