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3.2-1  Standard of Proof

Revised to January 1, 2008

In order to meet (his/her) burden of proof, a party must satisfy you that (his/her) claims on an issue are more probable than not.  You may have heard in criminal cases that proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt, but I must emphasize to you that this is not a criminal case, and you are not deciding criminal guilt or innocence.  In civil cases such as this one, a different standard of proof applies.  The party who asserts a claim has the burden of proving it by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that is, the better or weightier evidence must establish that, more probably than not, the assertion is true.  In weighing the evidence, keep in mind that it is the quality and not the quantity of evidence that is important; one piece of believable evidence may weigh so heavily in your mind as to overcome a multitude of less credible evidence.  The weight to be accorded each piece of evidence is for you to decide.

As an example of what I mean, imagine in your mind the scales of justice.  Put all the credible evidence on the scales regardless of which party offered it, separating the evidence favoring each side.  If the scales remain even, or if they tip against the party making the claim, then that party has failed to establish that assertion.  Only if the scales incline, even slightly, in favor of the assertion may you find the assertion has been proved by a fair preponderance of the evidence.


Tianti v. William Raveis Real Estate, Inc., 231 Conn. 690, 702 (1995); Holmes v. Holmes, 32 Conn. App. 317, 318, cert. denied, 228 Conn. 902 (1993).


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