Objecting to officers use of notes

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High Authority
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Objecting to officers use of notes

by: jsherk on
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:10 pm

Has anybody successfully objected to an officer using their notes to refresh their memory?

What kind of arguments can be made for this?

+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++
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by: ynotp on
Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:36 pm

There are standard questions that the prosecutor will ask the officer that will allow him to use his notes to refresh his memory in spite of any objections you may have.

What you can do in your cross is attempt to demonstrate that the officer is simply reading his notes to the court and cannot independently recall the events. To be relevant your questions have to be based on the offence as it relates to you, quizzing him on minutia that is not in the notes isn't going to harm is credibility, in fact if he can answer it will do just the opposite and if he can't you look like a douche. Sometimes the officer will ad lib and contradict what they have written in the notes which also goes against their credibility.

Knowing how to cross with class is the gold standard for best outcome, but there isn't much you can do to refute a trained officer's testimony with good notes. Your best bet would be to ensure that you are able to give testimony that is at least as credible as the officers.
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by: Stanton on
Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:55 pm

I've never seen it happen. There would have to be some kind of serious issue with the officer's notes for them to be rejected. The main requirements for an officer's notes to be admissible are spelled out in your other thread: http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7118.html

Typically even paralegals and lawyers advise the Courts they have no issue with an officer referring to their notes simply to save time.
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