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Using sms messages in affidavit - best practices?

I just wanted to know what the best practices were to use sms message in court.
My daughters mum breached again tonight on phone contact, even after i sent a message to remind her.
I would like to use this as evidence.

Any suggestions?
Would a photo of the message on the phone be ok?
Do i need something signed in front of a jp like transcript, or photo?

Anyone that has ideas on this, would be great to hear from.

thanks for any help.
You need a transcript, or need to have a phone that enables you to save the messages to a computer, so you can print these out.  Then have your solicitor to provide an affidavit stating along the lines "this information is true and correct to my knowledge".  Your solicitor will want to see the actual messages on the phone and on the print out so he/she knows that it's actually factual.
Irrespective of whether or not you can get a verified copy of the SMS, you should still record the event as having happened. Odds on if the other parent is going to lie, then they will likely give them-self away in which case the credibility of what you have recorded may be taken into consideration. Recording such events will also make it more likely that a lying parent is exposed for what they are. Also keeping a record of events in itself can add to your own credibility.
Ethie_09 said
You need a transcript, or need to have a phone that enables you to save the messages to a computer, so you can print these out.  Then have your solicitor to provide an affidavit stating along the lines "this information is true and correct to my knowledge".  Your solicitor will want to see the actual messages on the phone and on the print out so he/she knows that it's actually factual.
  Solicitors very rarely provide Affidavits for their clients and an Affidavit is a 'fact' document from a party or witness. These things are annexures/attachments for a parties Affidavit. SRLR people where are you on this one?
Hi there, all the above is good stuff however I am aware of a recording being thrown back at a party (not my case) as useless because it could have been 'staged' i.e. the party staged it to get the reponse they wanted for court and was not the normal style and tone of conversation used.
Just a 'devil's advocate' note.
I agree with MikeT, journal entries are very important here. Transcribe the entire contents of any SMS you recieve on the day you recieve it - date, time, content, phone number it came from, and same for those you send. Even transcribe uneventful texts, just to be thorough. If you get into a habit of doing this, any time you need to refer to and SMS, you have a comprehensive list in chronological order. And as MikeT suggests, the simple act of transcribing everything can add to your credibility.

I also belive in getting a third party to witness your transcription, witness the text, and witness that the date and contents have been accurately transcribed. So when you send/recieve a text, transcribe, then write beneath something to the effect of "Witnessed by:" and have the person sign and print their name. I have even heard of people asking a JP to witness a text/transcription if it is really important to a case.

So transcribe your texts manually, but also print them out if possible. Also, I always leave texts in their appropriate folder (ie, inbox, sent messages, etc). If they are moved to a "saved" folder, they can be tampered with before being saved, and often the time and date will be gone. My mum had an AVO application against her dismissed after pointing out to a technically devoid judge that the applicant's texts had been moved and saved, and were different to what was stored in her own phone in her inbox and sent messages folders (in original format, complete with dates/times).

 
I was wondering the same thing, about sms's.

I have a lot of text messages where the other party is admitting things that look very bad on their part..  but some of the context of those messages is of a personal and sexual nature (when we had a brief but good relationship).  i.e. I don't want to have the WHOLE sms transcribed/witnessed by a J.P. because half of the message is just embarrassing to me.  The other half of the message would be very beneficial for me to use in court.

So my question is..  do you think I could transcribe just an "excerpt" of an sms, and have a J.P. witness that?  Would the solicitor/magistrate not be impressed that I'd "edited" the full text?  I would not change the wording of the excerpt..  and in the grand scheme of things, I wouldnt be taking anything out of context..  but yes, I would be discluding the introduction or end of the text message, purely for embarrassment/irrelevancy's sake.. what do you think?
I'm not sure how this would go over in court midnight, but from a common-sense standpoint, you would be raising questions about your credibility. The only way for you to prove that you had not tampered with the other portion of the message (or omitted it in order to alter the context of the conversation), would be to show the contents in their entirety. If you are not willing to include certain portions of text, I imagine it would be a bit like hearsay - ie, I have no proof or witnesses, but just take my word for it that this is what happened. This amounts to bugger all in the way of evidence.

The only other thing I could think of would be to transcribe the entire text, but blank out/cover the offending portions and include a note citing that some portions have been temporarily concealed for privacy/modesty reasons, however, the entire text will be made available to the decision maker if need be, or that it can be viewed in original form directly from the phone. Once again, not sure how that would hold up legally, but I know the admissibility of texts as evidence can vary from one magistrate to the next, so it's not necessarily an even playing field to begin with. 
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