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Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

RULE 1008

When the admissibility of other evidence of contents of writings, recordings, or photographs under these rules depends upon the fulfillment of a condition of fact, the question whether the condition has been fulfilled is ordinarily for the court to determine in accordance with the provisions of Rule 104. However, when an issue is raised (a) whether the asserted writing even existed, or (b) whether another writing, recording, or photograph produced at the trial is the original, or (c) whether other evidence of contents correctly reflects the contents, the issue is for the trier of fact to determine as in the case of other issues of fact.


This rule is identical to the federal rule. It has long been held in this State that a question as to whether to admit a document under the best evidence rule is addressed to the discretion of the trial judge. Shirer v. O.W.S. & Associates, 253 S.C. 232, 169 S.E.2d 621 (1969); Vaught v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 250 S.C. 65, 156 S.E.2d 627 (1967); Drayton v. Industrial Life & Health Ins. Co., 205 S.C. 98, 31 S.E.2d 148 (1944); Sample v. Gulf Refining Co., 183 S.C. 399, 191 S.E. 209 (1937); Atlantic Coast Line R.R. v. Dawes, 103 S.C. 507, 88 S.E. 286 (1916); Leesville Mfg. Co. v. Morgan Wood & Iron Works, 75 S.C. 342, 55 S.E. 768 (1906); Wayne Smith Constr. Co., Inc. v. Wolman, Duberstein, and Thompson, 294 S.C. 140, 363 S.E.2d 115 (Ct. App. 1987). There are no cases discussing the role of the trier of fact in this area.