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Hamilton Music, Inc. v. York, 565 S.W.2d 838 (Mo. Ct. App. 1978) (full-text).

Factual Background[]

Hamilton Music, Inc. ("Hamilton") filed a three count suit arising from a franchise agreement for a retail music store and related business dealings between the parties. The trial court ruled in favor of defendant York and Hamilton appealed. Among the claims of error on appeal was the trial court's refusal to admit into evidence a "business record" offered by Hamilton under Missouri law.[1] A Hamilton employee testified that it was a computer printout prepared by Westinghouse Credit Corporation, a stranger to the litigation, rather than by Hamilton, and that this printout had been retained in Hamilton's files as part of its business records.

State Appellate Court Proceedings[]

The court of appeals affirmed the trial court holding that the computer printout failed to qualify for admission into evidence as a business record because no particularities or even generalities were offered as to the time, mode and manner of its preparation by its "custodian or other qualified witness."


  1. "A record of an act, condition or event, shall, insofar as relevant, be competent evidence if the custodian or other qualified witness testifies to its identity and the mode of its preparation, and if it was made in the regular course of business, at or near the time of the act, condition or event, and if, in the opinion of the court, the sources of information, method and time of preparation were such as to justify its admission." Mo. Rev. Stat. § 490.680 (1969).