City of Webster Groves v. Quick
323 S.W.2d 386 (1959)

  • Quick was caught speeding.
  • At trial, the policeman testified that he used a radar gun to clock Quick’s speed.
    • Quick objected to the evidence on the grounds that it was hearsay.
      • Basically, Quick argued that there was no actual evidence that he was driving 40 mph, there was only the policeman’s claim as to what he saw on the radar gun.
  • The Trial Court found Quick guilty of speeding.  Quick appealed.
  • The Appellate Court affirmed.
    • The Appellate Court found the evidence to not be hearsay.
      • The policeman himself testified to what he saw, not to what someone else had told him they saw.
      • The policeman testified under oath and was cross-examined, thereby satisfying the rules for the admissibility of his testimony.
  • Evidence is only hearsay when its probative force depends, in whole or in part, on the competency and credibility of some person other than the witness by whom it is sought to be produced.
    • If the policeman had testified that someone told him that they saw Quick speeding, that would be hearsay, because the Court would have no way to gauge the credibility of that person.  In this case, the policeman’s credibility could be gauged because he testified under oath at trial and was cross-examined by the other side.
    • In order to be hearsay, it has to be a statement made by another person, ‘statements’ made by a machine like a radar gun are not considered to be hearsay.
      • Btw, even though the machine reading isn’t hearsay, it still must be authenticated to ensure that it is reporting accurately.