Legal Memorandum: Cases Dealing with Impact of Hearsay Statements

Issue: What cases deal with the impact of hearsay statements by a predecessor in interest on real state transactions?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Real Estate Law
Keywords: Hearsay statements; Self-serving declarations; Admissible
Jurisdiction: Federal, Multistate
Cited Cases: 70 S.E.2d 745; 78 A. 577; 151 S.E. 861; 218 A.2d 180; 327 A.2d 561; 202 S.W.2d 480; 215 N.W. 713; 22 S.E. 500
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 07/01/2009

§  Nortman v. Lally, 215 N.W. 713 (Iowa 1927) (Self-serving declarations by a deceased husband or wife are admissible against the estate in probate, but are not admissible in favor of the deceased’s interests.).


§  Rabun v. Wynn, 70 S.E.2d 745 (Ga. 1952) (Self-serving “declarations of persons since deceased, which are not part of the res gestae, will not be admitted in evidence, if the declarations are wholly in favor of the declarant.  Such declarations are hearsay, and, being such, have no probative value, even when admitted in evidence without objection.”).

§  Chenoworth v. Flannery, 202 S.W.2d 480 (Tex. Civ. App. 1947) (“Self-serving declarations are, as a general rule, never admissible for any purpose when offered by the party making them or those claiming under him.  . . . Statements made by a party against his interests are admissible but any statements by him which are self-serving and purport to bolster his own rights are not admissible, and the fact that the party making them is dead does not change the rule.”).

§  Fry v. Stowers, 22 S.E. 500 (Va. 1895) (“In regard to admissions inferred from acquiescence in the verbal statements of others, the maxim qui tacet consentire videtur, is to be applied with careful discrimination.  Nothing can be more dangerous than this kind of evidence.  It should always be received with caution, and never ought to be received at all unless the evidence is of direct declarations of that kind which naturally […]

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