Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Inadequate Authentication of Government Website Evidence

From Phipps v. Stellar Recovery, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33029 (S.D. Ohio April 5, 2010):

Plaintiff [argues]:

Since Defendant admits to threatening Plaintiff with a lawsuit, and garnishment but has not filed any legal action against Plaintiff, it is evident that Defendant never intended to take such action and made false representations to Plaintiff. Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.

***Plaintiff's sole proof that Defendant has not sued Plaintiff is Exhibit B, a purported but unauthenticated printout from the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Online System which Plaintiff's counsel references as "See public records search for Montgomery County (attached as Exhibit B).”*** The Court is not told, much less told by admissible evidence, what that website is designed to enable the visitor to do. Beyond that, who conducted the search of which these are the purported results? What search terms were used? What period of time was searched? There is no evidence in the form required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 that answers any of these questions.

Share this article:


Recent Posts