Business Records Exception
Generally speaking, Florida omits hearsay evidence unless it falls under one of the acceptable exceptions. One of those exceptions is the business record. Here, the business record must pass a 4 prong test, namely:
- It was made at or near the time of the event recorded,
- By, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge,
- Kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity, and
- It was the regular practice of that business to make such a record.
Courts have spent a considerable amount of time interpreting the second prong. The Supreme Court of Florida has stated “to the extent the individual making the record does not have personal knowledge of the information contained therein, the second prong of the predicate requires the information to have been supplied by an individual who does have personal knowledge of the information and who was acting in the course of a regularly conducted business activity. Brooks v. State, 918 So.2d 181, 193 (Fla. 2005).
This situation has repeatedly played out in the context of promissory notes and foreclosures. Lenders rely on screen shots and/or transaction histories to prove the indebtedness, those screen shots and transaction histories most likely falling under the business records exception. For more information about how to properly lay a foundation for the records or other information on the subject please contact Perry Law.