Tome v. United States
United States Supreme Court
513 U.S. 150 (1995)
Tome (defendant) had primary physical custody of his four-year-old daughter, A.T. A.T.’s mother had been unsuccessful in her efforts to get full custody. After A.T. spent the summer with her mother, the mother reported that Tome had sexually abused A.T. Tome was charged and tried in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, because the events took place on the Navajo Indian Reservation. At trial, Tome defended himself on the ground that the charges were made up so that A.T. could live with her mother. A.T. testified, but she was not very forthcoming about what happened. The prosecution sought to introduce into evidence seven out-of-court statements made by A.T. to six witnesses describing the alleged sexual abuse. Tome objected, but the prosecution argued that the evidence was needed to rebut the implicit allegation that A.T. was lying. The district court admitted the statements under Rule 801(d)(1)(B). The prosecution placed great weight on the statements during closing arguments, but made no reference to the alleged purpose of rehabilitating A.T.’s testimony. The jury found Tome guilty. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed, concluding that the statements were admissible even though they were made after the motive to lie arose. The court of appeals explained that the pre-motive requirement for such statements related to relevancy, not hearsay rules. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
Dissent (Breyer, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 176,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.