Jan 19, 2010 Is D.C.’s Tabaka decision alone on certificates of no record?
Based on Melendez-Diaz, the District of Columbia’s highest court has rejected the admission into evidence of certificates of no record, where the records custodian does not testify. Tabaka v. D.C., 976 A.2d 173 (D.C. 2009), accord, Walker & Boyd v. U.S., 982 A.2d 723 (D.C., Oct. 22, 2009).
My recent Lexis search has not found any other judicial jurisdictions that have followed in Tabaka‘s footsteps. On the other hand, Melendez-Diaz is so new that it may just be a matter of time for other appellate courts to rule that Melendez-Diaz bars records custodians’ certificates without the testimony of such custodians.
Aside from the federal rules of evidence’s provisions for the admission of records custodian’s declarations without the need for their live testimony, Virginia is another jurisdiction where I practice that has a similar provision. Va. Code § 8.01-390. Have you seen any trends towards Tabaka in the jurisdictions where you practice?