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Jury Trials suspended through February 11th, 2022
Denver County Court

PRESENTING EVIDENCE

Evidence in a case can exist in many forms including, but not limited to: testimony, documents photographs, audio/video recordings, and physical objects. Parties providing potential evidence to the court should be prepared at the time of their trial or final hearing with organized and clearly marked exhibits. Typically at the County Court level, if you are the plaintiff in a case, you mark your exhibits with numbers (Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, etc.); and if you are the defendant in a case, you mark your exhibits with letters (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, etc.). Additionally, if you have physical photographs and documents that you are offering the court as evidence, you should appear in court with three (3) identical copies of that evidence: one to keep, one to give to the other party in the case, and one to be reviewed by the court. Witnesses should appear in person and not in the form of a written affidavit. This is important because witnesses are subject to cross examination (questioning by the other party in the case). Since a written statement cannot be cross examined, the judicial officer may not allow it as evidence in your case. To help you ensure the appearance of your witnesses, the court will issue a subpoena to testify free of charge, to any party in a case, to compel the witness to appear in person at a trial or final hearing. Similarly, the court will also issue free of charge to any party in a case, a subpoena duces tecum. Unlike a subpoena to testify, a subpoena duces tecum is a subpoena to produce a ‘document or thing’ (e.g. an internal report) at the time of a trial or final hearing.

In general, a party to a case can offer any relevant evidence to the court to support their case; and the court, upon review, will either grant or deny the admissibility of the evidence. It is important to note that although evidence offered may be relevant to the case, it may also be denied as admissible in a case, for many reasons. If the court grants the admissibility of evidence, it will be entered as an exhibit and retained in the possession of the court.

Parties appearing pro se (without an attorney representing them) are still held to the same standards and requirements regarding the rules of evidence. The rules of evidence are very complicated and parties are encouraged to seek legal counsel in preparing their case; including potential evidence and exhibits.

Please review the two important sections below regarding physical evidence and digital evidence.

 

AN IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING PHYSICAL OBJECTS AS EVIDENCE:

When possible, parties are encouraged to reduce physical evidence to a format such as a photograph or document.  For example, if you have a small claims case where your claim is that the other party in the case damaged the front fender of your vehicle, it is not necessary to bring the front fender of the vehicle to court with you.  Photographs from different angles, accident reports, repair shop estimates, witnesses, etc. can serve the same purpose and achieve the same results.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING DIGITAL EVIDENCE (PHOTOGRAPHIC, TEXT, AUDIO, VIDEO, etc.):

Many people utilize their cellular telephones for creating, obtaining and storing digital photographic, text, audio, video, and other forms of evidence.  A problem arises at the time of court when parties offer the digital evidence stored on their cellular telephones as evidence and want the court to grant its admissibility.  In most cases, in order to admit the evidence, the court would need to take the cellular telephone into its possession and retain it for an extended period of time, including through the timeframe for the appeal process.  Since digital evidence is very easily transferrable to other forms of media storage such as flash drives, CD’s and DVD’s; it is the policy of the Denver County Court that digital evidence stored on cellular telephones is not to be offered in court as evidence at the time of a trial or final hearing.  Parties should either convert their digital evidence to a printed format (i.e. printing photographs), or bring their digital evidence to court on a flash drive, CD or DVD.  Please remember, regardless of the format that your evidence is presented to the court, if your evidence is admitted as evidence, the court will retain the evidence in its possession for an extended period of time.