Hearsay in family court.
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From: A Williamson
16 December 2010
Dear Ministry of Justice,
Under the freedom of information act I would like to know the
It is my understanding that although hearsay is not admissible in
criminal courts it is admissible in family courts. Is this true?
If it is true, is there a statute of limitations that covers how
long hearsay can be used for, in other words is there a time limit
from when the hearsay was first said to when it can be used?
Also, if an incident occurred that was looked into by the local
authority and the police at the time it occurred, no charges were
ever filed, no formal statements taken, no cautions etc and the
local authority at the said time dropped the incident due to not
having enough evidence etc to say that it did or did not happen,
can that be used as hearsay in court? Again if yes how many years
after the incident can it be used for?
Finally, if a child says something due to being upset by a parent
or carer and then later admits that the allegation was false or
exaggerated can it be used in court. If the child retracts the
statement formally in writing can it be used in family court?
From: Malvo, Kathleen
Ministry of Justice
15 February 2011
[Subject only] Hearsay reply attached
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