Method to preserve cell phone voicemails so the will be admissible in court
Knoxville, TN |
Details are not really important. I have a half dozen cell phone messages that I think may come in handy when I go to court. What are some methods of recording and preserving the messages so they will be admissible?
First, if you believe the messages contain information helpful to your case, then you certainly want to preserve those messages on your phone. Do not delete them while the litigation is pending. Additionally, you may want to have a professional make audio recordings of these voice mails. Once copies of these voice mails have been made, keep these audio recordings in a safe place so that you still have the recordings in the event that the voice mails somehow get inadvertently deleted from your phone.
If the messages were sent by the adverse party in your lawsuit, then the messages will probably come in through your testimony as an admission of a party opponent. If the messages were sent by an individual who is not a party to the litigation, then you will probably need to subpoena the person who sent the voice mail as a witness in order to have the voice mail admitted into evidence. Depending on the circumstances it may be beneficial for you to subpoena your cell phone carrier for records of the times and dates of your incoming and outgoing calls.
Of course the most important advice that I can give you is to hire an attorney as it is impossible to give you a tutorial that fully educates you on the rules of evidence in this forum. An attorney who has listened to these voice mails should be able to make appropriate decisions about how to best utilize these messages at trial. If you would like to discuss your case further with me, please feel free to call my office at (865) 546-0011.
If you want to use the messages to prove their truth, you will have to overcome a hearsay objectino. Depending on your state, if the messages were left by your adversary, they will either be "non-hearsay" or an exception to hearsay generally called "admission by party opponent." You will also have to authenticate the voice on the message and save any data indicating where the message came from (i.e., what telephone number it came from).
As far as how to preserve the messages, I would contact my carrier to see if they have any suggestions. You can also record it digitally or on an old fashioned tape recorder.
The author of this posting is a lawyer licensed to practice law in the State of New York. He specializes in litigation matters relating to personal injury, construction accidents, auto accidents, slip and fall, dog bite, contract litigation, property litigation, civil rights, ERISA, and Social Security matters in federal, state and local courts, with a focus on courts in Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. This posting is intended as general information only, is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship. For more information about me, see http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/10314-ny-gaetano-parrinello-1897122.html?ref=header
I agree with Ben Houston. Best of luck - Reese Serra
This advise is only being offered as a courtesy. We do not have an attorney-client relationship and I do not represent you. Additional, the advice I have provided was based on the limited fact pattern provided by you. If the facts differ, my advice may not be correct.
If you live in Michigan and would like legal assistance with your issue, feel free to contact me: 586-615-0756 / Reese8484@aol.com