Division 2. Words And Phrases Defined of California Evidence Code >> Division 2.
Unless the provision or context otherwise requires, these
definitions govern the construction of this code.
"Action" includes a civil action and a criminal action.
"Burden of producing evidence" means the obligation of a party
to introduce evidence sufficient to avoid a ruling against him on
"Burden of proof" means the obligation of a party to establish
by evidence a requisite degree of belief concerning a fact in the
mind of the trier of fact or the court. The burden of proof may
require a party to raise a reasonable doubt concerning the existence
or nonexistence of a fact or that he establish the existence or
nonexistence of a fact by a preponderance of the evidence, by clear
and convincing proof, or by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Except as otherwise provided by law, the burden of proof requires
proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
"Civil action" includes civil proceedings.
"Conduct" includes all active and passive behavior, both
verbal and nonverbal.
"Criminal action" includes criminal proceedings.
"Declarant" is a person who makes a statement.
"Evidence" means testimony, writings, material objects, or
other things presented to the senses that are offered to prove the
existence or nonexistence of a fact.
"The hearing" means the hearing at which a question under this
code arises, and not some earlier or later hearing.
"Hearsay evidence" is defined in Section 1200.
"Law" includes constitutional, statutory, and decisional law.
"Oath" includes affirmation or declaration under penalty of
"Perceive" means to acquire knowledge through one's senses.
"Person" includes a natural person, firm, association,
organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, limited
liability company, or public entity.
"Dependent person" means any person who has a physical or
mental impairment that substantially restricts his or her ability to
carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights,
including, but not limited to, persons who have physical or
developmental disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have
significantly diminished because of age. "Dependent person" includes
any person who is admitted as an inpatient to a 24-hour health
facility, as defined in Sections 1250, 1250.2, and 1250.3 of the
Health and Safety Code.
"Personal property" includes money, goods, chattels, things in
action, and evidences of debt.
"Property" includes both real and personal property.
"Proof" is the establishment by evidence of a requisite degree
of belief concerning a fact in the mind of the trier of fact or the
"Public employee" means an officer, agent, or employee of a
"Public entity" includes a nation, state, county, city and
county, city, district, public authority, public agency, or any other
political subdivision or public corporation, whether foreign or
"Real property" includes lands, tenements, and hereditaments.
"Relevant evidence" means evidence, including evidence
relevant to the credibility of a witness or hearsay declarant, having
any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that
is of consequence to the determination of the action.
"State" means the State of California, unless applied to the
different parts of the United States. In the latter case, it includes
any state, district, commonwealth, territory, or insular possession
of the United States.
"Statement" means (a) oral or written verbal expression or (b)
nonverbal conduct of a person intended by him as a substitute for
oral or written verbal expression.
"Statute" includes a treaty and a constitutional provision.
"Trier of fact" includes (a) the jury and (b) the court when
the court is trying an issue of fact other than one relating to the
admissibility of evidence.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b),
"unavailable as a witness" means that the declarant is any of the
(1) Exempted or precluded on the ground of privilege from
testifying concerning the matter to which his or her statement is
(2) Disqualified from testifying to the matter.
(3) Dead or unable to attend or to testify at the hearing because
of then-existing physical or mental illness or infirmity.
(4) Absent from the hearing and the court is unable to compel his
or her attendance by its process.
(5) Absent from the hearing and the proponent of his or her
statement has exercised reasonable diligence but has been unable to
procure his or her attendance by the court's process.
(6) Persistent in refusing to testify concerning the subject
matter of the declarant's statement despite having been found in
contempt for refusal to testify.
(b) A declarant is not unavailable as a witness if the exemption,
preclusion, disqualification, death, inability, or absence of the
declarant was brought about by the procurement or wrongdoing of the
proponent of his or her statement for the purpose of preventing the
declarant from attending or testifying.
(c) Expert testimony that establishes that physical or mental
trauma resulting from an alleged crime has caused harm to a witness
of sufficient severity that the witness is physically unable to
testify or is unable to testify without suffering substantial trauma
may constitute a sufficient showing of unavailability pursuant to
paragraph (3) of subdivision (a). As used in this section, the term
"expert" means a physician and surgeon, including a psychiatrist, or
any person described by subdivision (b), (c), or (e) of Section 1010.
The introduction of evidence to establish the unavailability of a
witness under this subdivision shall not be deemed procurement of
unavailability, in absence of proof to the contrary.
"Writing" means handwriting, typewriting, printing,
photostating, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic
mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any
tangible thing, any form of communication or representation,
including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or
combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of
the manner in which the record has been stored.
"Original" means the writing itself or any counterpart
intended to have the same effect by a person executing or issuing it.
An "original" of a photograph includes the negative or any print
therefrom. If data are stored in a computer or similar device, any
printout or other output readable by sight, shown to reflect the data
accurately, is an "original."
A "duplicate" is a counterpart produced by the same impression
as the original, or from the same matrix, or by means of
photography, including enlargements and miniatures, or by mechanical
or electronic rerecording, or by chemical reproduction, or by other
equivalent technique which accurately reproduces the original.