2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 899 Evidence
Sec. 52-180. Admissibility of business entries and photographic copies.

      Sec. 52-180. Admissibility of business entries and photographic copies. (a) Any writing or record, whether in the form of an entry in a book or otherwise, made as a memorandum or record of any act, transaction, occurrence or event, shall be admissible as evidence of the act, transaction, occurrence or event, if the trial judge finds that it was made in the regular course of any business, and that it was the regular course of the business to make the writing or record at the time of the act, transaction, occurrence or event or within a reasonable time thereafter.

      (b) The writing or record shall not be rendered inadmissible by (1) a party's failure to produce as witnesses the person or persons who made the writing or record, or who have personal knowledge of the act, transaction, occurrence or event recorded or (2) the party's failure to show that such persons are unavailable as witnesses. Either of such facts and all other circumstances of the making of the writing or record, including lack of personal knowledge by the entrant or maker, may be shown to affect the weight of the evidence, but not to affect its admissibility.

      (c) Except as provided in the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200, if any person in the regular course of business has kept or recorded any memorandum, writing, entry, print, representation or combination thereof, of any act, transaction, occurrence or event, and in the regular course of business has caused any or all of them to be recorded, copied or reproduced by any photographic, photostatic, microfilm, microcard, miniature photographic or other process which accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for so reproducing the original, the original may be destroyed in the regular course of business unless its preservation is otherwise required by statute. The reproduction, when satisfactorily identified, shall be as admissible in evidence as the original in any judicial or administrative proceeding, whether the original is in existence or not, and an enlargement or facsimile of the reproduction shall be likewise admissible in evidence if the original reproduction is in existence and available for inspection under direction of court. The introduction of a reproduced record, enlargement or facsimile shall not preclude admission of the original.

      (d) The term "business" shall include business, profession, occupation and calling of every kind.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7903; 1955, S. 3159d; 1971, P.A. 19; P.A. 82-160, S. 84; P.A. 97-47, S. 41.)

      History: 1971 act amended provision re destruction of original documents to delete prohibition against destruction of documents "held in a custodial or fiduciary capacity"; P.A. 82-160 rephrased the section and inserted Subsec. indicators; P.A. 97-47 amended Subsec. (c) by substituting "the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-18a" for "chapter 3".

      Cited. 115 C. 230. Books of account are not the only admissible evidence; testimony of person who performed work is also admissible. 118 C. 331. Cited. Id., 453; 122 C. 382. To be admissible court must find both that entry was made in regular course of business and that it was regular course of business to make such entry. 123 C. 60. History reviewed. 125 C. 92. Statute is of much broader scope than former statute; hospital and laboratory records admissible with respect to diagnosis, treatment and condition. Id. Establishes general rule as to admissibility of evidence applicable in criminal as well as civil cases. 127 C. 598. Written records of Visiting Nurse Association properly admitted. 134 C. 173. Testimony of supervising investigator of welfare department based on information in department files, held not hearsay. 145 C. 458. Portions of exhibit not established as made in the regular course of business, properly deleted. Id., 714. The fact that a record is generally admissible under this section does not mean that everything contained in the record is necessarily admissible in a given case. 147 C. 663. That witness, employee of defendant and in charge of its books, was not in its employ at time entries were made, did not, in and of itself, render records incompetent. 149 C. 45. To be admissible, record must be based on entrant's own observation or upon information transmitted to him by observer whose duty it was to so transmit. Id., 195. History discussed. 153 C. 445, 448. Representation by purchaser on printed form beneath conditional bill of sale not admissible as a business entry but hearsay where he was not a party or a witness. 154 C. 593. Cited. 165 C. 288; Id., 364. Cited re constitutional separation of powers (Dis. Op.). 166 C. 501. Cited. 167 C. 631. Cited. 172 C. 275. Cited. 173 C. 520. Although police report of traffic accident generally admissible as business entry, statute does not require that everything in it be admitted into evidence. 175 C. 1. Admission of a party opponent in statement to investigating officer and contained in latter's report is admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule. Id., 41. Cited. Id. Cited. 176 C. 33; Id., 170. Cited. 177 C. 401; Id., 677, 733. Discussion of business records generated by computer and credentials of witness testifying to establish admissibility thereof. 179 C. 349. Trial court did not err in admitting bills and invoices based on testimony of vice-president who was not the bookkeeper at the time the records were made. 180 C. 120. Cited. 181 C. 454. Discussion of admissibility of laboratory report or similar record in face of a sixth amendment objection. Id., 562. Cited. 185 C. 37. Cited. 190 C. 371. Cited. 195 C. 651. Cited. 202 C. 128. Cited. 205 C. 542; Id., 623. Cited. 206 C. 512. Cited. 211 C. 555. Cited. 214 C. 146. Cited. 215 C. 31. Cited. 228 C. 487. Cited. 238 C. 183. Erroneous admission of double hearsay evidence was harmless; claimant bears burden of demonstrating that the error was harmful. 245 C. 640. Certain bank statements ruled admissible where testimony of bank's director of operations was sufficient to establish a foundation. 246 C. 594. Letters written for litigation purposes at plaintiff's request and summary of doctor's opinion are not business records admissible pursuant to statute. 247 C. 356. Transcription of physician's notes is admissible under the business records exception where the original document (physician's notes) is prepared contemporaneously with the acts described. 257 C. 230.

      Annotations to former statute making book entries admissible in action for book debt: This statute was peculiar to this state, and was the earliest judicial proceeding in which parties were allowed to testify in their own behalf, a statute to this effect having been adopted in 1715. Book debt does not lie for articles delivered under a special contract; 9 C. 349; nor for damages; K. 289; 11 C. 206; nor on a promise of indemnity. 1 C. 78. It lies for money lent; 20 C. 260; and for goods sold to be paid for in kind if not so paid for; 11 C. 471; and for moneys withheld by an agent. 1 R. 85. Plaintiff is not required to prove charge on book, if he can account satisfactorily for not having made them. 6 C. 17. When entries must be verified by the maker if living and within the jurisdiction of the court. 41 C. 108. Entry not inadmissible because made upon information given by salesman. 47 C. 435. Where maker of entries is beyond the reach of process, or is incompetent to testify, his handwriting may be proved as if he were dead. 54 C. 217. It is not necessary that the transaction to which the entries apply should be directly between the original debtor and creditor. Id., 218. Physician's entries held admissible in pauper suit between towns. Id., 216. Shop-books admissible to prove a sale to the person to whom the goods were charged. 66 C. 162. Nature of action of book debt; entries must be charges in regular account book. 78 C. 646. Entries in account book admissible to prove payment by merchandise delivered. 77 C. 167. Cited. 111 C. 419; 137 C. 320; 138 C. 23. Where the entry in a hospital record is pertinent to the care and treatment of a patient, it is admissible. 140 C. 54. Bills for extra material and labor sent to defendant in regular course of business of plaintiff were admissible entries made in regular course of business and court correctly overruled objections to them as hearsay. 156 C. 55. Plaintiff's journal although excluded from evidence was marked as exhibit for identification and should have been retained in custody of court clerk to be available for examination by appeals court upon appeal of ruling of exclusion. Id., 401. Where general objection to admission of police record was overruled, plaintiff could not on appeal object to specific items. 157 C. 566. Testimony of director of hospital laboratory that record of complaining witness' medical examination was kept in regular course of business made it acceptable under this section as evidence in trial for rape. 158 C. 22. Statement in hospital record that plaintiff patient was driver of car in which his injury occurred, not admissible under this section. Id., 281. Cited. 159 C. 397. Cited. 161 C. 6. Cited. 217 C. 260; Id., 476. Cited. 219 C. 787. Trial court improperly concluded that because the hospital test satisfied Sec. 52-180 it did not need to consider whether a Porter hearing was required. 263 C. 390. Although the business records are subject to redaction by trial court on grounds of relevancy, insufficient connection to "business" of the department or status as inadmissible hearsay, the burden is on opponent of the evidence properly to object to any challenged portion of the records. 267 C. 686.

      Cited. 1 CA 454; Id., 501. Cited. 2 CA 58. Cited. 6 CA 429. Cited. 7 CA 326. Cited. 8 CA 177; Id., 673. Cited. 9 CA 59; Id., 379. Cited. 11 CA 327. Cited. 12 CA 468. Cited. 17 CA 121; Id., 416; Id., 460; Id., 684. Cited. 18 CA 597. Cited. 21 CA 138; Id., 162; Id., 496; Id., 645. Cited. 22 CA 689. Cited. 23 CA 19. Cited. 24 CA 57. Cited. 25 CA 298; Id., 681. Cited. 28 CA 56; Id., 521. Cited. 29 CA 600. Cited. 30 CA 346; Id., 827; Id., 839. Cited. 31 CA 94; Id., 660. Cited. 33 CA 702. Cited. 35 CA 828. Cited. 36 CA 216. Cited. 37 CA 515. Cited. 38 CA 575. Cited. 39 CA 684. Cited. 40 CA 268. Cited. 41 CA 225. Cited. 44 CA 271. Cited. 45 CA 165; Id., 352; Id., 455. Attorney trial referee did not abuse discretion by admitting exhibits pursuant to business records exception to hearsay rule. 48 CA 205. Printout of loan history and affidavit of debt were properly admitted. 51 CA 733. Documents need not be prepared by the organization itself to be admissible. 55 CA 384. Trial court properly admitted defendant's blood alcohol level content test results as part of his hospital records because the records met requirements for a business record as an exception to the hearsay rule under section. 61 CA 164. Section allows otherwise inadmissible hearsay to be admissible, with certain limitations. 63 CA 72. Computer-generated maps were properly admitted because they met the three conditions set forth in section and witness laid the proper foundation for admission. 69 CA 169. Capital needs assessment offered by defendant to show type of report lenders typically rely upon in deciding whether to loan money deemed admissible under business record exception to hearsay rule, despite fact that assessment was not prepared by defendant; assessment was made in the regular course of business by an organization that had a duty to prepare assessment. 88 CA 638. In foreclosure action, plaintiff bank's former employee who held several different positions within the bank and was very familiar with bank's records and computer system but had no personal knowledge of defendant's loan or the origin of the loan document was deemed qualified to authenticate bank's records for purposes of admitting defendant's loan records into evidence as exhibits. 92 CA 696. Business records exception does not require documents to have been prepared by company seeking to admit them as business records; nor is company required to establish a chain of custody for the documents or establish that witnesses have personal knowledge of their origins. Id. Document offered through testimony of assistant vice president and manager of foreclosure department who had personal knowledge of facts and circumstances surrounding defendant's mortgage qualified as business record and testimony that document was created in regular course of plaintiff's business, having satisfied elements of trustworthiness under section, was properly authenticated. 94 CA 793

      Applies to entries and receipts of a bank indicating withdrawals. 9 CS 358. Autopsy and toxicological reports properly admitted as official reports made in the regular course of business. 19 CS 278. Medical report of a deceased physician as to defendant's intoxication held inadmissible, though it appeared on a mimeographed form of the police department. 24 CS 45. Requirements for admission. Evidence not admissible. Discussion. 31 CS 510. Business entry exception to hearsay rule must be construed to mean that all requirements for admission must be satisfied by appropriate foundation testimony before business record can be admitted into evidence. 33 CS 668. Cited. 36 CS 632. Cited. 37 CS 637. Cited. 38 CS 384; Id., 426. Cited. 39 CS 381.

      Failure of finding in trial court to indicate compliance with requirements fatal. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 264. Cited. Id., 693 (fn 2). Cited. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 192. Appellant failed to establish that improper admission of document as business entry was harmful error. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 160, 161-165. Police report may be admitted as business entry if it complies with rest of statute. Id., 599, 600, 601.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 5 CA 296. Cited. 7 CA 364; Id., 398. Cited. 34 CA 535. Although the computer printouts were arguably not made in the regular course of business, the computer information itself satisfied the three statutory conditions for admissibility. 57 CA 1.

      Subsec. (b):

      Failure to produce witness re reports did not affect admissibility of a payment history report, but could affect weight of the evidence. 49 CA 563. Failure to produce as witness the person who actually drew, labeled and tested defendant's blood and recorded test results in defendant's hospital records is not a bar to admission of the evidence as a business record. 61 CA 164.

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