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  1. #1

    Default Is a Fake Checkbook Register Admissible As Evidence for Support

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Colorado

    My ex was ordered to pay child support, is behind, and we have a contempt hearing coming up to address this. In the exhibits we exchanged, he included his unredacted 'checkbook' for a time where he wasn't making payments through the State Support Registry. This checkbook details all of the support payments he made to me. Problem is, it is complete non-sense and these checks were never written or sent to me. He just fabricated the whole thing. This is not out of character for him, he has pulled/attempted to pull similar things before in court. There are no bank records, copies of the checks, or correspondence between us regarding them, because they never existed in the first place.

    First off, is this admissible as evidence? On what grounds can I object? To make a bad over simplified metaphor, its like being on trial for some crime and is submitting as evidence a self written note saying that he is innocent of said crime. Even if it is admitted there is no way this could count as proof pf payment, right? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fake Checkbook Admissible As Evidence for Support

    You object based on the fact that a list of checks he wrote somewhere is in no way proof that checks or cash were ever paid to you.

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    Default Re: Fake Checkbook Admissible As Evidence for Support

    Quote Quoting HeighHoHeighHo
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    First off, is this admissible as evidence? On what grounds can I object?
    When you say that he produced "his unredacted 'checkbook,'" I assume you're talking about either a handwritten check register or a printout from some sort of financial software (e.g., Quicken). Correct?

    If so, strictly speaking such a document would be hearsay. However, in the context of this sort of proceeding, the court likely would consider it (assuming that your ex properly authenticates it with his testimony).

    Your concern should not be worrying about evidentiary objections. Rather, your concern should be in rebutting his testimony that he paid you, and it may behoove you to subpoena his bank records.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fake Checkbook Admissible As Evidence for Support

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    When you say that he produced "his unredacted 'checkbook,'" I assume you're talking about either a handwritten check register or a printout from some sort of financial software (e.g., Quicken). Correct?

    If so, strictly speaking such a document would be hearsay. However, in the context of this sort of proceeding, the court likely would consider it (assuming that your ex properly authenticates it with his testimony).

    Your concern should not be worrying about evidentiary objections. Rather, your concern should be in rebutting his testimony that he paid you, and it may behoove you to subpoena his bank records.
    Yes, a handwritten check register without associated checks or proof of me cashing them. How would he authenticate it with his testimony if it isn't admitted as evidence bc its hearsay? I am not familiar with how all this works but if it is hearsay/inadmissible then why would the court consider it or allow testimony about it if I object on the grounds of hearsay?

    What's the timeline for subpoenaing records? We are 10 days out from trial and exhibits needed to be exchanged 2 weeks prior to hearing. As an aside, he created the records as if it were his mother's checkbook bc he doesn't have one himself. Don't think that matters.

    How do you prove a negative? I can't prove that he didn't pay, but I can say there is no evidence to support that he did pay support and he can produce no credible evidence that he did either.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fake Checkbook Admissible As Evidence for Support

    I can't imagine a judge giving a check register weight. Why can't he get copies of his bank statements? Does he still have the account? Even if he does not. Why would he keep a check register but not print out statements ? Something tells me judges are use to seeing this. If they are use to seeing it. They know there is a,problem.

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    Default Re: Fake Checkbook Admissible As Evidence for Support

    The way to have the checkbook possibly admissible is to abject to it on the basis of it being hearsay. Without additional corroborating documents, such as the cancelled checks, bank records of the withdrawals occurring, etc it is akin to simply writing a note that says "I paid my child support".

    Alas, in court, it's incumbent upon you to support his argument and to discredit his argument. If you don't know how to do this an attorney would be a very good idea. I know that this seems expensive but, in the long run, is far more cost effective especially long range.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fake Checkbook Admissible As Evidence for Support

    Quote Quoting HeighHoHeighHo
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    How would he authenticate it with his testimony if it isn't admitted as evidence bc its hearsay? I am not familiar with how all this works but if it is hearsay/inadmissible then why would the court consider it or allow testimony about it if I object on the grounds of hearsay?
    The court isn't simply going to accept your objection just because you make it and cannot determine whether evidence is or isn't admissible without considering it. Even if the court admits the register, it's not very strong evidence. Actual checks and bank records are far better evidence, which is why I suggested that you may want to subpoena his bank records.


    Quote Quoting HeighHoHeighHo
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    What's the timeline for subpoenaing records? We are 10 days out from trial and exhibits needed to be exchanged 2 weeks prior to hearing.
    I don't practice in Colorado, but it is likely you have blown the deadline (unless you can get the trial continued for this reason).


    Quote Quoting HeighHoHeighHo
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    How do you prove a negative? I can't prove that he didn't pay, but I can say there is no evidence to support that he did pay support and he can produce no credible evidence that he did either.
    You can offer your own bank records (without a subpoena) and testify that you never received the alleged checks. You can also attack the check register as evidence that should be accorded no or little weight.

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    Default Re: Fake Checkbook Admissible As Evidence for Support

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    If so, strictly speaking such a document would be hearsay. However, in the context of this sort of proceeding, the court likely would consider it (assuming that your ex properly authenticates it with his testimony).
    A hearsay statement is, in essence, an out-of-court statement that is offered as proof of the matter asserted. Authenticating a document that contains a hearsay statement does not of itself render the statement admissible -- the statement must fall within a hearsay exception or exclusion.

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