Title 8: Hearsay
ER 801: DEFINITIONS
The following definitions apply under this article:
(a) Statement. A "statement" is (1) an oral or written assertion or (2) nonverbal conduct of a person, if it is intended by the person as an assertion.
(b) Declarant. A "declarant" is a person who makes a statement.
(c) Hearsay. "Hearsay" is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
(d) Statements Which Are Not Hearsay. A statement is not hearsay if--
(1) Prior Statement by Witness. The declarant testifies at the trial or hearing and is subject to cross examination concerning the statement, and the statement is
(i) inconsistent with the declarant's testimony, and was given under oath subject to the penalty of perjury at a trial, hearing, or other proceeding, or in a deposition, or
(ii) consistent with the declarant's testimony and is offered to rebut an express or implied charge against the declarant of recent fabrication or improper influence or motive, or
(iii) one of identification of a person made after perceiving the person; or
(2) Admission by Party-Opponent. The statement is offered against a party and is
(i) the party's own statement, in either an individual or a representative capacity or
(ii) a statement of which the party has manifested an adoption or belief in its truth, or
(iii) a statement by a person authorized by the party to make a statement concerning the subject, or
(iv) a statement by the party's agent or servant acting within the scope of the authority to make the statement for the party, or
(v) a statement by a coconspirator of a party during the course and in furtherance of the conspiracy.
[Amended effective September 1, 1992.] Comment 801 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]
ER 802: HEARSAY RULE
Hearsay is not admissible except as provided by these rules, by other court rules, or by statute.
[Adopted effective April 2, 1979.] Comment 802 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]
ER 803: HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS; AVAILABILITY OF DECLARANT IMMATERIAL
(a) Specific Exceptions. The following are not excluded by the hearsay rule, even though the declarant is available as a witness:
(1) Present Sense Impression. A statement describing or explaining an event or condition made while the declarant was perceiving the event or condition, or immediately thereafter.
(2) Excited Utterance. A statement relating to a startling event or condition made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement caused by the event or condition.
(3) Then Existing Mental, Emotional, or Physical Condition. A statement of the declarant's then existing state of mind, emotion, sensation, or physical condition (such as intent, plan, motive, design, mental feeling, pain, and bodily health), but not including a statement of memory or belief to prove the fact remembered or believed unless it relates to the execution, revocation, identification, or terms of declarant's will.
(4) Statements for Purposes of Medical Diagnosis or Treatment. Statements made for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment and describing medical history, or past or present symptoms, pain, or sensations, or the inception or general character of the cause or external source thereof insofar as reasonably pertinent to diagnosis or treatment.
(5) Recorded Recollection. A memorandum or record concerning a matter about which a witness once had knowledge but now has insufficient recollection to enable the witness to testify fully and accurately, shown to have been made or adopted by the witness when the matter was fresh in the witness' memory and to reflect that knowledge correctly. If admitted, the memorandum or record may be read into evidence but may not itself be received as an exhibit unless offered by an adverse party.
(6) Records of Regularly Conducted Activity. (Reserved. See RCW 5.45.)
(7) Absence of Entry in Records Kept in Accordance With RCW 5.45. Evidence that a matter is not included in the memoranda, reports, records, or data compilations, in any form, kept in accordance with the provisions of RCW 5.45, to prove the nonoccurrence or nonexistence of the matter, if the matter was of a kind of which a memorandum, report, record, or data compilation was regularly made and preserved, unless the sources of information or other circumstances indicate lack of trustworthiness.
(8) Public Records and Reports. (Reserved. See RCW 5.44.040.)
(9) Records of Vital Statistics. Records or data compilations, in any form, of births, fetal deaths, deaths, or marriages, if the report thereof was made to a public office pursuant to requirements of law.
(10) Absence of Public Record or Entry. To prove the absence of a record, report, statement, or data compilation, in any form, or the nonoccurrence or nonexistence of a matter of which a record, report, statement, or data compilation, in any form, was regularly made and preserved by a public office or agency, evidence in the form of a certification in accordance with rule 902, or testimony, that diligent search failed to disclose the record, report, statement, or data compilation, or entry.
(11) Records of Religious Organizations. Statements of births, marriages, divorces, deaths, legitimacy, ancestry, relationship by blood or marriage, or other similar facts of personal or family history, contained in a regularly kept record of a religious organization.
(12) Marriage, Baptismal, and Similar Certificates. Statements of fact contained in a certificate that the maker performed a marriage or other ceremony or administered a sacrament, made by a clergyman, public official, or other person authorized by the rules or practices of a religious organization or by law to perform the act certified, and purporting to have been issued at the time of the act or within a reasonable time thereafter.
(13) Family Records. Statements of fact concerning personal or family history contained in family Bibles, genealogies, charts, engravings on rings, inscriptions on family portraits, tattoos, engravings on urns, crypts, or tombstones, or the like.
(14) Records of Documents Affecting an Interest in Property. The record of a document purporting to establish or affect an interest in property, as proof of the content of the original recorded document and its execution and delivery by each person by whom it purports to have been executed, if the record is a record of a public office and an applicable statute authorized the recording of documents of that kind in that office.
(15) Statements in Documents Affecting an Interest in Property. A statement contained in a document purporting to establish or affect an interest in property if the matter stated was relevant to the purpose of the document unless dealings with the property since the document was made have been inconsistent with the truth of the statement or the purport of the document.
(16) Statements in Ancient Documents. Statements in a document in existence 20 years or more whose authenticity is established.
(17) Market Reports, Commercial Publications. Market quotations, tabulations, lists, directories, or other published compilations, generally used and relied upon by the public or by persons in particular occupations.
(18) Learned Treatises. To the extent called to the attention of an expert witness upon cross examination or relied upon by the expert witness in direct examination, statements contained in published treatises, periodicals, or pamphlets on a subject of history, medicine, or other science or art, established as a reliable authority by the testimony or admission of the witness or by other expert testimony or by judicial notice. If admitted, the statements may be read into evidence but may not be received as exhibits.
(19) Reputation Concerning Personal or Family History. Reputation among members of a person's family by blood, adoption, or marriage, or among a person's associates, or in the community, concerning a person's birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, death, legitimacy, relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, ancestry, or other similar fact of a person's personal or family history.
(20) Reputation Concerning Boundaries or General History. Reputation in a community, arising before the controversy, as to boundaries of or customs affecting lands in the community, and reputation as to events of general history important to the community or state or nation in which located.
(21) Reputation as to Character. Reputation of a person's character among his associates or in the community.
(22) Judgment of Previous Conviction. Evidence of a final judgment, entered after a trial or upon a plea of guilty (but not upon a plea of nolo contendere), adjudging a person guilty of a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of 1 year, to prove any fact essential to sustain the judgment, but not including, when offered by the prosecution in a criminal case for purposes other than impeachment, judgments against persons other than the accused. The pendency of an appeal may be shown but does not affect admissibility.
(23) Judgment as to Personal, Family, or General History, or Boundaries. Judgments as proof of matters of personal, family, or general history, or boundaries, essential to the judgment, if the same would be provable by evidence of reputation.
(b) Other Exceptions. (Reserved.) [Amended effective September 1, 1992.] Comment 803 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]
ER 804: HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS; DECLARANT UNAVAILABLE
(a) Definition of Unavailability. "Unavailability as a witness" includes situations in which the declarant:
(1) Is exempted by ruling of the court on the ground of privilege from testifying concerning the subject matter of the declarant's statement; or
(2) Persists in refusing to testify concerning the subject matter of the declarant's statement despite an order of the court to do so; or
(3) Testifies to a lack of memory of the subject matter of the declarant's statement; or
(4) Is unable to be present or to testify at the hearing because of death or then existing physical or mental illness or infirmity; or
(5) Is absent from the hearing and the proponent of the statement has been unable to procure the declarant's attendance (or in the case of a hearsay exception under subsection (b)(2), (3), or (4), the declarant's attendance or testimony) by process or other reasonable means.
(6) A declarant is not unavailable as a witness if the exemption, refusal, claim of lack of memory, inability, or absence is due to the procurement or wrongdoing of the proponent of a statement for the purpose of preventing the witness from attending or testifying.
(b) Hearsay Exceptions. The following are not excluded by the hearsay rule if the declarant is unavailable as a witness:
(1) Former Testimony. Testimony given as a witness at another hearing of the same or a different proceeding, or in a deposition taken in compliance with law in the course of the same or another proceeding, if the party against whom the testimony is now offered, or, in a civil action or proceeding, a predecessor in interest, had an opportunity and similar motive to develop the testimony by direct, cross, or redirect examination.
(2) Statement Under Belief of Impending Death. In a trial for homicide or in a civil action or proceeding, a statement made by a declarant while believing that the declarant's death was imminent, concerning the cause or circumstances of what the declarant believed to be the declarant's impending death.
(3) Statement Against Interest. A statement which was at the time of its making so far contrary to the declarant's pecuniary or proprietary interest, or so far tended to subject the declarant to civil or criminal liability, or to render invalid a claim by the declarant against another, that a reasonable person in the declarant's position would not have made the statement unless the person believed it to be true. In a criminal case, a statement tending to expose the declarant to criminal liability is not admissible unless corroborating circumstances clearly indicate the trustworthiness of the statement.
(4) Statement of Personal or Family History. (i) A statement concerning the declarant's own birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, legitimacy, relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, ancestry, or other similar fact of personal or family history, even though declarant had no means of acquiring personal knowledge of the matter stated; or (ii) a statement concerning the foregoing matters, and death also, of another person, if the declarant was related to the other by blood, adoption, or marriage or was so intimately associated with the others family as to be likely to have accurate information concerning the matter declared.
(5) Other Exceptions. (Reserved.)
(6) Forfeiture by wrongdoing. A statement offered against a party that has engaged directly or indirectly in wrongdoing that was intended to, and did, procure the unavailability of the declarant as a witness.
[Amended effective September 1, 1992; September 1, 2013.] Comment 804 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]
ER 805: HEARSAY WITHIN HEARSAY
Hearsay included within hearsay is not excluded under the hearsay rule if each part of the combined statements conforms with an exception to the hearsay rule provided in these rules.
[Adopted effective April 2, 1979.] Comment 805 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]
ER 806: ATTACKING AND SUPPORTING CREDIBILITY OF DECLARANT
When a hearsay statement, or a statement defined in rule 801(d)(2)(iii), (iv), or (v), has been admitted in evidence, the credibility of the declarant may be attacked, and if attacked may be supported, by any evidence which would be admissible for those purposes if declarant had testified as a witness. Evidence of a statement or conduct by the declarant at any time, inconsistent with the declarant's hearsay statement, is not subject to any requirement that the declarant may have been afforded an opportunity to deny or explain. If the party against whom a hearsay statement has been admitted calls the declarant as a witness, the party is entitled to examine the declarant on the statement as if under cross examination.
[Amended effective September 1, 1992.] Comment 806 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]
ER 807: CHILD VICTIMS OR WITNESSES
(Reserved. See RCW 9A.44.120.)
[Adopted effective September 1, 1988.] Comment 807 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]