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#1
Old 01-22-2010, 03:47 PM
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Is a polygraph admissible in civil court?

Is a polygraph admissible in civil court in Texas? For example, in a breeched contract civil case? I am just curious, I am not looking for legal advice.
#2
Old 01-22-2010, 04:06 PM
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I am not your lawyer. This is not legal advice. But a quick-and-dirty online check of Texas law appears to indicate that the answer is "no." The Texas Constitution and Statutes seem to be silent on the point, but see In the Interest of B.N.B., 246 S.W.3d 403, 410 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2008, no pet.); Izaguire v. Cox, 100108 TXCA10, 10-07-00318 (Tex. App.—Tenth Distr. 2008); Posner v. Dallas County Child Welfare Unit of Tex. Dep't of Human Servs., 784 S.W.2d 585, 588 (Tex. App.—Eastland 1990, writ denied) (same).

You should, of course, consult with knowledgeable local counsel.
#3
Old 01-22-2010, 04:14 PM
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A poll around the office legal team is 2 it is allowable, 2 it isn't. So for we are 2 / 3 with Elendil.
#4
Old 01-22-2010, 04:19 PM
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Admissable as evidence of what? The truth of statements made during the polygraph? The sincerity of the person who took it? That the plaintiff is a Russian spy who has learned conscious control over his galvanic skin response?
#5
Old 01-22-2010, 04:36 PM
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If the case is about a defect in a machine sold by a polygraph company, then sure, the polygraph would certainly be admissible as evidence.
#6
Old 01-22-2010, 04:39 PM
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Good point. The hypethetical situation would be that Joe Schmoe was promised a raise and etc by a supervisor, but it wasn't put on paper. Say that there is refereces to it in email or something, but its largely a verbal contract. Verbal contracts are admissible as valid in Texas, especially if there are witnesses to the situation. Say that the polygraph was to validate that the verbal contract was in fact valid, and Joe was taking his employer to civil court to recover the raise that he was promised but didn't get for a new job he worked.

This didn't happen where I work, but we have heard of a case going on currently that addresses this. So, I am not looking for legal advice, blah blah, you know what I mean. The laywers that say yes here are saying it because its a civil case and not a criminal one. I am really not familiar with the difference.

Last edited by Translucent Daydream; 01-22-2010 at 04:39 PM.
#7
Old 01-22-2010, 04:44 PM
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Elendil's Heir is right - polygraph results are generally inadmissable for any purpose in criminal or civil cases, even if the parties agree. There are a very few exceptions where certain classes of registered sex offenders could possibly face criminal or civil penalties for refusals or results of polygraphs they're required to submit to by statute, but those are special cases and not the norm.
#8
Old 01-22-2010, 04:52 PM
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Oh, and ditto what EH said on not being your lawyer, etc.
#9
Old 01-22-2010, 04:52 PM
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I'm not aware of any U.S. jurisdiction that would admit the result of a polygraph test in either criminal or civil cases. Haven't researched it in my particular state, but if it ever comes up in one of my cases, I shall object and make other lawyerly sounding noises with vigor.

Old lawyers adage--If the facts favor you, pound the facts. If the law favors you, pound the law. If neither the facts nor the law favors you...pound the table.
#10
Old 01-22-2010, 04:57 PM
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I like that Oak! Thanks!
#11
Old 01-22-2010, 05:33 PM
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Oak, that is indeed sick we will stay in the 1700's for our justice system. It ought be evidence to a jury just like eyewitness accounts are, they are often wrong. A modern polygraph is quite accurate, and then there is truth serum as well that we pretend does not exist.

We would not even use it after a conviction, (why not?) to find out who all else is involved or just what happened, either. That is dumb for sure. Many more molester cases could be closed so easily. We could have used it on Saddam and found out if he ever had WMD and where all the ammunition dumps are that provide the killings of our men today, but we were worried it would not be polite instead???
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#12
Old 01-22-2010, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverstreak Wonder View Post
Oak, that is indeed sick we will stay in the 1700's for our justice system. It ought be evidence to a jury just like eyewitness accounts are, they are often wrong. A modern polygraph is quite accurate, and then there is truth serum as well that we pretend does not exist.

We would not even use it after a conviction, (why not?) to find out who all else is involved or just what happened, either. That is dumb for sure. Many more molester cases could be closed so easily. We could have used it on Saddam and found out if he ever had WMD and where all the ammunition dumps are that provide the killings of our men today, but we were worried it would not be polite instead???
Damn that pesky Bill of Rights, and the Rule of Law it rode in on.
#13
Old 01-22-2010, 05:48 PM
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Silverstreak Wonder, you're not going far enough. We need to petition the King of Fairyland to open trade routes with us again, so that we can procure more Magical Fairy Truth Dust. And maybe a unicorn or two, since I hear they're pretty good at spotting liars.
#14
Old 01-22-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Shot From Guns View Post
Silverstreak Wonder, you're not going far enough. We need to petition the King of Fairyland to open trade routes with us again, so that we can procure more Magical Fairy Truth Dust. And maybe a unicorn or two, since I hear they're pretty good at spotting liars.
Where we gonna find a virgin to saddle up a unicorn?
#15
Old 01-22-2010, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Silverstreak Wonder View Post
A modern polygraph is quite accurate, ?
Having worked at a company that sold medical sensors and software, and having had years of experience with polygraphs I say


BULL SHIT!


The polygraph is reliable only at measuring levels of stress and even then only in people not trying to deceive the device.
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#16
Old 01-22-2010, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Where we gonna find a virgin to saddle up a unicorn?
Well, apparently Sir T-Cups is pretty good at finding them.
#17
Old 01-22-2010, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Where we gonna find a virgin to saddle up a unicorn?
Well, not in Texas, that's for damn sure!
#18
Old 01-22-2010, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
The polygraph is reliable only at measuring levels of stress and even then only in people not trying to deceive the device.
Is a polygraph machine reliable for even that? Do we have good repeatable methods for taking the heart rate, galvanic skin response etc to get a measure of stress?
#19
Old 01-22-2010, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gazpacho View Post
Is a polygraph machine reliable for even that? Do we have good repeatable methods for taking the heart rate, galvanic skin response etc to get a measure of stress?
A photoplathysmagraph is the same doohickey used to monitor heart rate in hospitals everywhere. I'd say it's awfully darn reliable. I can't remember the name of the GSR sensors, but they were rather reliable as well. You just had to be careful not to pick an area that was too hairy or use too much conductive gel.
#20
Old 01-22-2010, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
A photoplathysmagraph is the same doohickey used to monitor heart rate in hospitals everywhere. I'd say it's awfully darn reliable. I can't remember the name of the GSR sensors, but they were rather reliable as well. You just had to be careful not to pick an area that was too hairy or use too much conductive gel.
I am sure they give decent measurements of various things like heart rate blood pressure etc. Those are not stress. In order to get stress there needs to be some kind of method for converting from the physical measurements to stress.
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