AuthorHelen E. Freedman/Gerald Lebovits
A. Hearsay Rule
§5:10 Denition and Purpose
§5:20 Non-Hearsay Distinguished
§5:25 Right to Confrontation With Testimonial Hearsay
§5:30 Eect of Hearsay Admitted Without Objection
B. Exceptions to Hearsay Rule
§5:40 Overviews
§5:50 Availability of Declarant
§5:60 No Wild Card Exception
A. General Objections
§5:70 Hearsay
§5:80 Hearsay Within Hearsay
§5:85 Testimonial Hearsay in Criminal Prosecutions
B. Objections Involving Hearsay Exceptions
1. Declarant Must Be Unavailable
§5:90 Former Testimony
§5:100 Declarations Against Interest
§5:110 Dying Declaration
§5:120 Pedigree
2. Declarant Must Be Available
§5:130 Prior Inconsistent Statements
§5:140 Past Recollection Recorded
3. Declarant Availability Irrelevant
§5:150 Admissions
§5:160 Business, Hospital, and Police Records
§5:170 Public Documents
§5:180 State of Mind
§5:185 Statement to Medical Personnel
§5:190 Present Sense Impression
§5:200 Excited Utterance or Spontaneous Declaration
§5:210 Prompt Outcry
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5-3 HEARSAY §5:20
A. Hearsay Rule
§5:10 Def‌inition and Purpose
Hearsay is an out-of-court statement oered to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. People v.
Patterson, 28 N.Y.3d 544, 68 N.E.3d 1242 (2016); Stern v. Waldbaum, Inc., 234 A.D.2d 534, 651 N.Y.S.2d 187 (2d Dept.
1996). Stated simply, the hearsay rule prohibits introduction into evidence of statements made out of court when oered
to prove the truth of facts asserted in the statement. People v. Acomb, 87 A.D.2d 1, 450 N.Y.S.2d 632 (4th Dept. 1982).
e danger inherent in hearsay evidence is that when the person who made the statement is not called as a
witness at trial, the party against whom the statement is oered has no opportunity to cross-examine the declarant
or to impeach his or her credibility. People v. John, 27 N.Y.3d 294, 52 N.E.3d 1114 (2016); People v. Settles, 46
N.Y.2d 154, 412 N.Y.S.2d 874 (1978). is limitation is the major justication for excluding hearsay. People v.
Charles, 137 Misc.2d 111, 519 N.Y.S.2d 921 (Sup. Ct., Kings County, 1987).
New York is relatively strict in applying the hearsay rule to exclude oral and written statements, and nonverbal
conduct intended as an assertion. People v. Charles, 137 Misc.2d 111, 519 N.Y.S.2d 921 (Sup. Ct., Kings County,
1987); People v. Garcia, 25 N.Y.3d 77, 30 N.E.3d 137 (2015) (detective’s testimony that the murder victim’s sister
told him there was friction between the victim and defendant was inadmissible hearsay as it created “an out-of-court
substitute for the testimony of [the victim’s] sister regarding that discord.”); see People v. Salko, 47 N.Y.2d 230, 417
N.Y.S.2d 894 (1979) (in bribery and conspiracy prosecution, police ocer’s testimony regarding co-conspirator’s
nonverbal acts, including his approaching ocer, their meetings, and co-conspirator’s transfer of money to ocer,
were admissible without resort to co-conspirator’s exception to hearsay rule). e rule against hearsay may even
exclude prior statements made under oath. See Bookman v. Stegman, 105 N.Y.621, 11 N.E. 376 (1887) (adavit
is hearsay if oered as testimonial assertion).
However, hearsay evidence is often necessary for proper resolution of a particular matter. Of necessity, a number
of exceptions to the hearsay rule have been developed. us, in certain circumstances, if strict criteria relating to its
admission are met, an out-of-court statement may be admitted into evidence to prove the matter it asserts. People
v. Settles, 46 N.Y.2d 154, 412 N.Y.S.2d 874 (1978); for exceptions to hearsay rule, see §§5:90-5:200.
e rule is dierent in administrative proceedings, where hearsay is admissible. Gray v. Adduci, 73 N.Y.2d 741
(1988). Hearsay alone may support an administrative determination, provided it meets the substantial evidence
standard of such proceedings. Parris v. Shah, 127 A.D.3d 515, 8 N.Y.S.3d 53 (1st Dept. 2015); Rispoli v. Water-
front Comm’n of NY Harbor, 104 A.D.3d 461, 961 N.Y.S.2d 105 (1st Dept. 2013); Today’s Lounge of Oneonta v.
New York State Liquor Authority, 103 A.D.3d 1082, 962 N.Y.S.2d 430 (3d Dept. 2013); Colon v. City of New York
Dept. of Educ., 96 A.D.3d 540, 946 N.Y.S.2d 468 (1st Dept. 2012); Matter of Parker v. Carrion, 90 A.D.3d 512,
935 N.Y.S.2d 14 (1st Dept. 2011); Café La China Corp. v. NYS Liquor Auth., 43 A.D.3d 280, 841 N.Y.S.2d 30 (1st
Dept. 2007) (Slip Op.). Hearsay evidence will not satisfy the substantial evidence standard if the facts it purportedly
establishes are seriously controverted. Gerald HH. v. Carrion, 130 A.D.3d 1174, 14 N.Y.S.3d 185 (3d Dept. 2015).
§5:20 Non-Hearsay Distinguished
When an out-of-court statement is not oered to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement, it is
not hearsay and may be admissible. Provenzo v. Sam, 23 N.Y.2d 256, 296 N.Y.S.2d 322 (1968); Stern v. Waldbaum,
Inc., 234 A.D.2d 534, 651 N.Y.S.2d 187 (2d Dept. 1996). us, for example, out-of-court statements have been
held admissible as non-hearsay in the following circumstances:
Making the statement itself is at issue. People v. Davis, 58 N.Y.2d 1102, 462 N.Y.S.2d 816 (1983); DeLuca
v. Ricci, 194 A.D.2d 457, 599 N.Y.S.2d 267 (1st Dept. 1993).
Without regard to truthfulness, the statement is oered to impeach a witness’ credibility. See Letendre v.
Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 21 N.Y.2d 518, 289 N.Y.S.2d 183 (1968); Campbell v. City of Elmira,
198 A.D.2d 736, 604 N.Y.S.2d 609 (3d Dept. 1993) a’d 84 N.Y.2d 505, 620 N.Y.S.2d 302 (1994); for
prior inconsistent statements, see §5:130.
An otherwise equivocal act is given legal signicance by words uttered contemporaneously, where the
words and the deed are so closely related as to be deemed one transaction. People v. Salko, 47 N.Y.2d 230,
417 N.Y.S.2d 894 (1979); Kuci v. Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, 219 A.D.2d

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