G. Business Records Exception to Hearsay

Tex. R. Evid. 902 provides that an original or copy of a record is self-authenticating and meets the business records hearsay exception requirements of Tex. R. Evid. 803(6), if the record is filed fourteen days before trial and is accompanied by an affidavit that complies with Tex. R. Evid. 902(B).

1. Drug Test Results

Admission of drug test results using a business records affidavit are subject to a hearsay objection. For proper admission of drug test results, the source of the testing, the method used, and/or the circumstances or preparation of the test must indicate trustworthiness. Laying the proper foundation typically requires the testimony of three different people: a chain of custody witness, an expert to establish the reliability and proper techniques and testing protocol, and an expert to testify to the results. See in re K.C.P.¸142 S.W.3d 574, 580 (Tex. App.-Texarkana 2004, no pet.).

The results of drug tests that generally track the language of Tex. R. Evid. 803(6) and Tex. R. Evid. 902(10) are an exception to the hearsay rule. In re E.B., No. 11-19-00001-CV, 2019 WL 3955974 (Tex. App.—Eastland Aug. 22, 2019, no pet.) (mem. op.). Records of drug test results must also show sufficient indicia of trustworthiness or reliability to bring them within the business records exception to the hearsay rule. In re A.T., No. 02-04-00355-CV, 2006 WL 563565 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Mar. 19, 2006, pet. denied) (mem. op.) citing In re K.C.P., 142 S.W. 3d 574 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2004, no pet.).

2. Case Law

The following case law was provided by the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services.

Indicia of Trustworthiness or reliability

In re E.B., No. 11-19-00001-CV, 2019 WL 3955974 (Tex. App.—Eastland Aug. 22, 2019, no pet.) (mem. op.)

In re A.T., No. 02-04-00355-CV, 2006 WL 563565 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Mar. 19, 2006, pet. denied) (mem. op.)

In re A.T., No. 02-04-00355-CV, 2006 WL 563565 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Mar. 19, 2006, pet. denied) (mem. op.)

Live testimony not required for drug test records admitted under the business-records exception

In re C.M.-L.G., No. 14-16-00921-CV, 2017 WL 1719133 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] May 2, 2017, pet. denied) (mem. op.)

In re L.G.R., 498 S.W.3d 195 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, pet. denied)

In re M.R.D.W., No. 14-17-00506-CV, 2017 WL 6045575 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Dec. 7, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.)

In re C.W., No. 02-14-00274-CV, 2014 WL 7139645, (Tex. App.—Fort Worth, December 12, 2014, no pet.) (mem. op.)

In re Z.N.M., No. 14-17-00650-CV, 2018 WL 358480 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Jan. 11, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.)

Admission of drug test results through other testimony

In re D.J.H., No. 04-11-00815-CV, 2012 WL 1654953, at *3 (Tex. App.—San Antonio May 9, 2012, no pet.) (mem. op.); see also In re A.D.H.–G., No. 12-16-00001-CV, 2016 WL 3182610 (Tex. App.—Tyler June 8, 2016, no pet.) (mem. op.)

In K.C.P., 142 S.W.3d 574 (Tex. App.—Texarkana—2004, no pet.)

In re A.G., No. 13-17-00318-CV, 2017 WL 4546984 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Oct. 12, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.)

Inferences drawn from behavior and testimony

In re C.R., 263 S.W.3d 368, 374 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2008, no pet.); In re C.A.B., 289 S.W.3d 874, 885 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, no pet.).

In re M.L.C., No. 04-17-00459-CV, 2017 WL 6597828, at *4 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Dec. 27, 2017, pet. denied) (mem. op.)

In re K.P., 498 S.W.3d 157, 172 n.4 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] May 26, 2016, pet. denied)

In re D.M., 58 S.W.3d 801 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2001, no pet.).