Preservation of the Record – Evidence Issues

Unless otherwise indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion.

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court 

State of Tennessee v. Reynolds, E2018-01732-SC-R11-CD   (Tenn. Nov. 29, 2021).

Tennessee law requires a timely and specific objection in the trial court to preserve an evidentiary issue for appellate review. See Tenn. R. Evid. 103(a). “[E]videntiary objections not brought to the trial court’s attention at the appropriate time will not be considered under plenary review.” Vance, 596 S.W.3d at 253.

Editor’s Note:  The “plain error” doctrine may provide relief if there was not a timely objection.

Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Dunn,  No. E2021-00343-CCA-R3-CD, p. 25 (Tenn. Ct. Crim. App. July 5, 2022).

“In order for an appellate court to review a record of excluded evidence, it is fundamental that such evidence be placed in the record in some manner.” State v. Goad, 707 S.W.2d 846, 852 (Tenn. 1986). Here, Defendant did present an offer of proof for the trial court, and the trial court described the video when it made its ruling. However, Defendant did not move to include the video as an exhibit for identification purposes, and he did not include the video in the record on appeal. We conclude that the trial court’s description of the video is sufficient for us to review Defendant’s claim. See State v.Marcus Malone, No. W2020-00364-CCA-R3-CD, 2022 WL 558282, at *19 n.7 (Tenn. Crim. App. Feb. 24, 2022) (finding that, where evidence was “not included in the record on appeal[,]” the trial court’s description was “sufficient for our review”), perm. app. filed (Tenn. Apr. 22, 2022).


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