Photo (screenshot) of contact information page in cell phone address book is non-hearsay when offered for a limited purpose (Florida)
Contact information page in cell phone is non-hearsay when offered for a limited purpose
In a new opinion from the Fourth District Court of appeal, we have a holding that a photo (screenshot) of a contact from a cell phone address/contact book is non-hearsay, when offered for the limited purpose of proving that the owner of the cell phone had a connection to the person in the contact.
The actual screen shot of the contact (from the opinion)
The State of Florida offered the photo, taken from the co-defendant's phone, NOT to show that the phone number was that of the defendant, but simply that the co-defendant knew and had a connection to the defendant.
Florida Evidence Code 90.802
The data entry of the phone number into the cell phone and the photograph was not made at the trial or hearing, as the photograph would have been hearsay if offered to establish Henry's phone number. The court cited to cases from the Federal Courts, Texas and New England for the premise that
The contact information screen here at issue is tantamount to a modern-day entry in an address book. Courts have generally held a witness's address book entry to be non-hearsay when used for the limited purpose of proving association between the maker of the address book and another.
Thus, the photograph of the contact information screen was admissible for the limited purpose of linking the co-defendant and the defendant.
Henry v. State of Florida, --- So. 3d ---, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D267a (Fla. 4th DCA 2019)