Rule 1004. Admissibility of Other Evidence of Content.
An original is not required and other evidence of the content of a writing, recording, or photograph is admissible if:
(a) all the originals are lost or destroyed, and not by the proponent acting in bad faith;
(b) an original cannot be obtained by any available judicial process;
(c) the party against whom the original would be offered had control of the original; was at that time put on notice, by pleadings or otherwise, that the original would be a subject of proof at the trial or hearing; and fails to produce it at the trial or hearing; or
(d) the writing, recording, or photograph is not closely related to a controlling issue.
This rule is identical to F.R.E. 1004.
When the proponent of the evidence alleges that it is lost, there should be evidence that a sufficient search was made. See Hera v. McCormick, 425 Pa. Super. 432, 625 A.2d 682 (1993).
Under Pa.R.E. 1004, when production of the original is not required, the proffering party need not offer a duplicate even if that is available; the proffering party may present any evidence including oral testimony. The normal motivation of a party to produce the most convincing evidence together with the availability of discovery to uncover fraud seems adequate to control abuse.
Adopted May 8, 1998, effective October 1, 1998; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective March 18, 2013.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Final Report explaining the January 17, 2013 rescission and replacement published with the Courts Order at 43 Pa.B. 651 (February 2, 2013).
The provisions of this Rule 1004 rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (276592).
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