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Name: People v. Morgan
Case #: C045006
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/12/2005
Subsequent History: 4/20/05: revw. den.

While police officers were executing a search warrant for evidence of possession of controlled substances for sale, an officer answered the phone and heard the caller ask to buy drugs. The evidence of the phone call was admitted during trial. On appeal, appellants contended that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of the phone call and in failing to give a limiting instruction. The appellate court held that the caller’s questions and statements were hearsay, but that the Evidence Code has created an exception to the hearsay rule for this reliable type of evidence. The caller was not intending to assert that appellants were selling methamphetamine; he was attempting to purchase it. Because his actions speak louder than words, the statements were more reliable than the usual hearsay statement. Conduct that is not intended as an assertion has long been recognized as more reliable. Further, there was no confrontation clause violation because the statements were not testimonial. No limiting instruction was required because the statement was properly admitted as circumstantial evidence that the methamphetamine was possessed for sale.