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Related to Probative: Probative value


Having the effect of proof, tending to prove, or actually proving.

When a legal controversy goes to trial, the parties seek to prove their cases by the introduction of evidence. All courts are governed by rules of evidence that describe what types of evidence are admissible. One key element for the admission of evidence is whether it proves or helps prove a fact or issue. If so, the evidence is deemed probative. Probative evidence establishes or contributes to proof.

Probative facts are data that have the effect of proving an issue or other information. Probative facts establish the existence of other facts. They are matters of evidence that make the existence of something more probable or less probable than it would be without them. They are admissible as evidence and aid the court in the final resolution of a disputed issue. For example, in the case of a motor vehicle accident, a witness's testimony that she saw one automobile enter the intersection on a red light is a probative fact about whether the driver was at fault.

Evidence has probative value if it tends to prove an issue. However, probative value may refer to whether the evidence is admissible. Rules of evidence generally state that relevant evidence, which tends to prove or disprove an alleged fact, may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. A trial court must use a Balancing test to make this determination, but rules of evidence generally require that relevant evidence with probative value be excluded only if it is substantially outweighed by one of the dangers described in the rule.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


adj. in evidence law, tending to prove something. Thus, testimony which is not probative (does not prove anything) is immaterial and not admissible or will be stricken from the record if objected to by opposing counsel. (See: probative facts, probative value)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
By acting on his threats, the court held, the attempt enhanced the probative value of the evidence.
More generally, Rule 403 lays out the general standard for when any evidence can be excluded: "The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence." (39) Analyzing evidence under Rule 403 entails balancing the probative value of the evidence against the risk of unfair prejudice to the party opposing its admission (generally, in criminal trials, the defendant).
probative value, and consequently affirmed summary judgment for the
"Though we may have found other means of establishing Sellars' identity sufficient, the admission of the skull was more probative than prejudicial and properly admitted under Rule 403" of the state's Rules of Evidence, Judge Robert Hunter Jr.
The BTA went on to find that the BOR "properly concluded that the property owner sufficiently demonstrated that the initial assessment of the subject property overstated its value." But that the evidence the BOR relied on was "neither competent nor probative" and there was no other evidence that could be relied on to independently determine value." Therefore, the BTA vacated the BOR's determination of value and remanded the case to find value based on competent and probative evidence.
only admissible if the probative value substantially outweighs the
Planning officers added they had tried to work with L'Occitane in "a positive and probative manner" but could not reach an agreement.
(43) The purpose of this Article, however, is to draw attention to the probative value of the other report types.
Judge Peter Rook QC said the allegations may be "reprehensible" and "potentially humiliating for the victim" but were not of "sufficient probative force" to be considered as part of the inquest.
They added: "Despite the council wanting to work with the applicant in a positive and probative manner, the proposed development is contrary to the policies referred to in the reasons for refusal and it has not been possible to reach an agreed solution."