Article X. Contents of Writings, Recordings, and Photographs

Rule 1004. Admissibility of Other Evidence of Contents

The original is not required, and other evidence of a writing, recording, or photograph is admissible if: 

(1) Originals Lost or Destroyed – All originals are lost or destroyed, unless the proponent lost or destroyed them in bad faith; or 

(2) Original Not Obtainable – No original can be obtained by any available judicial process or procedure; or 

(3) Original in Possession of Opponent – At a time when an original was under the control of the party against whom offered, that party was put on notice by the pleadings or otherwise that the contents would be a subject of proof at the hearing but does not produce the original at the hearing; or 

(4) Collateral Matters – The writing, recording, or photograph is not closely related to a controlling issue.

Advisory Commission Comments

In the rare situation where neither an “original” nor a “duplicate” is offered, this rule enumerates the common law excuses for failure to present the best evidence.


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