Notice and demand rule change

Federal evidence review brings us information about a proposed change to Fed. R. Evid. 803(10), which by operation of Mil. R. Evid. 1102, will become “law” for courts-martial absent Presidential action (18 months after the effective date of any FRE amendment).  This is an occasional issue in fraud and some theft cases.

[T]he draft amendment “would permit a prosecutor who intends to offer a certification to provide written notice of that intent at least 14 days before trial. If the defendant does not object in writing within 7 days of receiving the notice, the prosecutor would be permitted to introduce a certification that a diligent search failed to disclose" a public record or statement. Under this approach, the government would not have to produce a witness to testify about the absence of the record. The proposed amendment conforms with the "notice and demand" approach approved by the Supreme Court’s in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305 (2009), which called into question under the Confrontation Clause the admission of certificates to prove the absence of a public record to be used at a criminal trial.

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