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Name: People v. Cage
Case #: S127344
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 04/09/2007
Summary

A hearsay statement is testimonial, and thus inadmissable, if in purpose and form it is similar to testimony given by witnesses at trial. This occurs under circumstances that provide the formality and solemnity of testimony, although it need not be sworn under oath; the primary purpose of the statement is to establish or prove a past fact for possible use in a criminal trial, with the purpose of the statement determined objectively; and sufficient formality exists such that false responses might be criminal offenses. A statement is nontestimonial if its primary purpose is to deal with an emergency. (Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36; Davis v. Washington (2006) __ U.S.__ [126 S.Ct. 226].) In this case, the Supreme Court determined that the victim’s responses to the treating physician’s questions were nontestimonial as the primary purpose was for medical treatment. On the other hand, his statements to the sheriff’s deputy in the hospital emergency room were testimonial as they were obtained after the incident had occurred, they were obtained as an inquiry into possible criminal activity, and they were sufficiently formal.