• AJS 2012 (†421)

    American Jurisprudence – 2nd ed. (West, 2012).

Existing Citations

  • chain of custody (s.v. "evidence" §960): Before demonstrative evidence can be admitted at trial, it must be properly authenticated or identified. To establish a foundation for admission, an item offered as real evidence must be positively identified as the actual item in question, which can be done by establishing unique or distinguishable configurations, marks, or other characteristics, or by satisfactory proof of the item's chain of custody from the time of the incident to the time of trial. The requirement of authentication or identification is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims. At the threshold, the proponent must make a prima facie showing of authenticity sufficient to enable a reasonable juror to find in favor of authenticity. A proper foundation for the admission of real evidence requires the proponent to prove that the proffered evidence was the same evidence actually involved in the event in question and that it remains materially unchanged from the time of the event until its admission. (†763)
  • chain of custody (s.v. "evidence §961"): Objects not readily identifiable and susceptible to change; chain of custody requirements ¶ Generally, the more fungible the evidence, the more significant its condition, or the higher its susceptibility to change, the more elaborate the foundation must be. When the evidence sought to be admitted may be distinguished only via scientific testing, then a chain of custody must be demonstrated to meet authentication requirements. If an article of evidence has no distinctive features or is fungible, authentication of the item must be proven by showing a chain of custody, typically from the scene of the crime to the courtroom. Accordingly, the proponent of a particular tangible item of evidence must establish its "chain of custody," that is, must account for its handling from the time it was seized until it is offered into evidence. ¶The purpose of the chain-of-custody requirement is to ensure the reliability of the evidence to be tested. The law with respect to chain-of-custody issues requires proof sufficient to render it improbable that the original item has been exchanged, contaminated, or tampered with. A detailed chain of custody need be established only when the evidence offered is not readily identifiable or is susceptible to alteration and there is reason to believe that it may have been altered. Moreover, the chain of custody of an exhibit is irrelevant where the exhibit is positively identified at trial. (†764)
  • chain of custody (s.v. "evidence §962"): Proof of proper chain of custody ¶ In general, to establish a proper chain of custody, identification of each "link" in the chain is required, and with regard to possession of the evidence by each "link, "the testimony must include three points: (1) the receipt of the item; (2) the ultimate disposition of the item, that is, transfer, destruction, or retention; and (3) the safeguarding and handling of the item between receipt and disposition. Variations in the testimony regarding the chain of custody or deficiencies in the chain of custody affect only its weight, not its admissibility. . . . ¶In setting up a chain of evidence, the prosecution is not required to elicit testimony from every custodian or every person who had an opportunity to come in contact with the evidence sought to be admitted. The fact that one of the persons in control of a fungible substance does not testify at trial does not, without more, make the substance or testimony relating to it inadmissible. Further, the chain of custody rule does not require the prosecution to account for the possession of evidence before it comes into their hands. . . . ¶The state bears the burden of establishing the proper chain of custody. While the state is not required to eliminate every possibility of tampering with the evidence in order to establish a chain of custody, the trial court must be satisfied within a reasonable probability that there has been no tampering. Thus, even with respect to sub-stances that are not clearly identifiable or distinguishable, it is unnecessary to establish a perfect chain of custody or eliminate all possibility of tampering or misidentification, so long as there is persuasive evidence that the reasonable probability is that the evidence has not been altered in any material respect. The requirement of reasonable certainty is not met when some vital link in the chain of possession is not accounted for, because then it is as likely as not that the evidence analyzed was not the evidence originally received (†765)
  • patent (60 Am Jur 2d Patents § 1): The Federal Constitution authorizes Congress to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. The federal patent power stems from this provision, and Congress' patent authority, under such provision, is tied to the progress of the useful arts. Congress is thus constitutionally empowered to create, administer, and maintain a patent system, and within the limits of its constitutional grant, Congress may select the policy which in its judgment best effectuates the constitutional aim and may set out conditions and tests for patentability. (†1059)
  • privacy (AJS 62A Privacy § 1, "Definition"): The right to privacy is not so much one of the right to total secrecy as it is the right to define one's circle of intimacy or to choose who will see beneath the quotidian mask, and information disclosed to a few people may remain private. (†534)
  • privacy (AJS 62A Privacy § 5, "Constitutional rig): The Federal Constitution promises that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter, and the result is a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy. The rights included within that zone are deemed fundamental and include activities related to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and child rearing and education. They involve the most intimate and personal choices a person can make in his or her lifetime, and include choices central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. (†535)
  • privacy (AJS 62A Privacy § 6, "Defamation"): Although closely related, invasion of privacy is distinct from libel, slander, or defamation. An action for invasion of privacy differs from a libel action in that in the former truth is not a defense and it is not necessary to the cause of action to allege or prove special damages. Another significant difference between the two types of actions is that a libel may arise from publication of a defamatory statement to only one person, whereas the invasion of privacy, at least by false-light publicity, by definition requires publicity of the falsehood to a substantial number of people. An action for invasion of privacy based on false light also differs from an action for defamation in that the former must involve the private affairs of the subject, and cannot relate to any matter which is inherently public or of legitimate interest to the public. (†536)
  • privacy (AJS 62A Privacy § 31, "Person of ordinar): The right of privacy is relative to the customs of the time and place, and is determined by the norm of the ordinary person. The protection afforded by the law to this right must be restricted to ordinary or reasonable sensibilities. It does not extend to hypersensitiveness. There are some shocks, inconveniences, and annoyances which members of society must absorb without right of redress, and the right of privacy is not a guaranty of hermitic seclusion. Some intrusions into one's private sphere are inevitable concomitants of life in an industrial and densely populated society, which the law does not seek to proscribe even if it were possible to do so. In order to constitute an invasion of the right of privacy, an act must be of such a nature as a reasonable person can see might and probably would cause mental distress and injury to anyone possessed of ordinary feelings and intelligence, situated in like circumstances as the complainant. (†537)
  • privacy (AJS 62A Privacy § 7, "Injury to reputati): There is a distinction between causes of action for invasion of privacy and defamation with regard to the respective interests protected and compensated by each. The gist of the cause of action in privacy cases is not injury to one's public reputation or status as in defamation cases, but injury to emotions and mental suffering, although some courts have acknowledged that injury to personal feelings is also recoverable in libel actions. In "right of privacy" cases, the primary damage is the mental distress from having been exposed to public view, although injury to reputation may be an element bearing upon such damage. The published matter need not be defamatory, on its face or otherwise. In fact, it might even be laudatory and still warrant recovery. (†538)
  • record (66 Am Jur 2d Records and Recording Laws § 1): A "public record" is sometimes defined as a record required by law to be kept, or necessary to be kept, in the discharge of a duty imposed by law, or directed by law, to serve as a memorial and evidence of something written, said, or done or a writing filed in a public office. A record is public if, by law or regulation, it is filed in a public office and required to be kept there. Also, if a written record of the transactions of a public officer in his or her office is a convenient and appropriate mode of discharging the duties of the office, it is not only the officer's right but also his or her duty to keep that memorial whether expressly required to do so or not; when kept, it is a public document n5 that belongs to the office rather than to the officer. n6 Thus, a record is public if it is kept pursuant to the official duties of a particular officer even if it is not specifically mandated by a statute. However, the determination as to what records must be maintained by a public officer is the prerogative of the legislature. A record may be public for one purpose but not for another, and whether it is a public record depends upon the purposes of the law to be served by so classifying it. Observation: The purpose of a public records law is to expose government activity to public scrutiny, which is absolutely essential to the proper working of a democracy. Inherent in such law is the public's right to monitor the conduct of government. (†1035)
  • trust (6 AJS Trusts §1 ): [As addressed in AJS, "trusts" is limited to financial trusts. - JHS] (†928)