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In evidentiary hearing in Family Court regarding time-sharing, can an unsigned letter from a child’s therapist be introduced?

Miami, FL |

If the judge ordered the child to therapy and an interim unsigned report was filed with the Court, on a hear regarding timesharing, can either side introduce the letter? I would think it might be hearsay or even not authenticated, but have heard that rules of evidence in family proceedings tend to not be adhered to. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Who filed it? The therapist? The court?

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

The therapist sent it to Family Court Services, who made the referral to them. Family Court Services filed it.

Robert Edward Fenster

Robert Edward Fenster

Posted

Common sense is that the Judge will read it whether or not it is formally admitted in to evidence. Lack of a signature won't matter if it came from the Court's Designated Expert. Contents of the report about statements made by others is Hearsay, but the report itself and those statements will easily fit into one of the hearsay exceptions. And, if Expert to testifies or gives a deposition, the testimony would be what is contained in the report (and possibly then some). If you do not like the recommendations in the report, you may want to consider hiring your own expert Family Court Rules of Procedure and Evidence are not lax. The Judges have heard it all before and can often just cut through the common crap they hear and see in just about every case. If you don't agree with the recommendations of the therapist, I hope you already have or will immediately retain a lawyer

Posted

The Florida Rules of Evidence governing admissibility of evidence are governed much the same way in all courts. For a letter to be admissible, it must first be relevant. A therapist report ordered by the Court for your child is relevant. In order for an attorney to fully answer your question, it is necessary to know more about the circumstances surrounding your case. For a free consultation please call 305-461-0200.

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Posted

Per the Florida Rules of Evidence...No, it is inadmissible. However, if the evaluation was court ordered, and the judge requested a report from the therapist, then the judge could consider that. It should come from the therapist and be signed.

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