MISCONDUCT, Best Evidence rule, Videotape
CITE AS: Bondy v Perry Drug Stores, Wayne Circuit Court, No. 83-334738AE (April 11, 1985).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Joseph Bondy
Employer: Perry Drug Stores
Docket No. B83-11183-91633W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The Best Evidence rule is applicable in Unemployment Agency referee hearings under some circumstances and in this case requires the introduction of the videotape rather than testimony as to what the videotape allegedly portrays.
FACTS: The employer installed a videotaping system. The employer's witness testified he viewed a tape of the claimant which showed five customers left the premises with the claimant's knowledge without paying for their merchandise. The witness also alleged the claimant, after viewing the tape, admitted he allowed the customers to leave the store without paying for their merchandise in order that they might "try it out." There was no documentation about missing inventory.
The claimant denied the events occurred as the employer alleged. He also denied he made any admission in conjunction with the viewing of the videotape.
DECISION: The matter was remanded to the Referee to supplement the record by admission of the videotape.
RATIONALE: Although the rules of evidence are not to be rigidly imposed upon administrative tribunals, the Board's decision needs to be supported by clear, competent and substantial evidence. In this case the court observed: 1) The videotape itself was the best evidence of its contents. 2) Its non-production was not explained. 3) The admission of that testimony was not inconsequential or harmless. Accordingly, the matter must be remanded.
3, 9: N/A