PA 09-63—sSB 810

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE TENDER YEARS EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY EVIDENCE RULE

SUMMARY: This act conforms the statutory exception to Connecticut's hearsay rule for statements of young children about their sexual or physical abuse to the exception adopted by the Superior Court and included in Connecticut's Code of Evidence ( 8-10, Ct. Evidence Code). It does so by potentially expanding the children covered under this so-called “tender years exception” and limiting the people against whom the statement may be used.

Prior law covered children under age 13. The act covers children who were under age 13 at the time of the statement.

By law, courts must accept these statements as evidence in criminal or juvenile proceedings under certain circumstances.   Under prior law, the exception could be used when the abuser was someone with authority or apparent authority over the child. The act provides that it may be used when the abuser is the child's parent or guardian or another person exercising comparable authority over him or her at the time of the offense.

Lastly, the act makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

Hearsay Rule

“Hearsay” is a statement made out of court that is offered in court to establish the truth of the facts contained in the statement ( 8-1, Ct. Evidence Code).  

OLR Tracking: SNE: KM: SS; TS