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Can a business record be used in the contempt of court in Family court?

Seattle, WA |

I have requested a copy from a cell phone provider with their subpena dept. The dept has provided me the whole record, however, it doesn't have the legal verbiage for Washington. The letter and the document do show from the subpena dept. Can I use that info in my contempt of court against ex-wife, since it is a business transaction and it is admissible in court?

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Attorney answers 2


Strictly speaking the cell phone record is hearsay and objectionable without the proper evidentiary foundation or a sworn certification from the business. However, my experience is that most family law Commissioners consider these records anyway if they are attached to your declaration. Check out the WA State Rules of Evidence on hearsay and exceptions to the general rule. Books are written on this subject. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on family law motions for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

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I agree with the previous response. You may want to request a Declaration or Affidavit from the Records Custodian. If you are unable to establish foundation, you may want to file a declaration of your own that the calls occurred or did not occur as stated by the other party and file the phone records.

Peter J. Abbarno practices in the State of Washington; primarily in Thurston, Lewis, and Cowlitz counties. The response is limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. No response to any posted inquiry shall constitute legal advice, nor the existence of an attorney/client relationship.