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TITLE VII

EVIDENCE

Last update: 2013-11-01


  • Evidence Code
  • Witnesses, Records, And Documents
  • Version 2013-11-01
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  • Version 2011-11-08

Chapter 90

EVIDENCE CODE

90.101 - Short title

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Florida Evidence Code.”


History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

90.102 - Construction

This chapter shall replace and supersede existing statutory or common law in conflict with its provisions.


History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

90.103 - Scope; applicability

  • (1) Unless otherwise provided by statute, this code applies to the same proceedings that the general law of evidence applied to before the effective date of this code.

  • (2) This act shall apply to criminal proceedings related to crimes committed after the effective date of this code and to civil actions and all other proceedings pending on or brought after October 1, 1981.

  • (3) Nothing in this act shall operate to repeal or modify the parol evidence rule.

History.- ss. 1, 5, 7, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 1, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 1, ch. 81-93.

90.104 - Rulings on evidence

  • (1) A court may predicate error, set aside or reverse a judgment, or grant a new trial on the basis of admitted or excluded evidence when a substantial right of the party is adversely affected and:

    • (a) When the ruling is one admitting evidence, a timely objection or motion to strike appears on the record, stating the specific ground of objection if the specific ground was not apparent from the context; or

    • (b) When the ruling is one excluding evidence, the substance of the evidence was made known to the court by offer of proof or was apparent from the context within which the questions were asked.

    If the court has made a definitive ruling on the record admitting or excluding evidence, either at or before trial, a party need not renew an objection or offer of proof to preserve a claim of error for appeal.

  • (2) In cases tried by a jury, a court shall conduct proceedings, to the maximum extent practicable, in such a manner as to prevent inadmissible evidence from being suggested to the jury by any means.

  • (3) Nothing in this section shall preclude a court from taking notice of fundamental errors affecting substantial rights, even though such errors were not brought to the attention of the trial judge.

History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 1, ch. 2003-259.

90.105 - Preliminary questions

  • (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the court shall determine preliminary questions concerning the qualification of a person to be a witness, the existence of a privilege, or the admissibility of evidence.

  • (2) When the relevancy of evidence depends upon the existence of a preliminary fact, the court shall admit the proffered evidence when there is prima facie evidence sufficient to support a finding of the preliminary fact. If prima facie evidence is not introduced to support a finding of the preliminary fact, the court may admit the proffered evidence subject to the subsequent introduction of prima facie evidence of the preliminary fact.

  • (3) Hearings on the admissibility of confessions shall be conducted out of the hearing of the jury. Hearings on other preliminary matters shall be similarly conducted when the interests of justice require or when an accused is a witness, if he or she so requests.

History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 471, ch. 95-147.

90.106 - Summing up and comment by judge

A judge may not sum up the evidence or comment to the jury upon the weight of the evidence, the credibility of the witnesses, or the guilt of the accused.


History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

90.107 - Limited admissibility

When evidence that is admissible as to one party or for one purpose, but inadmissible as to another party or for another purpose, is admitted, the court, upon request, shall restrict such evidence to its proper scope and so inform the jury at the time it is admitted.


History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

90.108 - Introduction of related writings or recorded statements

  • (1) When a writing or recorded statement or part thereof is introduced by a party, an adverse party may require him or her at that time to introduce any other part or any other writing or recorded statement that in fairness ought to be considered contemporaneously. An adverse party is not bound by evidence introduced under this section.

  • (2) The report of a court reporter, when certified to by the court reporter as being a correct transcript of the testimony and proceedings in the case, is prima facie a correct statement of such testimony and proceedings.

History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 2, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379; s. 472, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 95-286.

90.201 - Matters which must be judicially noticed

A court shall take judicial notice of:
  • (1) Decisional, constitutional, and public statutory law and resolutions of the Florida Legislature and the Congress of the United States.

  • (2) Florida rules of court that have statewide application, its own rules, and the rules of United States courts adopted by the United States Supreme Court.

  • (3) Rules of court of the United States Supreme Court and of the United States Courts of Appeal.

History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 21, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.

90.202 - Matters which may be judicially noticed

A court may take judicial notice of the following matters, to the extent that they are not embraced within s. 90.201:
  • (1) Special, local, and private acts and resolutions of the Congress of the United States and of the Florida Legislature.

  • (2) Decisional, constitutional, and public statutory law of every other state, territory, and jurisdiction of the United States.

  • (3) Contents of the Federal Register.

  • (4) Laws of foreign nations and of an organization of nations.

  • (5) Official actions of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

  • (6) Records of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

  • (7) Rules of court of any court of this state or of any court of record of the United States or of any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

  • (8) Provisions of all municipal and county charters and charter amendments of this state, provided they are available in printed copies or as certified copies.

  • (9) Rules promulgated by governmental agencies of this state which are published in the Florida Administrative Code or in bound written copies.

  • (10) Duly enacted ordinances and resolutions of municipalities and counties located in Florida, provided such ordinances and resolutions are available in printed copies or as certified copies.

  • (11) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

  • (12) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot be questioned.

  • (13) Official seals of governmental agencies and departments of the United States and of any state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States.

History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 1, ch. 77-174; ss. 3, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.

90.203 - Compulsory judicial notice upon request

A court shall take judicial notice of any matter in s. 90.202 when a party requests it and:
  • (1) Gives each adverse party timely written notice of the request, proof of which is filed with the court, to enable the adverse party to prepare to meet the request.

  • (2) Furnishes the court with sufficient information to enable it to take judicial notice of the matter.

History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

90.204 - Determination of propriety of judicial notice and nature of matter noticed

  • (1) When a court determines upon its own motion that judicial notice of a matter should be taken or when a party requests such notice and shows good cause for not complying with s. 90.203(1), the court shall afford each party reasonable opportunity to present information relevant to the propriety of taking judicial notice and to the nature of the matter noticed.

  • (2) In determining the propriety of taking judicial notice of a matter or the nature thereof, a court may use any source of pertinent and reliable information, whether or not furnished by a party, without regard to any exclusionary rule except a valid claim of privilege and except for the exclusions provided in s. 90.403.

  • (3) If a court resorts to any documentary source of information not received in open court, the court shall make the information and its source a part of the record in the action and shall afford each party reasonable opportunity to challenge such information, and to offer additional information, before judicial notice of the matter is taken.

History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

90.205 - Denial of a request for judicial notice

Upon request of counsel, when a court denies a request to take judicial notice of any matter, the court shall inform the parties at the earliest practicable time and shall indicate for the record that it has denied the request.


History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379.

90.206 - Instructing jury on judicial notice

The court may instruct the jury during the trial to accept as a fact a matter judicially noticed.


History.- s. 1, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; ss. 4, 22, ch. 78-361; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-379.