United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Evidence — best evidence rule
It did not violate the best evidence rule to present a compilation videotape, rather than the original footage.
“Harney and Muldoon fail to substantiate their suggestion that Midona did not view the portions of the video clips relevant to this lawsuit. As explained in the district court’s opinion, while the videotapes submitted in support of summary judgment contain footage not contained in the compilation video, and therefore Midona did not view the entirety of the footage submitted at summary judgment, there is no dispute that Midona viewed the portions of the tape relevant to the court’s determination of whether probable cause existed. (App. 9 n.6.) The content of the videotape—what Midona saw and how he interpreted it—is material to whether probable cause existed, not the format of the content absent some substantiated claim that the excerpted video clips had been tampered. Accordingly, the district court did not abuse its discretion in considering these videotapes in its discussion of plaintiffs’ false arrest claims.”
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Lefkow, J., Conley, J.