Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

Anderson v. State

Evidence – Hearsay – Medical Records Exception

The Defendant was convicted of the sexual abuse of a minor after trial in Circuit Court.  During trial, the State admitted the written report of doctor, made after examining the victim and over the objection of Defendant’s counsel, which was intended for the investigating officer in the case.  Although segments of the report were redacted it still contained several damning statements made by the victim to the doctor.  The trial court admitted the report under the “medical records” exception to the hearsay rule despite the fact that the doctor never testified.

The COA held that the admission of the report was error and entitled the Defendant to a new trial.  The Court noted that the record was devoid of any explanation as to how the report fit within the “medical records” exception and the hearsay statements therein were not made for the purposes of treatment, were prepared in anticipation of litigation, and were used at trial to establish the victim’s state of mind during her interview with the doctor: “In the case at bar, in which the investigating officers referred [the victim] to [the doctor], [the doctor’s] report to [the officers] was inadmissible hearsay when offered to establish [the victim’s] state of mind at the time of her interview.”