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As commonly stated, the introduction in evidence of a copy of a document or writing is prohibited unless and until the absence of the original is accounted for on some reason other than the serious fault of the proponent. The purpose of the rule is to ensure trustworthiness. In earlier times a 'copy' was a handmade reproduction. It was amenable not only to deliberate falsification but to scrivener's error and, in some instances, a 'sure' recollection which was in fact not sure at all. That the rule has been so premised and has had sufficient flexibility to respond to circumstances where its application is uncalled for, may be readily determined from prior decisions. 


In Federal Union Surety Co. v. Indiana, etc. Mfg. Co. (1911), 176 Ind. 328, 95 N.E. 1104, the Court considered the admissibility of one of three copies of an order prepared on an 'autographic register.' Holding the document admissible without the others having been accounted for, the Court stated: 'Each of the three slips was printed by a single mechanical impression. There is a distinction between letterpress copies of writing, and triplicate writings produced as was the slip in controversy. The law does ...

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