2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 899 Evidence
Sec. 52-172. Declarations and memoranda of deceased persons.

      Sec. 52-172. Declarations and memoranda of deceased persons. In actions by or against the representatives of deceased persons, and by or against the beneficiaries of any life or accident insurance policy insuring a person who is deceased at the time of the trial, the entries, memoranda and declarations of the deceased, relevant to the matter in issue, may be received as evidence. In actions by or against the representatives of deceased persons, in which any trustee or receiver is an adverse party, the testimony of the deceased, relevant to the matter in issue, given at his examination, upon the application of such trustee or receiver, shall be received in evidence.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7895.)

      Applies only in favor of those who sue or defend either as personal representatives, heirs and distributees, or purchasers by will; it does not embrace purchasers by contract. 32 C. 509; 56 C. 338; 71 C. 252; 109 C. 311. The statute is comprehensive and does not exclude any memoranda left by the decedent. 42 C. 153; 32 C. 518; 26 C. 92. Statement in will held admissible under the statute. 43 C. 123. Endorsement of interest on note by payee, held admissible but insufficient to prove an acknowledgment of indebtedness. 49 C. 495. Cited. 54 C. 243. Declaration by testator as to the meaning of his will is inadmissible. 56 C. 167; 91 C. 49. "Representatives of deceased persons" construed; declaration held inadmissible. 56 C. 106; 109 C. 311. Account books of decedent in his own handwriting are admissible; their weight is for the jury. 57 C. 479. Entries need not refer in terms to the matter in controversy, but may be shown to be relevant aliunde. 63 C. 313. The generality of an oral statement touching the question affects only its weight. Id., 315. An appeal from the probate of a will is not an "action" within the meaning of the statute. Id., 413. The statute applies to a suit continued by the original plaintiff's executor. Id., 417. Memoranda and declarations inadmissible if decedent has given a deposition covering the case. Id., 419. The declarations must be testified to by one who heard them, and cannot be supplied by evidence of the declarations of another person, since deceased, as to what the intestate said to him. 71 C. 581. Declarations of deceased landowner de his continued ownership, held admissible. 72 C. 479. Does not apply where neither estate nor legal representatives are interested; 80 C. 446; as where question is as to gift made during life; 89 C. 321; or conveyance made during lifetime. 109 C. 311. Purpose of statute includes appeal from allowance of account. 84 C. 662. Applies to statements made after action brought; so makes all statements written or oral admissible, even though deceased could not testify to them, if alive. 86 C. 474. Does not include declarations made to deceased. 87 C. 341. Declaration of deceased landowner admissible in support of title of devisee. 81 C. 219, 228. Statements of one killed by negligent act admissible in action by his administrator. 86 C. 422; 91 C. 728; 109 C. 238. When admissible; not for purchaser by contract. 71 C. 246; 72 C. 693; 109 C. 311. Statement must be relevant and material. 78 C. 337. Declarations of testamentary intent not ordinarily admissible. 91 C. 47. Statements of deceased agent of party are not admissible in his behalf. 95 C. 159. Applicable to workmen's compensation act hearings. 98 C. 649. Discretionary with trial court whether to specifically call attention of jury in charge to declarations of deceased. 99 C. 482. This statute does not apply in contest as to title of property between alleged grantee of deceased and grantee of her administrator in carrying out contract of deceased to sell land. 109 C. 311. Incompletely executed will signed by defendant's intestate and conversation he had with plaintiff admissible as written memorandum and oral statements relevant to issue of whether plaintiff's services were gratuitous. 110 C. 217. But communications between deceased and attorney and unsigned draft of new will inadmissible as privileged in suit by person not claiming under deceased. 112 C. 521. Statement by deceased contradictory to another statement by him not admissible solely to impeach his credibility, but both statements admissible in proof of facts stated. 110 C. 540. Cited. 116 C. 729; 119 C. 551; 126 C. 605. Diary of deceased containing detailed entries but lacking mention of sickness relevant to contradict allegations of plaintiff claiming compensation for nursing services. 124 C. 52. Declaration is evidence of facts stated but weight is ordinarily for jury. 135 C. 248. Letter written by decedent containing statements laudatory of plaintiff, including quotation from words of another, is admissible. 138 C. 398. A letter was held not to be admissible because the writer was not a party to the litigation. 142 C. 558. Statute broad enough to include a motion of the head of the decedent. 146 C. 129. The fact that a statement contains an opinion does not necessarily make it inadmissible. 148 C. 510. The statute calls for a liberal interpretation. Id. Oral declarations of the deceased are admissible under this statute. Id. Cited. 153 C. 603. Cited. 154 C. 507, 511. Cited re constitutional separation of powers (dissent). 166 C. 501. Wife of deceased defendant permitted to testify to statements by the deceased about the accident in issue. 175 C. 97. Cited. Id., 297. Cited. 183 C. 41. Cited. 202 C. 609. Cited. 211 C. 555. Cited. 217 C. 260. Cited. 218 C. 220. Cited. 237 C. 209. Overruled earlier holding that declarant must be representative of a decedent; statute does allow a third party who is not an heir or other representative of decedent's estate to invoke the statute to testify as to decedent's statements. 279 C. 558.

      Cited. 3 CA 111. Cited. 13 CA 101. Cited. 30 CA 305. Cited. 38 CA 73. Cited. 46 CA 620. To deny decedent the benefit of an evidentiary rule, such as the exclusions of offers of compromise, defeats purpose of statute. 50 CA 405. Out of court statement of decedent not admissible when the action was not brought by official representative of deceased person. 58 CA 19. Applicability of "dead man's statute" discussed. 70 CA 477.

      Hearsay declaration of deceased person must be examined with care. Trier to decide weight to be accorded it. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 148, 154. Declaration admissible under life insurance contract, not under annuity contract. Id., 676.

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