Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Circumstantial Authentication of Email Evidence

From Commonwealth v. Capece, 2010 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 506 (Ct. Common Pl. Oct. 18, 2010):

Shortly after exchanging e-mail addresses with Defendant, the complainant began receiving e-mails from Defendant's e-mail address on her computer at school. *** She testified that she received approximately 140 e-mails from Defendant. *** The e-mails were often signed "Jerry," a name to which Defendant answered. *** The e-mails also addressed the same topics Defendant and the complainant discussed in their private conversations.***

As in In re F.P., [878 A.2d 91 (Pa. Super. 2005),] the Commonwealth presented sufficient evidence to authenticate the e-mails as having originated from Defendant. The e-mails from Defendant's e-mail address were often signed with a name Defendant uses. The e-mails also addressed numerous personal details about the lives of both Defendant and the complainant. Because the 92 e-mails were properly authenticated, the Commonwealth's request for the admission of the copies of the 92 e-mails is GRANTED.

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