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NCJ Number: 118362 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Uncharged Misconduct Evidence in Child Abuse Litigation
Journal: Utah Law Review  Volume:1988  Issue:3  Dated:(1988)  Pages:479-568
Author(s): J E B Myers
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 90
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses theories of uncharged misconduct evidence that are valuable in child abuse litigation.
Abstract: The article first defines uncharged misconduct evidence as "evidence of a person's uncharged crimes, wrongs, or acts, offered to prove such things as motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident." This is distinguished from character evidence, defined as "proof of a person's character or propensity offered to establish that the person acted in conformity therewith on a particular occasion." A major section of the article analyzes the elements of child abuse and neglect in various litigation contexts, since uncharged misconduct evidence is offered to prove one or more of the elements of maltreatment. The litigation contexts considered are criminal litigation, juvenile court litigation, juvenile delinquency proceedings against perpetrators, juvenile court protective proceedings, actions to terminate parental rights, child custody litigation, civil tort actions against perpetrators, and administrative proceedings to revoke or suspend licenses of professionals or facilities such as day care centers. Another section discusses the uses of uncharged misconduct evidence to prove motive; opportunity or capacity; prior attempts to commit the charged crime; relationship between the parties; intent, absence of mistake, or accident; the battered child syndrome; "lustful disposition;" plan; preparation; modus operandi to prove identity; the reliability of eyewitness testimony; and consciousness of guilt. The concluding section outlines factors in balancing the probative value of uncharged misconduct evidence against the danger of unfair prejudice. 302 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Child abuse
Index Term(s): Criminal intent; Rules of evidence
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