Government Website — Self-Authentication

Under Rule 902(5) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, official publications of government offices, including their websites, are self-authenticating. (Cases are collected in the article entitled Internet and Email Evidence on the Recent Articles page.) The Ohio Court of Appeals came to the same conclusion under Ohio Rule of Evidence 902(5) in Harvard Mort. Corp. v. Phillips, 2008 Ohio 1132, 2008 Ohio App. LEXIS 1045 (Ohio. App. March 14, 2008):

The website of the Secretary of State can be considered self-authenticating as an "official publication," cf. Evid.R. 902(5), like copies of printed material, (i.e., newspaper articles) are under Evid.R. 902(6).

The proper method to challenge such admissions is not dependent upon whether the material contained in the publication has been verified. If claimed unreliable, the document may be impeached after its admission.

Share this article:


Recent Posts