Brief Fact Summary. Defendant Slabach’s truck collided with a vehicle carrying six people and killing five. At issue during the trial was who was negligent in proceeding through the intersection.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Public records are admissible as an exception to hearsay when they are “factual findings resulting from an investigation made pursuant to authority granted by law.”
Issue. Was the police accident report properly allowed to be admitted into evidence?
Held. Justice Engel issued the opinion for the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in affirming the judgment for Defendants and holding that the accident report was admissible as a public record.
To determine whether a report is trustworthy, the Advisory Committee suggests four factors to consider: (1) the timeliness of the investigation, (2) the special skill or experience of the investigators, (3) whether the agency held a hearing, and (4) possible motivational problems.View Full Point of Law