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United States v. Singer

    Brief Fact Summary. Defendants were charged with drug crimes for shipping marijuana to Minnesota from Florida. Defendant Joseph Sazenski also went by an alias of Carlos Almaden. At issue is the admissibility of a letter addressed to Sazenski and Almaden.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Hearsay is an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted.

    Facts. Joseph Sazenski, Arturo Izquierdo, and others were charged with drug offenses for shipping marijuana from Miami, Florida to Minnetonka, Minnesota. Sazenski had a residence at 600 Wilshire in Minnetonka and used the alias of Carlos Almaden. An envelope addressed to Sazenski and Almaden at 600 Wilshire was admitted into evidence. The letter contained a notice terminating their tenancy. It was admitted to show that Almaden lived with Sazenski. Sazenski argues that the letter wad inadmissible hearsay.

    Issue. Was the letter properly admitted as non-hearsay?

    Held. Justice Henley issued the opinion for the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in holding that the letter was properly admitted as it was “admissible nonhearsay.”

    Concurrence. Circuit Judge Arnold issued an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part which is omitted.

    Discussion. The Court found the letter admissible because it was offered to prove that fiction Almaden lived with Sazenski, and not to prove the contents of the letter itself.


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