Court Testimony About the Value of Stolen Property In Georgia

Maddox v. State, 157 Ga. App. 696 (278 S.E.2d 480) (1981) dealt specifically with the ability of a victim of theft to testify regarding the value of stolen property. In Maddox, the defendant contended that the trial court erred by permitting the victim, whose home had been burglarized, to testify as to her opinion of the value of an item without giving the basis for the formulation of that opinion, and that the trial court erred in permitting the victim as a lay witness to prove the alleged value of an item by the hearsay statement of a non-expert witness.Id. The Court rejected the defendant's contentions, finding that the owner of property is qualified to give testimony as to its value and that, "especially where an owner of stolen property is attempting to establish value for purposes of restitution by the thief . . . the question of whether the owner has given sufficient foundation should be left to the trier of fact." Id. at 697.