TBD | Chapter 90: Evidence Code
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§90.201 FS | MATTERS WHICH MUST BE JUDICIALLY NOTICED

A court shall take judicial notice of:
(1) Decisional, constitutional, and public statutory law and resolutions of the Florida Legislature and the Congress of the United States.
(2) Florida rules of court that have statewide application, its own rules, and the rules of United States courts adopted by the United States Supreme Court.
(3) Rules of court of the United States Supreme Court and of the United States Courts of Appeal.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 21, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.

§90.202 FS | MATTERS WHICH MAY BE JUDICIALLY NOTICED

A court may take judicial notice of the following matters, to the extent that they are not embraced within s. 90.201:
(1) Special, local, and private acts and resolutions of the Congress of the United States and of the Florida Legislature.
(2) Decisional, constitutional, and public statutory law of every other state, territory, and jurisdiction of the United States.
(3) Contents of the Federal Register.
(4) Laws of foreign nations and of an organization of nations.
(5) Official actions of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
(6) Records of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
(7) Rules of court of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
(8) Provisions of all municipal and county charters and charter amendments of this state, provided they are available in printed copies or as certified copies.
(9) Rules promulgated by governmental agencies of this state which are published in the Florida Administrative Code or in bound written copies.
(10) Duly enacted ordinances and resolutions of municipalities and counties located in Florida, provided such ordinances and resolutions are available in printed copies or as certified copies.
(11) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
(12) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot be questioned.
(13) Official seals of governmental agencies and departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 77-174; ss. 3, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.

§90.203 FS | COMPULSORY JUDICIAL NOTICE UPON REQUEST

A court shall take judicial notice of any matter in s. 90.202 when a party requests it and:
(1) Gives each adverse party timely written notice of the request, proof of which is filed with the court, to enable the adverse party to prepare to meet the request.
(2) Furnishes the court with sufficient information to enable it to take judicial notice of the matter.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379

§90.204 FS | DETERMINATION OF PROPRIETY OF JUDICIAL NOTICE AND NATURE OF MATTER NOTICED

(1) When a court determines upon its own motion that judicial notice of a matter should be taken or when a party requests such notice and shows good cause for not complying with s. 90.203(1), the court shall afford each party reasonable opportunity to present information relevant to the propriety of taking judicial notice and to the nature of the matter noticed.
(2) In determining the propriety of taking judicial notice of a matter or the nature thereof, a court may use any source of pertinent and reliable information, whether or not furnished by a party, without regard to any exclusionary rule except a valid claim of privilege and except for the exclusions provided in s. 90.403.
(3) If a court resorts to any documentary source of information not received in open court, the court shall make the information and its source a part of the record in the action and shall afford each party reasonable opportunity to challenge such information, and to offer additional information, before judicial notice of the matter is taken.
(4) In family cases, the court may take judicial notice of any matter described in s. 90.202(6) when imminent danger to persons or property has been alleged and it is impractical to give prior notice to the parties of the intent to take judicial notice. Opportunity to present evidence relevant to the propriety of taking judicial notice under subsection (1) may be deferred until after judicial action has been taken. If judicial notice is taken under this subsection, the court shall, within 2 business days, file a notice in the pending case of the matters judicially noticed. For purposes of this subsection, the term “family cases” has the same meaning as provided in the Rules of Judicial Administration.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 2, ch. 2014-35.

§90.205 FS | DENIAL OF A REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

Upon request of counsel, when a court denies a request to take judicial notice of any matter, the court shall inform the parties at the earliest practicable time and shall indicate for the record that it has denied the request.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

§90.501 FS | PRIVILEGES RECOGNIZED ONLY AS PROVIDED

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, any other statute, or the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Florida, no person in a legal proceeding has a privilege to:
(1) Refuse to be a witness.
(2) Refuse to disclose any matter.
(3) Refuse to produce any object or writing.
(4) Prevent another from being a witness, from disclosing any matter, or from producing any object or writing.
History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 9, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.

§90.5015 FS | JOURNALIST’S PRIVILEGE

(1) DEFINITIONS. — For purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Professional journalist” means a person regularly engaged in collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing news, for gain or livelihood, who obtained the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, a newspaper, news journal, news agency, press association, wire service, radio or television station, network, or news magazine. Book authors and others who are not professional journalists, as defined in this paragraph, are not included in the provisions of this section.
(b) “News” means information of public concern relating to local, statewide, national, or worldwide issues or events.

(2) PRIVILEGE. — A professional journalist has a qualified privilege not to be a witness concerning, and not to disclose the information, including the identity of any source, that the professional journalist has obtained while actively gathering news. This privilege applies only to information or eyewitness observations obtained within the normal scope of employment and does not apply to physical evidence, eyewitness observations, or visual or audio recording of crimes. A party seeking to overcome this privilege must make a clear and specific showing that:
(a) The information is relevant and material to unresolved issues that have been raised in the proceeding for which the information is sought;
(b) The information cannot be obtained from alternative sources; and
(c) A compelling interest exists for requiring disclosure of the information.

(3) DISCLOSURE. — A court shall order disclosure pursuant to subsection (2) only of that portion of the information for which the showing under subsection (2) has been made and shall support such order with clear and specific findings made after a hearing.
(4) WAIVER. — A professional journalist does not waive the privilege by publishing or broadcasting information.
(5) CONSTRUCTION. — This section must not be construed to limit any privilege or right provided to a professional journalist under law.
(6) AUTHENTICATION. — Photographs, diagrams, video recordings, audio recordings, computer records, or other business records maintained, disclosed, provided, or produced by a professional journalist, or by the employer or principal of a professional journalist, may be authenticated for admission in evidence upon a showing, by affidavit of the professional journalist, or other individual with personal knowledge, that the photograph, diagram, video recording, audio recording, computer record, or other business record is a true and accurate copy of the original, and that the copy truly and accurately reflects the observations and facts contained therein.
(7) ACCURACY OF EVIDENCE. — If the affidavit of authenticity and accuracy, or other relevant factual circumstance, causes the court to have clear and convincing doubts as to the authenticity or accuracy of the proffered evidence, the court may decline to admit such evidence.
(8) SEVERABILITY. — If any provision of this section or its application to any particular person or circumstance is held invalid, that provision or its application is severable and does not affect the validity of other provisions or applications of this section.
History - s. 1, ch. 98-48.

§90.502 FS | LAWYER-CLIENT PRIVILEGE

(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A “lawyer” is a person authorized, or reasonably believed by the client to be authorized, to practice law in any state or nation.
(b) A “client” is any person, public officer, corporation, association, or other organization or entity, either public or private, who consults a lawyer with the purpose of obtaining legal services or who is rendered legal services by a lawyer.
(c) A communication between lawyer and client is “confidential” if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those to whom disclosure is in furtherance of the rendition of legal services to the client.
2. Those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.


(2) A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, the contents of confidential communications when such other person learned of the communications because they were made in the rendition of legal services to the client.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:

(4) There is no lawyer-client privilege under this section when:
(a) The services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew was a crime or fraud.
(b) A communication is relevant to an issue between parties who claim through the same deceased client.
(c) A communication is relevant to an issue of breach of duty by the lawyer to the client or by the client to the lawyer, arising from the lawyer-client relationship.
(d) A communication is relevant to an issue concerning the intention or competence of a client executing an attested document to which the lawyer is an attesting witness, or concerning the execution or attestation of the document.
(e) A communication is relevant to a matter of common interest between two or more clients, or their successors in interest, if the communication was made by any of them to a lawyer retained or consulted in common when offered in a civil action between the clients or their successors in interest.

(5) Communications made by a person who seeks or receives services from the Department of Revenue under the child support enforcement program to the attorney representing the department shall be confidential and privileged as provided for in this section. Such communications shall not be disclosed to anyone other than the agency except as provided for in this section. Such disclosures shall be protected as if there were an attorney-client relationship between the attorney for the agency and the person who seeks services from the department.
(6) A discussion or activity that is not a meeting for purposes of s. 286.011 shall not be construed to waive the attorney-client privilege established in this section. This shall not be construed to constitute an exemption to either s. 119.07 or s. 286.011.

§90.5021 FS | FIDUCIARY LAWYER-CLIENT PRIVILEGE

(1) For the purpose of this section, a client acts as a fiduciary when serving as a personal representative or a trustee as defined in ss. 731.201 and 736.0103, an administrator ad litem as described in s. 733.308, a curator as described in s. 733.501, a guardian or guardian ad litem as defined in s. 744.102, a conservator as defined in s. 710.102, or an attorney in fact as described in chapter 709.
(2) A communication between a lawyer and a client acting as a fiduciary is privileged and protected from disclosure under s. 90.502 to the same extent as if the client were not acting as a fiduciary. In applying s. 90.502 to a communication under this section, only the person or entity acting as a fiduciary is considered a client of the lawyer.
(3) This section does not affect the crime or fraud exception to the lawyer-client privilege provided in s. 90.502(4)(a).
History - s. 1, ch. 2011-183.

§90.503 FS | PSYCHOTHERAPIST-PATIENT PRIVILEGE

(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A “psychotherapist” is:
1. A person authorized to practice medicine in any state or nation, or reasonably believed by the patient so to be, who is engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of a mental or emotional condition, including alcoholism and other drug addiction;
2. A person licensed or certified as a psychologist under the laws of any state or nation, who is engaged primarily in the diagnosis or treatment of a mental or emotional condition, including alcoholism and other drug addiction;
3. A person licensed or certified as a clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor under the laws of this state, who is engaged primarily in the diagnosis or treatment of a mental or emotional condition, including alcoholism and other drug addiction;
4. Treatment personnel of facilities licensed by the state pursuant to chapter 394, chapter 395, or chapter 397, of facilities designated by the Department of Children and Families pursuant to chapter 394 as treatment facilities, or of facilities defined as community mental health centers pursuant to s. 394.907(1), who are engaged primarily in the diagnosis or treatment of a mental or emotional condition, including alcoholism and other drug addiction; or
5. An advanced practice registered nurse licensed under s. 464.012, whose primary scope of practice is the diagnosis or treatment of mental or emotional conditions, including chemical abuse, and limited only to actions performed in accordance with part I of chapter 464.

(b) A “patient” is a person who consults, or is interviewed by, a psychotherapist for purposes of diagnosis or treatment of a mental or emotional condition, including alcoholism and other drug addiction.
(c) A communication between psychotherapist and patient is “confidential” if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those persons present to further the interest of the patient in the consultation, examination, or interview.
2. Those persons necessary for the transmission of the communication.
3. Those persons who are participating in the diagnosis and treatment under the direction of the psychotherapist.


(2) A patient has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, confidential communications or records made for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of the patient’s mental or emotional condition, including alcoholism and other drug addiction, between the patient and the psychotherapist, or persons who are participating in the diagnosis or treatment under the direction of the psychotherapist. This privilege includes any diagnosis made, and advice given, by the psychotherapist in the course of that relationship.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The patient or the patient’s attorney on the patient’s behalf.
(b) A guardian or conservator of the patient.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased patient.
(d) The psychotherapist, but only on behalf of the patient. The authority of a psychotherapist to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

(4) There is no privilege under this section:
(a) For communications relevant to an issue in proceedings to compel hospitalization of a patient for mental illness, if the psychotherapist in the course of diagnosis or treatment has reasonable cause to believe the patient is in need of hospitalization.
(b) For communications made in the course of a court-ordered examination of the mental or emotional condition of the patient.
(c) For communications relevant to an issue of the mental or emotional condition of the patient in any proceeding in which the patient relies upon the condition as an element of his or her claim or defense or, after the patient’s death, in any proceeding in which any party relies upon the condition as an element of the party’s claim or defense.

History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 40, ch. 90-347; s. 1, ch. 92-57; s. 19, ch. 93-39; s. 475, ch. 95-147; s. 28, ch. 99-2; s. 5, ch. 99-8; s. 1, ch. 2006-204; s. 30, ch. 2014-19; s. 7, ch. 2018-106.

§90.5035 FS | SEXUAL ASSAULT COUNSELOR-VICTIM PRIVILEGE

(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A “rape crisis center” is any public or private agency that offers assistance to victims of sexual assault or sexual battery and their families.
(b) A “sexual assault counselor” is any employee of a rape crisis center whose primary purpose is the rendering of advice, counseling, or assistance to victims of sexual assault or sexual battery.
(c) A “trained volunteer” is a person who volunteers at a rape crisis center, has completed 30 hours of training in assisting victims of sexual violence and related topics provided by the rape crisis center, is supervised by members of the staff of the rape crisis center, and is included on a list of volunteers that is maintained by the rape crisis center.
(d) A “victim” is a person who consults a sexual assault counselor or a trained volunteer for the purpose of securing advice, counseling, or assistance concerning a mental, physical, or emotional condition caused by a sexual assault or sexual battery, an alleged sexual assault or sexual battery, or an attempted sexual assault or sexual battery.
(e) A communication between a sexual assault counselor or trained volunteer and a victim is “confidential” if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those persons present to further the interest of the victim in the consultation, examination, or interview.
2. Those persons necessary for the transmission of the communication.
3. Those persons to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary to accomplish the purposes for which the sexual assault counselor or the trained volunteer is consulted.


(2) A victim has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, a confidential communication made by the victim to a sexual assault counselor or trained volunteer or any record made in the course of advising, counseling, or assisting the victim. Such confidential communication or record may be disclosed only with the prior written consent of the victim. This privilege includes any advice given by the sexual assault counselor or trained volunteer in the course of that relationship.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The victim or the victim’s attorney on his or her behalf.
(b) A guardian or conservator of the victim.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased victim.
(d) The sexual assault counselor or trained volunteer, but only on behalf of the victim. The authority of a sexual assault counselor or trained volunteer to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

History - s. 1, ch. 83-284; s. 476, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 2002-246.

§90.5036 FS | DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCATE-VICTIM PRIVILEGE

(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A “domestic violence center” is any public or private agency that offers assistance to victims of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and their families.
(b) A “domestic violence advocate” means any employee or volunteer who has 30 hours of training in assisting victims of domestic violence and is an employee of or volunteer for a program for victims of domestic violence whose primary purpose is the rendering of advice, counseling, or assistance to victims of domestic violence.
(c) A “victim” is a person who consults a domestic violence advocate for the purpose of securing advice, counseling, or assistance concerning a mental, physical, or emotional condition caused by an act of domestic violence, an alleged act of domestic violence, or an attempted act of domestic violence.
(d) A communication between a domestic violence advocate and a victim is “confidential” if it relates to the incident of domestic violence for which the victim is seeking assistance and if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those persons present to further the interest of the victim in the consultation, assessment, or interview.
2. Those persons to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the domestic violence advocate is consulted.


(2) A victim has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, a confidential communication made by the victim to a domestic violence advocate or any record made in the course of advising, counseling, or assisting the victim. The privilege applies to confidential communications made between the victim and the domestic violence advocate and to records of those communications only if the advocate is registered under s. 39.905 at the time the communication is made. This privilege includes any advice given by the domestic violence advocate in the course of that relationship.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The victim or the victim’s attorney on behalf of the victim.
(b) A guardian or conservator of the victim.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased victim.
(d) The domestic violence advocate, but only on behalf of the victim. The authority of a domestic violence advocate to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

History - s. 7, ch. 95-187; s. 127, ch. 98-403.

§90.504 FS | HUSBAND-WIFE PRIVILEGE

(1) A spouse has a privilege during and after the marital relationship to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, communications which were intended to be made in confidence between the spouses while they were husband and wife.
(2) The privilege may be claimed by either spouse or by the guardian or conservator of a spouse. The authority of a spouse, or guardian or conservator of a spouse, to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of contrary evidence.
(3) There is no privilege under this section:
(a) In a proceeding brought by or on behalf of one spouse against the other spouse.
(b) In a criminal proceeding in which one spouse is charged with a crime committed at any time against the person or property of the other spouse, or the person or property of a child of either.
(c) In a criminal proceeding in which the communication is offered in evidence by a defendant-spouse who is one of the spouses between whom the communication was made.

History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 10, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.

§90.505 FS | PRIVILEGE WITH RESPECT TO COMMUNICATIONS TO CLERGY

(1) For the purposes of this section:
(a) A “member of the clergy” is a priest, rabbi, practitioner of Christian Science, or minister of any religious organization or denomination usually referred to as a church, or an individual reasonably believed so to be by the person consulting him or her.
(b) A communication between a member of the clergy and a person is “confidential” if made privately for the purpose of seeking spiritual counsel and advice from the member of the clergy in the usual course of his or her practice or discipline and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present in furtherance of the communication.

(2) A person has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication by the person to a member of the clergy in his or her capacity as spiritual adviser.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The person.
(b) The guardian or conservator of a person.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased person.
(d) The member of the clergy, on behalf of the person. The member of the clergy’s authority to do so is presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 77-174; ss. 11, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 477, ch. 95-147.

§90.5055 FS | ACCOUNTANT-CLIENT PRIVILEGE

(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) An “accountant” is a certified public accountant or a public accountant.
(b) A “client” is any person, public officer, corporation, association, or other organization or entity, either public or private, who consults an accountant with the purpose of obtaining accounting services.
(c) A communication between an accountant and the accountant’s client is “confidential” if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those to whom disclosure is in furtherance of the rendition of accounting services to the client.
2. Those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.


(2) A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, the contents of confidential communications with an accountant when such other person learned of the communications because they were made in the rendition of accounting services to the client. This privilege includes other confidential information obtained by the accountant from the client for the purpose of rendering accounting advice.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The client.
(b) A guardian or conservator of the client.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased client.
(d) A successor, assignee, trustee in dissolution, or any similar representative of an organization, corporation, or association or other entity, either public or private, whether or not in existence.
(e) The accountant, but only on behalf of the client. The accountant’s authority to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of contrary evidence.

(4) There is no accountant-client privilege under this section when:
(a) The services of the accountant were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or should have known was a crime or fraud.
(b) A communication is relevant to an issue of breach of duty by the accountant to the accountant’s client or by the client to his or her accountant.
(c) A communication is relevant to a matter of common interest between two or more clients, if the communication was made by any of them to an accountant retained or consulted in common when offered in a civil action between the clients.

History - s. 12, ch. 78-361; s. 2, ch. 78-379; s. 478, ch. 95-147.

§90.506 FS | PRIVILEGE WITH RESPECT TO TRADE SECRETS

A person has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent other persons from disclosing, a trade secret owned by that person if the allowance of the privilege will not conceal fraud or otherwise work injustice. When the court directs disclosure, it shall take the protective measures that the interests of the holder of the privilege, the interests of the parties, and the furtherance of justice require. The privilege may be claimed by the person or the person’s agent or employee.
History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 479, ch. 95-147.

§90.507 FS | WAIVER OF PRIVILEGE BY VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE

A person who has a privilege against the disclosure of a confidential matter or communication waives the privilege if the person, or the person’s predecessor while holder of the privilege, voluntarily discloses or makes the communication when he or she does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, or consents to disclosure of, any significant part of the matter or communication. This section is not applicable when the disclosure is itself a privileged communication.
History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 13, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 480, ch. 95-147.

§90.508 FS | PRIVILEGED MATTER DISCLOSED UNDER COMPULSION OR WITHOUT OPPORTUNITY TO CLAIM PRIVILEGE

Evidence of a statement or other disclosure of privileged matter is inadmissible against the holder of the privilege if the statement or disclosure was compelled erroneously by the court or made without opportunity to claim the privilege.
History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

§90.509 FS | APPLICATION OF PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION

Nothing in this act shall abrogate a privilege for any communication which was made prior to July 1, 1979, if such communication was privileged at the time it was made.
History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 41, ch. 81-259.

§90.510 FS | PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION NECESSARY TO ADVERSE PARTY

In any civil case or proceeding in which a party claims a privilege as to a communication necessary to an adverse party, the court, upon motion, may dismiss the claim for relief or the affirmative defense to which the privileged testimony would relate. In making its determination, the court may engage in an in camera inquiry into the privilege.
History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

§90.801 FS | HEARSAY; DEFINITIONS; EXCEPTIONS

(1) The following definitions apply under this chapter:
(a) 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) A “declarant” is a person who makes a statement.
(c) “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.

(2) A statement is not hearsay if the declarant testifies at the trial or hearing and is subject to cross-examination concerning the statement and the statement is:
(a) 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;
(b) Consistent with the declarant’s testimony and is offered to rebut an express or implied charge against the declarant of improper influence, motive, or recent fabrication; or
(c) One of identification of a person made after perceiving the person.

History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 19, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 2, ch. 81-93; s. 497, ch. 95-147.

§90.802 FS | HEARSAY RULE

Except as provided by statute, hearsay evidence is inadmissible.
History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

§90.803 FS | HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS; AVAILABILITY OF DECLARANT IMMATERIAL

The provision of s. 90.802 to the contrary notwithstanding, the following are not inadmissible as evidence, even though the declarant is available as a witness:
(1) SPONTANEOUS STATEMENT. — A spontaneous statement describing or explaining an event or condition made while the declarant was perceiving the event or condition, or immediately thereafter, except when such statement is made under circumstances that indicate its lack of trustworthiness.
(2) EXCITED UTTERANCE. — A statement or excited utterance 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) A statement of the declarant’s then-existing state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation, including a statement of intent, plan, motive, design, mental feeling, pain, or bodily health, when such evidence is offered to:
1. Prove the declarant’s state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation at that time or at any other time when such state is an issue in the action.
2. Prove or explain acts of subsequent conduct of the declarant.

(b) However, this subsection does not make admissible:
1. An after-the-fact statement of memory or belief to prove the fact remembered or believed, unless such statement relates to the execution, revocation, identification, or terms of the declarant’s will.
2. A statement made under circumstances that indicate its lack of trustworthiness.


(4) STATEMENTS FOR PURPOSES OF MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT. — Statements made for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment by a person seeking the diagnosis or treatment, or made by an individual who has knowledge of the facts and is legally responsible for the person who is unable to communicate the facts, which statements describe medical history, past or present symptoms, pain, or sensations, or the inceptions 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 by the witness when the matter was fresh in the witness’s memory and to reflect that knowledge correctly. A party may read into evidence a memorandum or record when it is admitted, but no such memorandum or record is admissible as an exhibit unless offered by an adverse party.
(6) RECORDS OF REGULARLY CONDUCTED BUSINESS ACTIVITY. —
(a) A memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, in any form, of acts, events, conditions, opinion, or diagnosis, made at or near the time by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge, if kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity and if it was the regular practice of that business activity to make such memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, all as shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witness, or as shown by a certification or declaration that complies with paragraph (c) and s. 90.902(11), unless the sources of information or other circumstances show lack of trustworthiness. The term “business” as used in this paragraph includes a business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of every kind, whether or not conducted for profit.
(b) Evidence in the form of an opinion or diagnosis is inadmissible under paragraph (a) unless such opinion or diagnosis would be admissible under ss. 90.701-90.705 if the person whose opinion is recorded were to testify to the opinion directly.
(c) A party intending to offer evidence under paragraph (a) by means of a certification or declaration shall serve reasonable written notice of that intention upon every other party and shall make the evidence available for inspection sufficiently in advance of its offer in evidence to provide to any other party a fair opportunity to challenge the admissibility of the evidence. If the evidence is maintained in a foreign country, the party intending to offer the evidence must provide written notice of that intention at the arraignment or as soon after the arraignment as is practicable or, in a civil case, 60 days before the trial. A motion opposing the admissibility of such evidence must be made by the opposing party and determined by the court before trial. A party’s failure to file such a motion before trial constitutes a waiver of objection to the evidence, but the court for good cause shown may grant relief from the waiver.

(7) ABSENCE OF ENTRY IN RECORDS OF REGULARLY CONDUCTED ACTIVITY. — Evidence that a matter is not included in the memoranda, reports, records, or data compilations, in any form, of a regularly conducted activity 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 show lack of trustworthiness.
(8) PUBLIC RECORDS AND REPORTS. — Records, reports, statements reduced to writing, or data compilations, in any form, of public offices or agencies, setting forth the activities of the office or agency, or matters observed pursuant to duty imposed by law as to matters which there was a duty to report, excluding in criminal cases matters observed by a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, unless the sources of information or other circumstances show their lack of trustworthiness. The criminal case exclusion shall not apply to an affidavit otherwise admissible under s. 316.1934 or s. 327.354.
(9) RECORDS OF VITAL STATISTICS. — Records or data compilations, in any form, of births, fetal deaths, deaths, or marriages, if a report was made to a public office pursuant to requirements of law. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to make admissible any other marriage of any party to any cause of action except for the purpose of impeachment as set forth in s. 90.610.
(10) ABSENCE OF PUBLIC RECORD OR ENTRY. — Evidence, in the form of a certification in accord with s. 90.902, or in the form of testimony, that diligent search failed to disclose a record, report, statement, or data compilation or entry, when offered to prove the absence of the record, report, statement, or data compilation or the nonoccurrence or nonexistence of a matter of which a record, report, statement, or data compilation would regularly have been made and preserved by a public office and agency.
(11) RECORDS OF RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS. — Statements of births, marriages, divorces, deaths, parentage, 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 facts contained in a certificate that the maker performed a marriage or other ceremony or administered a sacrament, when such statement was certified by a member of the clergy, public official, or other person authorized by the rules or practices of a religious organization or by law to perform the act certified, and when such certificate purports 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 in family Bibles, charts, engravings in rings, inscriptions on family portraits, 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 contents of the original recorded or filed 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 or filing of the document in the 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, the authenticity of which 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 if, in the opinion of the court, the sources of information and method of preparation were such as to justify their admission.
(18) ADMISSIONS. — A statement that is offered against a party and is:
(a) The party’s own statement in either an individual or a representative capacity;
(b) A statement of which the party has manifested an adoption or belief in its truth;
(c) A statement by a person specifically authorized by the party to make a statement concerning the subject;
(d) A statement by the party’s agent or servant concerning a matter within the scope of the agency or employment thereof, made during the existence of the relationship; or
(e) A statement by a person who was a coconspirator of the party during the course, and in furtherance, of the conspiracy. Upon request of counsel, the court shall instruct the jury that the conspiracy itself and each member’s participation in it must be established by independent evidence, either before the introduction of any evidence or before evidence is admitted under this paragraph.

(19) REPUTATION CONCERNING PERSONAL OR FAMILY HISTORY. — Evidence of reputation:
(a) Among members of a person’s family by blood, adoption, or marriage;
(b) Among a person’s associates; or
(c) In the community, concerning a person’s birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, death, relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, ancestry, or other similar fact of personal or family history.

(20) REPUTATION CONCERNING BOUNDARIES OR GENERAL HISTORY. — Evidence of reputation:
(a) In a community, arising before the controversy about the boundaries of, or customs affecting lands in, the community.
(b) About events of general history which are important to the community, state, or nation where located.

(21) REPUTATION AS TO CHARACTER. — Evidence of reputation of a person’s character among associates or in the community.
(22) FORMER TESTIMONY. — Former testimony given by the declarant which testimony was 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, or a person with a similar interest, had an opportunity and similar motive to develop the testimony by direct, cross, or redirect examination; provided, however, the court finds that the testimony is not inadmissible pursuant to s. 90.402 or s. 90.403.
(23) HEARSAY EXCEPTION; STATEMENT OF CHILD VICTIM. —
(a) Unless the source of information or the method or circumstances by which the statement is reported indicates a lack of trustworthiness, an out-of-court statement made by a child victim with a physical, mental, emotional, or developmental age of 16 or less describing any act of child abuse or neglect, any act of sexual abuse against a child, the offense of child abuse, the offense of aggravated child abuse, or any offense involving an unlawful sexual act, contact, intrusion, or penetration performed in the presence of, with, by, or on the declarant child, not otherwise admissible, is admissible in evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding if:
1. The court finds in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury that the time, content, and circumstances of the statement provide sufficient safeguards of reliability. In making its determination, the court may consider the mental and physical age and maturity of the child, the nature and duration of the abuse or offense, the relationship of the child to the offender, the reliability of the assertion, the reliability of the child victim, and any other factor deemed appropriate; and
2. The child either:
a. Testifies; or
b. Is unavailable as a witness, provided that there is other corroborative evidence of the abuse or offense. Unavailability shall include a finding by the court that the child’s participation in the trial or proceeding would result in a substantial likelihood of severe emotional or mental harm, in addition to findings pursuant to s. 90.804(1).


(b) In a criminal action, the defendant shall be notified no later than 10 days before trial that a statement which qualifies as a hearsay exception pursuant to this subsection will be offered as evidence at trial. The notice shall include a written statement of the content of the child’s statement, the time at which the statement was made, the circumstances surrounding the statement which indicate its reliability, and such other particulars as necessary to provide full disclosure of the statement.
(c) The court shall make specific findings of fact, on the record, as to the basis for its ruling under this subsection.

(24) HEARSAY EXCEPTION; STATEMENT OF ELDERLY PERSON OR DISABLED ADULT. —
(a) Unless the source of information or the method or circumstances by which the statement is reported indicates a lack of trustworthiness, an out-of-court statement made by an elderly person or disabled adult, as defined in s. 825.101, describing any act of abuse or neglect, any act of exploitation, the offense of battery or aggravated battery or assault or aggravated assault or sexual battery, or any other violent act on the declarant elderly person or disabled adult, not otherwise admissible, is admissible in evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding if:
1. The court finds in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury that the time, content, and circumstances of the statement provide sufficient safeguards of reliability. In making its determination, the court may consider the mental and physical age and maturity of the elderly person or disabled adult, the nature and duration of the abuse or offense, the relationship of the victim to the offender, the reliability of the assertion, the reliability of the elderly person or disabled adult, and any other factor deemed appropriate; and
2. The elderly person or disabled adult is unavailable as a witness, provided that there is corroborative evidence of the abuse or offense. Unavailability shall include a finding by the court that the elderly person’s or disabled adult’s participation in the trial or proceeding would result in a substantial likelihood of severe emotional, mental, or physical harm, in addition to findings pursuant to s. 90.804(1).

(b) In a criminal action, the defendant shall be notified no later than 10 days before the trial that a statement which qualifies as a hearsay exception pursuant to this subsection will be offered as evidence at trial. The notice shall include a written statement of the content of the elderly person’s or disabled adult’s statement, the time at which the statement was made, the circumstances surrounding the statement which indicate its reliability, and such other particulars as necessary to provide full disclosure of the statement.
(c) The court shall make specific findings of fact, on the record, as to the basis for its ruling under this subsection.

History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 77-174; ss. 20, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 4, ch. 85-53; s. 11, ch. 87-224; s. 2, ch. 90-139; s. 3, ch. 90-174; s. 12, ch. 91-255; s. 498, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-158; s. 2, ch. 96-330; s. 1, ch. 98-2; s. 2, ch. 2003-259; s. 1, ch. 2013-98; s. 1, ch. 2014-200.

§90.804 FS | HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS; DECLARANT UNAVAILABLE

(1) DEFINITION OF UNAVAILABILITY. — “Unavailability as a witness” means that the declarant:
(a) Is exempted by a ruling of a court on the ground of privilege from testifying concerning the subject matter of the declarant’s statement;
(b) Persists in refusing to testify concerning the subject matter of the declarant’s statement despite an order of the court to do so;
(c) Has suffered a lack of memory of the subject matter of his or her statement so as to destroy the declarant’s effectiveness as a witness during the trial;
(d) Is unable to be present or to testify at the hearing because of death or because of then-existing physical or mental illness or infirmity; or
(e) Is absent from the hearing, and the proponent of a statement has been unable to procure the declarant’s attendance or testimony by process or other reasonable means.

However, a declarant is not unavailable as a witness if such exemption, refusal, claim of lack of memory, inability to be present, or absence is due to the procurement or wrongdoing of the party who is the proponent of his or her statement in preventing the witness from attending or testifying.
(2) HEARSAY EXCEPTIONS.—The following are not excluded under s. 90.802, provided that the declarant is unavailable as a witness:
(a) 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.
(b) Statement under belief of impending death.—In a civil or criminal trial, a statement made by a declarant while reasonably believing that his or her death was imminent, concerning the physical cause or instrumentalities of what the declarant believed to be impending death or the circumstances surrounding impending death.
(c) Statement against interest.—A statement which, at the time of its making, was so far contrary to the declarant’s pecuniary or proprietary interest or tended to subject the declarant to liability or to render invalid a claim by the declarant against another, so that a person in the declarant’s position would not have made the statement unless he or she believed it to be true. A statement tending to expose the declarant to criminal liability and offered to exculpate the accused is inadmissible, unless corroborating circumstances show the trustworthiness of the statement.
(d) Statement of personal or family history.—A statement concerning the declarant’s own birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, parentage, ancestry, or other similar fact of personal or family history, including relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, even though the declarant had no means of acquiring personal knowledge of the matter stated.
(e) Statement by deceased or ill declarant similar to one previously admitted.—In an action or proceeding brought against the personal representative, heir at law, assignee, legatee, devisee, or survivor of a deceased person, or against a trustee of a trust created by a deceased person, or against the assignee, committee, or guardian of a mentally incompetent person, when a declarant is unavailable as provided in paragraph (1)(d), a written or oral statement made regarding the same subject matter as another statement made by the declarant that has previously been offered by an adverse party and admitted in evidence.
(f) Statement offered against a party that wrongfully caused the declarant’s unavailability. — A statement offered against a party that wrongfully caused, or acquiesced in wrongfully causing, the declarant’s unavailability as a witness, and did so intending that result.

History.—s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 3, ch. 90-139; s. 4, ch. 90-174; s. 499, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 2005-46; s. 1, ch. 2012-152.

§90.805 FS | HEARSAY WITHIN HEARSAY

Hearsay within hearsay is not excluded under s. 90.802, provided each part of the combined statements conforms with an exception to the hearsay rule as provided in s. 90.803 or s. 90.804.
History. — s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

§90.901 FS | REQUIREMENT OF AUTHENTICATION OR IDENTIFICATION

Authentication or identification of evidence is required as a condition precedent to its admissibility. The requirements of this section are satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.
History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

§90.902 FS | SELF-AUTHENTICATION

Extrinsic evidence of authenticity as a condition precedent to admissibility is not required for:
(1) A document bearing:
(a) A seal purporting to be that of the United States or any state, district, commonwealth, territory, or insular possession thereof; the Panama Canal Zone; the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; or a court, political subdivision, department, officer, or agency of any of them; and
(b) A signature by the custodian of the document attesting to the authenticity of the seal.

(2) A document not bearing a seal but purporting to bear a signature of an officer or employee of any entity listed in subsection (1), affixed in the officer’s or employee’s official capacity.
(3) An official foreign document, record, or entry that is:
(a) Executed or attested to by a person in the person’s official capacity authorized by the laws of a foreign country to make the execution or attestation; and
(b) Accompanied by a final certification, as provided herein, of the genuineness of the signature and official position of:
1. The executing person; or
2. Any foreign official whose certificate of genuineness of signature and official position relates to the execution or attestation or is in a chain of certificates of genuineness of signature and official position relating to the execution or attestation.
The final certification may be made by a secretary of an embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the United States or a diplomatic or consular official of the foreign country assigned or accredited to the United States. When the parties receive reasonable opportunity to investigate the authenticity and accuracy of official foreign documents, the court may order that they be treated as presumptively authentic without final certification or permit them in evidence by an attested summary with or without final certification.


(4) A copy of an official public record, report, or entry, or of a document authorized by law to be recorded or filed and actually recorded or filed in a public office, including data compilations in any form, certified as correct by the custodian or other person authorized to make the certification by certificate complying with subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3) or complying with any act of the Legislature or rule adopted by the Supreme Court.
(5) Books, pamphlets, or other publications purporting to be issued by a governmental authority.
(6) Printed materials purporting to be newspapers or periodicals.
(7) Inscriptions, signs, tags, or labels purporting to have been affixed in the course of business and indicating ownership, control, or origin.
(8) Commercial papers and signatures thereon and documents relating to them, to the extent provided in the Uniform Commercial Code.
(9) Any signature, document, or other matter declared by the Legislature to be presumptively or prima facie genuine or authentic.
(10) Any document properly certified under the law of the jurisdiction where the certification is made.
(11) An original or a duplicate of evidence that would be admissible under s. 90.803(6), which is maintained in a foreign country or domestic location and is accompanied by a certification or declaration from the custodian of the records or another qualified person certifying or declaring that the record:
(a) Was made at or near the time of the occurrence of the matters set forth by, or from information transmitted by, a person having knowledge of those matters;
(b) Was kept in the course of the regularly conducted activity; and
(c) Was made as a regular practice in the course of the regularly conducted activity, provided that falsely making such a certification or declaration would subject the maker to criminal penalty under the laws of the foreign or domestic location in which the certification or declaration was signed.

History - s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 501, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 2003-259.

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