The Necessary Definitions

militarydefenselawyers381Rule 801. Definitions

  • The following definitions apply under this section:

(a) Statement. A “statement” is (1) an oral or written assertion or (2) nonverbal conduct of a person, if it is intended by the person as an assertion.
(c) “Hearsay” is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.

  1. Under the Rule, a statement may be oral, written, or nonverbal conduct intended as an assertion, not made at trial, offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
  2. Under Rule 801(b), the declarant is a “person” who makes a statement, not a
    computer or a bloodhound. Although the data entered into a computer may be a
    statement of a person.
  3. Out-of-court means that at the time the person made the statement, the person
    was not in the courtroom, unless it satisfies the requirements of Rule 801(d).
  4. Proving the Truth of the Matter Asserted: This is the definitional prong that
    addresses the advocate’s need to cross-examine the declarant. The proponent
    must offer the statement to prove the truth of an assertion contained in the
    statement. If the statement is logically relevant to another theory, it is nonhearsay.
    In other words, the value of the statement lies in the fact that it was
    made. For example, an uttered statement that constitutes an element of an
    offense is not hearsay, but may be called an operative fact or a verbal act, e.g.:
    disrespectful language; swearing, provoking language, threats, etc. Other
    common non-hearsay uses include using the statement as circumstantial evidence
    of the declarant’s state of mind (e.g, premeditation), using the statement to show
    its effect on the state of mind of the hearer or reader.

The following definitions apply under this section:

Proving the Truth of the Matter Asserted: