Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A written instrument available as evidence. See 12 R. I. 99.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    An instrument on which is recorded, by means of letters, figures or marks, matter which may be evidentially used. In this sense the term "document" applies to writings; to words printed, lithographed or photographed; to seals, plates or stones on which inscriptions are cut or engraved; to photographs and pictures; to maps and plans. The inscription may be on stone or gems or on wood, as well as on paper or parchment. 1 Whart. Ev. § 614; Johnson Steel Street-Rail Co. v. North Branch Steel Co. (C. C.) 48 Fed. 194; Arnold v. Water Co., 18 R. I. 189, 26 Atl. 55, 19 Lk IL A. 602; Hayden v. Van Cortlandt, 84 Hun, 150, 32 N. Y. Supp. 507. In the plural, the deeds, agreements, title-papers, letters, receipts, and other written instruments used to prove a fact. In the civil law. Evidence delivered in the forms established by law, of whatever nature such evidence may be. The term is, however, applied principally to the testimony of witnesses. Sav. Dr. Rom. § 165.
    —Ancient documents. Deeds, wills, and other writings more than thirty years old are so called; they are presumed to be genuine without express proof, when coming from the proper custody.
    —Foreign document. One which was prepared or executed in, or which comes from, a foreign state or country.
    —Judicial documents. Proceedings relating to litigation. They are divided into
    (1) judgments, decrees, and verdicts;
    (2) depositions, examinations, and inquisitions taken in the course of a legal process;
    (3) writs, warrants, pleadings, etc., which are incident to any judicial proceedings. See 1 St&rkie, Ev. 252,
    —Public document. A state paper, or other instrument of public importance or interest, issued or published by authority of congress or a state legislature. Also any document or record, evidencing or connected with the public business or the administration of public affairs, preserved in or issued by any department of the government. See Hammatt v. Emerson, 27 Me. 335, 46 Am. Dec. 598.
    —Documentary evidence. Such evidence as is furnished by written instruments, inscriptions, documents of all kinds, and also any inanimate objects admissible for the purpose, as distinguished from "oral" evidence, or that delivered by human beings viva voce.