Del. R. Evid. 901

As amended through May 31, 2024
Rule 901 - Authenticating or Identifying Evidence
(a)In General. To satisfy the requirement of authenticating or identifying an item of evidence, the proponent must produce evidence sufficient to support a finding that the item is what the proponent claims it is.
(b)Examples. The following are examples only - not a complete list - of evidence that satisfies the requirement:
(1)Testimony of a Witness with Knowledge. Testimony that an item is what it is claimed to be.
(2)Nonexpert Opinion About Handwriting. A nonexpert's opinion that handwriting is genuine, based on a familiarity with it that was not acquired for the current litigation.
(3)Comparison by an Expert Witness or the Trier of Fact. A comparison with an authenticated specimen by an expert witness or the trier of fact .
(4)Distinctive Characteristics and the Like. The appearance, contents, substance, internal patterns, or other distinctive characteristics of the item, taken together with all the circumstances.
(5)Opinion About a Voice. An opinion identifying a person's voice - whether heard firsthand or through mechanical or electronic transmission or recording - based on hearing the voice at any time under circumstances that connect it with the alleged speaker.
(6)Evidence About a Telephone Conversation. For a telephone conversation, evidence that a call was made to the number assigned at the time to:
(A) a particular person , if circumstances, including self-identification, show that the person answering was the one called; or
(B) a particular business, if the call was made to a business and the call related to business reasonably transacted over the telephone.
(7)Evidence About Public Records. Evidence that:
(A) a document was recorded or filed in a public office as authorized by law; or
(B) a purported public record or statement is from the office where items of this kind are kept.
(8)Evidence About Ancient Documents or Data Compilations. For a document or data compilation, evidence that it:
(A) is in a condition that creates no suspicion about its authenticity;
(B) was in a place where, if authentic, it would likely be; and
(C) is at least 20 years old when offered.
(9)Evidence About a Process or System. Evidence describing a process or system and showing that it produces an accurate result.
(10)Methods Provided by a Statute or Rule. Any method of authentication or identification allowed by a statute or provided by in the Constitution of this State.

Del. R. Evid. 901

Amended November 28, 2017, effective 1/1/2018.

Comment

The mere authentication of evidence under this rule does not necessarily mean the evidence is admissible under other rules.

D.R.E. 901 tracks F.R.E. 901 in effect on December 31, 2000, except that D.R.E. 901(b)(10) tracks U.R.E. 901(b)(10) because F.R.E. 901(b)(10) was inappropriate for state use.

D.R.E. 901(b)(3) is not limited just to handwriting.

It is not intended that D.R.E. 901 abolish the necessity of showing the chain of custody of exhibits in criminal proceedings. But see 10 Del. C. §§4330-32; 21 Del. C. §4177(h).

D.R.E. 901 was amended in 2017 in response to the 2011 restyling of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The amendment is intended to be stylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in ruling on evidence admissibility.