708.13“Other Exceptions” [Rule 803(9-23)]

Last Updated: 12/01/23

Key Concepts

  • The most common Rule 803 hearsay exceptions (e.g., excited utterance, statements for medical treatment or diagnosis, and business records) are covered in prior entries.
  • The remaining exceptions in Rule 803 are rarely used in criminal practice, but if they do apply then the statement at issue is not barred by the hearsay rules.

Rule 803(9-23) – Other Exceptions

The following are not excluded by the hearsay rule, even though the declarant is available as a witness:


(9)  Records of Vital Statistics. - Records or data compilations, in any form, of births, fetal deaths, deaths, or marriages, if the report thereof was made to a public office pursuant to requirements of law.

(10)  Absence of Public Record or Entry. - To prove the absence of a record, report, statement, or data compilation, in any form, or the nonoccurrence or nonexistence of a matter of which a record, report, statement, or data compilation, in any form, was regularly made and preserved by a public office or agency, evidence in the form of a certification in accordance with Rule 902, or testimony, that diligent search failed to disclose the record, report, statement, or data compilation, or entry.

(11)  Records of Religious Organizations. - Statements of births, marriages, divorces, deaths, legitimacy, ancestry, relationship by blood or marriage, or other similar facts of personal or family history, contained in a regularly kept record of a religious organization.

(12)  Marriage, Baptismal, and Similar Certificates. - Statements of fact contained in a certificate that the maker performed a marriage or other ceremony or administered a sacrament, made by a clergyman, public official, or other person authorized by the rules or practices of a religious organization or by law to perform the act certified, and purporting to have been issued at the time of the act or within a reasonable time thereafter.

(13)  Family Records. - Statements of fact concerning personal or family history contained in family Bibles, genealogies, charts, engravings on rings, inscriptions on family portraits, engravings on urns, crypts, or tombstones, or the like.

(14)  Records of Documents Affecting an Interest in Property. - The record of a document purporting to establish or affect an interest in property, as proof of the content of the original recorded document and its execution and delivery by each person by whom it purports to have been executed, if the record is a record of a public office and an applicable statute authorizes the recording of documents of that kind in that office.

(15)  Statements in Documents Affecting an Interest in Property. - A statement contained in a document purporting to establish or affect an interest in property if the matter stated was relevant to the purpose of the document, unless dealings with the property since the document was made have been inconsistent with the truth of the statement or the purport of the document.

(16)  Statements in Ancient Documents. - Statements in a document in existence 20 years or more the authenticity of which is established.


(19)  Reputation Concerning Personal or Family History. - Reputation among members of his family by blood, adoption, or marriage, or among his associates, or in the community, concerning a person's birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, death, legitimacy, relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, ancestry, or other similar fact of his personal or family history.

(20)  Reputation Concerning Boundaries or General History. - Reputation in a community, arising before the controversy, as to boundaries of or customs affecting lands in the community, and reputation as to events of general history important to the community or state or nation in which located.


(23)  Judgment as to Personal, Family or General History, or Boundaries. - Judgments as proof of matters of personal, family or general history, or boundaries, essential to the judgment, if the same would be provable by evidence of reputation.

G.S. 8C-803(9-23).

The preceding entries in this section addressed the Rule 803 hearsay exceptions that most frequently arise in criminal trials and hearings. The remaining hearsay exceptions found in Rule 803 are rarely used in criminal practice, so they are not discussed in detail in this entry, but they are listed here for convenience and reference.

See also the discussion of Rule 803(10), “Absence of Public Record or Entry,” in the related Evidence entry on Public Records [Rule 803(8)].

For more information about Rule 803(24), commonly known as the “catch-all” or “residual clause” hearsay exception, see the Evidence entry on Residual Exceptions [Rule 803(24) and 804(b)(5)].