TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: January 12, 2018
RE: Rule 902, N.D.R.Ev., Evidence that is Self-Authenticating
Effective Dec. 1, 2017, Fed.R.Ev. 902 was amended to add two new subdivisions that allow certain electronic evidence to be authenticated by a certification of a qualified person in lieu of that person's testimony at trial.
New subdivision (13) allows self-authentication of machine-generated information (such as a web page) upon a submission of a certificate prepared by a qualified person. New Rule 902(14) provides a similar certification procedure for a copy of data taken from an electronic device, media, or file.
The federal committee stated that the new subdivisions are analogous to Rule 902(11) and 902(12), which permit a foundation witness to establish the authenticity and admissibility of business records by way of certification, with the burden of challenging authenticity on the opponent of the evidence. The committee stated that purpose of the two new subdivisions is to make authentication easier for certain kinds of electronic evidence.
Proposed amendments to Rule 902 based on the federal rule amendments are attached.