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Hearsay - State of Mind Exception

. R v Cote

In R v Cote (Ont CA, 2018) the Court of Appeal sets out the state of mind exception to the hearsay exclusion rule:
[22] In Starr, at para. 168, Iacobucci J., for the majority, quoted R. v. Smith, 1992 CanLII 79 (SCC), [1992] 2 S.C.R. 915 at p. 925 stating that an “exception to the hearsay rule arises when the declarant’s statement is adduced in order to demonstrate the intentions, or state of mind, of the declarant at the time when the statement was made”. He endorsed the conditions for this exception expressed in J.H. Wigmore, Evidence in trials at common law, revised ed. by J.H. Chadbourn (Boston: Little Brown, 1976) vol. 6 at para. 1725, p. 129, that the statement must “be of a present existing state of mind, and must appear to have been made in a natural manner and not under circumstances of suspicion” (emphasis in original). Naturally, the present state of mind of the declarant must also be relevant to the proceedings: R. v. C.(M.), 2014 ONCA 611 (CanLII), 314 C.C.C. (3d) 336, at para. 63.


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