Smith v. State, No. 882S319

Docket NºNo. 882S319
Citation455 N.E.2d 606
Case DateNovember 17, 1983
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 606

455 N.E.2d 606
James SMITH, Jr., Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 882S319.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Nov. 17, 1983.

Hugh G. Baker, Jr., Indianapolis, for appellant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Michael Gene Worden, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

DeBRULER, Justice.

James Smith, Jr., was convicted in a jury trial of confinement and rape, in violation of Ind.Code Sec. 35-42-3-3 and Ind.Code Sec. 35-42-4-1. Alibi evidence was presented by the defendant who testified that at the time of the alleged offense he was attending a business seminar for hair stylists at a motel. Rebuttal evidence was provided by the sales and catering manager for the motel who on behalf of the prosecution identified

Page 607

State's Exhibit # 13 as a page from the function reservation book of the motel which reflected business reservations for the day in question. A hearsay objection was made and overruled. Appellant Smith challenges that ruling on appeal.

I.

A summary of facts relating to Exhibit # 13 are as follows: In rebuttal to the alibi evidence, the prosecution called the sales and catering manager for the motel as a witness. This witness had been the personnel director and not the sales and catering manager at the motel on July 21, 1980, the date of the alleged crime, but took over the latter position on August 1, 1980. She described her present duties as making and arranging for reservations with business groups coming into the motel, and that keeping records of the bookings was part of her job. She stated that handwritten entries were made in the function reservation book by the manager or by the secretary or assistant manager who worked in the office. The witness produced the function reservation book for the last six months of 1980. The witness testified that the previous manager from whom she had taken over was no longer employed at the Holiday Inn. She testified further, in a rather awkward fashion, that Exhibit # 13 was "July 21st, 1980" and continued on that the reservations recorded for that day were for a manufacturing concern and a hamburger chain, and that the exhibit was a record kept in the normal course of business and reflected those reservations for July 21, 1980.

The page of the reservation book is divided by vertical lines into three columns headed: morning, afternoon, and evening. Each of these columns is divided by horizontal lines into boxes calling for entries of "group", "Tel.", "address", "function", "etc." Two groups are identified in handwritten entries on the page as McDonald and Hurco.

The State's Exhibit # 13 was admitted on the basis that it fell within the business records exception to the hearsay rule. Appellant contends that the foundation for it failed to qualify the document for this treatment in most respects. In Wells v. State, (1970) 254 Ind. 608, 261 N.E.2d 865, the Court stated the following in describing the history and character of the business records exception,

"The heart of the rule then is the requirement that the observation, reporting, and the recording of the facts all be made by someone in the regular course of the business. Without this there is no assurance of the accuracy and reliability of the fact which justifies the admission of the record as evidence of the facts asserted therein." 254 Ind. at 616, 261 N.E.2d 865.

The Court went on to state the requirements of the common law rule:

"1) The records offered must have been the original entries;

2) They must have been made in the regular course of business at or near the time of the event recorded;

3) The facts must have been within the first hand knowledge of someone whose business duty it was to observe and report the facts;

4) The witness who had knowledge of the facts must be unavailable." 254 Ind. at 615, 261 N.E.2d 865.

See also American United Life Ins. Co. v. Peffley, (1973) 158 Ind.App. 29, 301 N.E.2d 651. The fact sought to be proved by the reservation book was that no seminar for hair stylists was held at the motel on July 21, 1980. While the reservation book would not necessarily persuade one of this fact beyond doubt, it would certainly be relevant to a demonstration of that fact. The testimony...

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13 practice notes
  • Holmes v. State, No. 49S00-9002-DP-00104
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 7 Agosto 1996
    ...(4) the witness who had first hand knowledge must be unavailable. Wells v. State, 254 Ind. 608, 261 N.E.2d 865 (1970); Smith v. State, 455 N.E.2d 606 (Ind.1983). It need be noted that under Ind. Evidence Rule 803(6), made effective after the trial of this case, there is no requirement of un......
  • In re Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of ET, No. 02S03-0308-JV-367.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 20 Mayo 2004
    ...duty it was to observe and report the facts; and (4) the witness who had knowledge of the facts must be unavailable. Smith v. State, 455 N.E.2d 606, 607 (Ind.1983); Wells v. State, 254 Ind. 608, 261 N.E.2d 865, 870 (1970). With few exceptions, Evidence Rule 803(6) is generally consistent wi......
  • In re Matter of E.T., No. 02S03-0308-JV-367 (IN 5/20/2004), No. 02S03-0308-JV-367
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 20 Mayo 2004
    ...duty it was to observe and report the facts; and (4) the witness who had knowledge of the facts must be unavailable. Smith v. State, 455 N.E.2d 606, 607 (Ind. 1983); Wells v. State, 254 Ind. 608, 261 N.E.2d 865, 870 (1970). With few exceptions, Evidence Rule 803(6) is generally consistent w......
  • Lambert v. State, No. 1285S520
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 15 Diciembre 1987
    ...sustain a conviction of rape as a class A felony. We similarly found proper evidence of a class A felony in Smith v. State (1983), Ind., 455 N.E.2d 606, in which the defendant not only threatened to kill but also placed his hand over the victim's mouth and nose, cutting off her ability to b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • Holmes v. State, No. 49S00-9002-DP-00104
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 7 Agosto 1996
    ...(4) the witness who had first hand knowledge must be unavailable. Wells v. State, 254 Ind. 608, 261 N.E.2d 865 (1970); Smith v. State, 455 N.E.2d 606 (Ind.1983). It need be noted that under Ind. Evidence Rule 803(6), made effective after the trial of this case, there is no requirement of un......
  • In re Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of ET, No. 02S03-0308-JV-367.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 20 Mayo 2004
    ...duty it was to observe and report the facts; and (4) the witness who had knowledge of the facts must be unavailable. Smith v. State, 455 N.E.2d 606, 607 (Ind.1983); Wells v. State, 254 Ind. 608, 261 N.E.2d 865, 870 (1970). With few exceptions, Evidence Rule 803(6) is generally consistent wi......
  • In re Matter of E.T., No. 02S03-0308-JV-367 (IN 5/20/2004), No. 02S03-0308-JV-367
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 20 Mayo 2004
    ...duty it was to observe and report the facts; and (4) the witness who had knowledge of the facts must be unavailable. Smith v. State, 455 N.E.2d 606, 607 (Ind. 1983); Wells v. State, 254 Ind. 608, 261 N.E.2d 865, 870 (1970). With few exceptions, Evidence Rule 803(6) is generally consistent w......
  • Lambert v. State, No. 1285S520
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 15 Diciembre 1987
    ...sustain a conviction of rape as a class A felony. We similarly found proper evidence of a class A felony in Smith v. State (1983), Ind., 455 N.E.2d 606, in which the defendant not only threatened to kill but also placed his hand over the victim's mouth and nose, cutting off her ability to b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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