Rule 805 Hearsay within hearsay. Hearsay included within hearsay is not excluded under the hearsay rule if each part of the combined statements conforms with an exception to the hearsay rule provided in these rules. [L 1980, c 164, pt of §1]
RULE 805 COMMENTARY
This rule is identical with Fed. R. Evid. 805. Because the principal concern in determining the admissibility of hearsay evidence is the assurance of trustworthiness, multiple hearsay creates a multi-level requirement for such assurance. However, if each level of hearsay independently meets the requirements for admissibility under an applicable hearsay exception, the circumstantial guarantee of trustworthiness for such a statement is as great as for single-level hearsay.
Instances of multi-level hearsay evidence are by no means uncommon. For example, former testimony of an unavailable witness, which qualifies for admissibility under Rule 804(b)(1), might contain testimony of an excited utterance, a statement against interest, or an admission by a party-opponent. Business records evidence presents multiple hearsay problems in cases where informants are not under a business duty, see the commentary to Rule 803(b)(6) supra. As long as each level meets the requirement of independent qualification, this type of evidentiary complexity offers no unique problem.
Last modified: October 27, 2016