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Rule 902. Evidence That Is Self-Authenticating

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Evidence for Courts in the State of Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Evidence for Courts in the State of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
Article IX. Authentication and Identification
Arizona Rules of Evidence, Rule 902
Rule 902. Evidence That Is Self-Authenticating
The following items of evidence are self-authenticating; they require no extrinsic evidence of authenticity in order to be admitted:
(1) Domestic Public Documents That Are Sealed and Signed. A document that bears:
(A) a seal purporting to be that of the United States; any state, district, commonwealth, territory, or insular possession of the United States; the former Panama Canal Zone; the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; a political subdivision of any of these entities; or a department, agency, or officer of any entity named above; and
(B) a signature purporting to be an execution or attestation.
(2) Domestic Public Documents That Are Not Sealed but Are Signed and Certified. A document that bears no seal if:
(A) it bears the signature of an officer or employee of an entity named in Rule 902(1)(A); and
(B) another public officer who has a seal and official duties within that same entity certifies under seal--or its equivalent--that the signer has the official capacity and that the signature is genuine.
(3) Foreign Public Documents. A document that purports to be signed or attested by a person who is authorized by a foreign country's law to do so. The document must be accompanied by a final certification that certifies the genuineness of the signature and official position of the signer or attester--or of any foreign official whose certificate of genuineness relates to the signature or attestation or is in a chain of certificates of genuineness relating to the signature or attestation. The certification may be made by a secretary of a United States embassy or legation; by a consul general, vice consul, or consular agent of the United States; or by a diplomatic or consular official of the foreign country assigned or accredited to the United States. If all parties have been given a reasonable opportunity to investigate the document's authenticity and accuracy, the court may, for good cause, either:
(A) order that it be treated as presumptively authentic without final certification; or
(B) allow it to be evidenced by an attested summary with or without final certification.
(4) Certified Copies of Public Records. A copy of an official record--or a copy of a document that was recorded or filed in a public office as authorized by law--if the copy is certified as correct by:
(A) the custodian or another person authorized to make the certification; or
(B) a certificate that complies with Rule 902(1), (2), or (3), a statute, or a rule prescribed by the Supreme Court.
(5) Official Publications. A book, pamphlet, or other publication purporting to be issued by a public authority.
(6) Newspapers and Periodicals. Printed material purporting to be a newspaper or periodical.
(7) Trade Inscriptions and the Like. An inscription, sign, tag, or label purporting to have been affixed in the course of business and indicating origin, ownership, or control.
(8) Acknowledged Documents. A document accompanied by a certificate of acknowledgment that is lawfully executed by a notary public or another officer who is authorized to take acknowledgments.
(9) Commercial Paper and Related Documents. Commercial paper, a signature on it, and related documents, to the extent allowed by general commercial law.
(10) Presumptions Under a Statute. A signature, document, or anything else that a statute declares to be presumptively or prima facie genuine or authentic.
(11) Certified Domestic Records of a Regularly Conducted Activity. The original or a copy of a domestic record that meets the requirements of Rule 803(6)(A)-(C), as shown by a certification of the custodian or another qualified person that complies with a statute or a rule prescribed by the Supreme Court. Before the trial or hearing, the proponent must give an adverse party reasonable written notice of the intent to offer the record--and must make the record and certification available for inspection--so that the party has a fair opportunity to challenge them.
(12) Certified Foreign Records of a Regularly Conducted Activity. In a civil case, the original or a copy of a foreign record that meets the requirements of Rule 902(11), modified as follows: the certification, rather than complying with a statute or Supreme Court rule, must be signed in a manner that, if falsely made, would subject the maker to a criminal penalty in the country where the certification is signed. The proponent must also meet the notice requirements of Rule 902(11).
(13) Certified Records Generated by an Electronic Process or System. A record generated by an electronic process or system that produces an accurate result, as shown by a certification of a qualified person that complies with the certification requirements of Rule 902(11) or (12). The proponent must also meet the notice requirements of Rule 902(11).
(14) Certified Data Copied from an Electronic Device, Storage Medium, or File. Data copied from an electronic device, storage medium, or file, if authenticated by a process of digital identification, as shown by a certification of a qualified person that complies with the certification requirements of Rule 902(11) or (12). The proponent also must meet the notice requirements of Rule 902(11).

Credits

Amended Oct. 19, 1988, effective Nov. 1, 1988; Oct. 16, 2003, effective Dec. 1, 2003; Jan. 26, 2004, effective June 1, 2004; Sept. 8, 2011, effective Jan. 1, 2012; Aug. 31, 2017, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Editors' Notes

COMMENT TO 2018 AMENDMENT ADDING SUBDIVISION (13)
The amendment sets forth a procedure by which parties can authenticate certain electronic evidence other than through the testimony of a foundation witness. As with the provisions on business records in Rules 902(11) and (12), the Court has determined that the expense and inconvenience of producing a witness to authenticate an item of electronic evidence is often unnecessary. It is often the case that a party goes to the expense of producing an authentication witness and then the adversary either stipulates authenticity before the witness is called or fails to challenge the authentication testimony once it is presented. The amendment provides a procedure under which the parties can determine in advance of trial whether a real challenge to authenticity will be made, and can then plan accordingly.
A proponent establishing authenticity under this Rule must present a certification containing information that would be sufficient to establish authenticity were that information provided by a witness at trial. If the certification provides information that would be insufficient to authenticate the record if the certifying person testified, then authenticity is not established under this Rule. The Rule specifically allows the authenticity foundation that satisfies Rule 901(b)(9) to be established by a certification rather than the testimony of a live witness.
The reference to the “certification requirements of Rule 902(11) or (12)” is only to the procedural requirements for a valid certification. There is no intent to require, or permit, a certification under this rule to prove the requirements of Rule 803(6). Rule 902(13) is solely limited to authentication and any attempt to satisfy a hearsay exception must be made independently.
In order to provide the adverse party with an opportunity to properly analyze the issue of authenticity, the “record” provided by the proponent of the ESI evidence must include the metadata for the material in question if reasonably necessary to assess the material's authenticity. In addition, a challenge to the authenticity of electronic evidence may require technical information about the system or process at issue, including possibly retaining a forensic technical expert; such factors will affect whether the opponent has a fair opportunity to challenge the evidence given the notice provided.
COMMENT TO 2018 AMENDMENT ADDING SUBDIVISION (14)
The amendment sets forth a procedure by which parties can authenticate data copied from an electronic device, storage medium, or an electronic file, other than through the testimony of a foundation witness. As with the provisions on business records in Rules 902(11) and (12), the Court has determined that the expense and inconvenience of producing an authenticating witness for this evidence is often unnecessary. It is often the case that a party goes to the expense of producing an authentication witness, and then the adversary either stipulates authenticity before the witness is called or fails to challenge the authentication testimony once it is presented. The amendment provides a procedure in which the parties can determine in advance of trial whether a real challenge to authenticity will be made, and can then plan accordingly.
Today, data copied from electronic devices, storage media, and electronic files are ordinarily authenticated by “hash value.” A hash value is a number that is often represented as a sequence of characters and is produced by an algorithm based upon the digital contents of a drive, medium, or file. If the hash values for the original and copy are different, then the copy is not identical to the original. If the hash values for the original and copy are the same, it is highly improbable that the original and copy are not identical. Thus, identical hash values for the original and copy reliably attest to the fact that they are exact duplicates. This amendment allows self-authentication by a certification of a qualified person that the person checked the hash value of the proffered item and that it was identical to the original. The rule is flexible enough to allow certifications through processes other than comparison of hash value, including by other reliable means of identification provided by future technology.
In order to provide the adverse party with an opportunity to properly analyze the issue of authenticity, the “record” provided by the proponent of the ESI evidence must include the metadata for the material in question if reasonably necessary to assess the material's authenticity. In addition, a challenge to the authenticity of electronic evidence may require technical information about the system or process at issue, including possibly retaining a forensic technical expert; such factors will affect whether the opponent has a fair opportunity to challenge the evidence given the notice provided.
COMMENT TO 2012 AMENDMENT
The language of Rule 902 has been amended to conform to the federal restyling of the Evidence Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
COMMENT TO ORIGINAL 1977 RULE
The language “general commercial law” in (9) is carried forward from the Federal Rule. In Arizona, the reference is to the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted in this State.
HISTORICAL NOTE
Source:
Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 902.
Civ.Code 1901, § 2548.
Civ.Code 1913, §§ 1734, 1736, 1745, 1748.
Laws 1921, Ch. 2, § 1.
Rev.Code 1928, §§ 4450, 4452, 4458, 4460.
Fed.Rules Civ.Proc., Rule 44(a), 28 U.S.C.A.
Code 1939, §§ 21-926, 23-301, 23-303, 23-309, 23-311.
Rules Civ.Proc., former Rules 44(b), 44(d), 44(e), 44(g), 44(j).
17A Pt. 1 A. R. S. Rules of Evid., Rule 902, AZ ST REV Rule 902
Current with amendments received through 02/1/19
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