Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/30
Paragraph 1- Witnesses on monetary cases do not require an investigation, with the exception of witnesses on a physical altercation. How so? If the witnesses said this person lent this person money in this year, even if the month, place and type of money- whether it was this coin or that coin- do not conform, the testimony is valid. If it appears to the judge that this is a dishonest case, he must investigate in order to produce a true ruling. See earlier Siman 15. With respect to witnesses testifying on a prohibited act, see Even Haezer 17:21 and 42:4 regarding whether an investigation is required. Also see 14:4.
Paragraph 2- Although monetary witnesses do not require interrogation, if they contradict each other on any of the interrogations, their testimony is void. If, however, they contradicted each other on the mere inquiries, the testimony is valid. How so? If one said he borrowed money in Nisan and the second says it was in Iyar or one said it was in Jerusalem and other said it was in Lud, the testimony is void. Similarly, if one said he lent him a barrel of wine and the other said it was oil, the testimony is void because they contradict each other on an interrogation. If, however, one said the maneh was black due to its age and the other says it was white and the plaintiff is making a claim on both or where one says they were on the top row and the other says they were on the bottom, the testimony is valid if the places are close enough that they can see one another. Even if one says he lent him a maneh and the other says it was 200, he is obligated to pay because a maneh is included in 200. Similarly, if one said he has the value of wine in his possession, and the other says of oil and the plaintiff is claiming both, he would pay the lesser of the two. The same applies in anything similar. Any situation where we can explain the words of the witnesses in a manner that they will not contradict each other, we explain their words, as was explained in 29:1.
Paragraph 3- If Reuven claims 1500 gold coins and bring five witnesses: one says I saw him lend him 100, one testifies on 200, one testifies on 300, one testifies on 400 and one testifies on 500, if they all testified a specific testimony, such as where the first says it was on the first of Nissan in the first year, the second says it was a different time, etc., he must pay 700 and swear a biblical oath on the 100 with a roll-over oath on the remaining 700. If, however, they all testified on the same day and contradict each other, he must only pay 200. Similarly, if they testified without specifying, we view it as a contradiction in order to be lenient on the defendant, because the burden of proof is on the party taking money.
Paragraph 4- If a witness testifies that I saw this incident and so and so was with me, and that persons says I did not see it and I was not with you, that is not considered a contradiction. See above at the end of Siman 29.
Paragraph 5- If one claims that his adversary has 200 gold coins in his possession as a deposit in order to make a profit for him, and the adversary denies the whole thing, but there is one witness testifying that he heard from the guardian that he has 50 and another witness testifies that he heard from the guardian that he has 150, he has been established as a liar for that money and must pay the 200.
Paragraph 6- In monetary cases, witnesses may join together even if they did not see the incident together. How so? If one said he lent him money in front of me on this and this day or he confessed in front of me, and the other witness says he lent him in front of me or confessed in front of me on a different day, they may join together. Similarly, if one said he lent him in front of me and the second says he confessed in front of me or the first says he confessed in front of me and the second says at a later time that he lent him in front of me, they may join together. The same applies for a testimony on the violation of a prohibition. See Even Haezer Siman 11 and 143:10.
Paragraph 7- This that a loan following a loan can be combined is where the plaintiff claims two manim- one that he lent him on Sunday and the second on Monday. If, however, the lender admits that he only lent him one maneh, we evaluate whether it is possible to say that one erred regarding the time of the loan. For example, if one says it was on the second of the month and the other says it was the third of the month in a situation we can say they are both testifying about the same day and they erred regarding whether the prior month was a full month, we can combine the testimony by saying that they are testifying on the same maneh. If it is clear that they are testifying on two different maneh, one of them is clearly lying and we would have the defendant take a biblical oath and he would be exempt. If one witness testifies that Reuven gave Shimon land via a kinyan and the other witness testifies that Shimon made an appropriate chazaka, we can combine them because it is like an admission after an actual loan.
Paragraph 8- If one claims 200 from a document and the other says he paid it back and he brings two witnesses, one saying he paid him 100 in Nissan and the other saying in Tishrei, they can combine. If the document was made prior to Nissan we assume one maneh has been paid back. Similarly, if the lender confessed in front of one that he was paid back 100 in Nissan and confessed in front of the second that he was paid back in Tishrei, or one testifies that he paid back a maneh and the second testifies that he confessed in front of him, they can be combined and the lender cannot say it was for a different debt.
Paragraph 9- Witnesses do not have to testify together for monetary cases. Rather, one comes in front of the court and they listen to his words today. When the second witness comes at a later date they listen to him and then combine the two and remove the money from the possessor.
Paragraph 10- Similarly, if one testimony was in writing and one was oral, they can be combined. If the one that did not write says I made a kinyan from him on this matter, and the lender did not come and ask me to write it, they can be combined to make it a loan in a document and the borrower cannot claim he paid back. See later at the beginning of Siman 51.
Paragraph 11- If one testified in this court and the second testified in another court, one court may join together with the other court and combine the testimony. Others that simply heard the matter, however, cannot combine, because it is hearsay.
Paragraph 12- Similarly, if two witnesses testified in this court, then testified in another court and then testified in a third court, one person from each court may come and combine to form a new court to judge on what they heard. A judge who two testified in front of, however, cannot combine with one of the witnesses that testified in front of him.
Paragraph 13- Each witness must testify on a complete matter. If, however, each testifies on a partial matter, it is meaningless. How so? If they are coming to testify on someone that he is an adult and one testifies that he saw a hair on the right side and the second one testifies that he saw it on the left side, it is of no effect because each witness only testified on a partial sign. Even if two witnesses testify on each hair it would be of no effect because each set only testified on a partial matter. If, however, a solo witness testified that he saw two hairs on the subject’s right side and another witness testified that he saw two hairs on the left side, we would combine the two. The same applies to anything similar.
Paragraph 14- With respect to testimony via knowledge but not actual observance, it will be explained in Siman 90;6 and 16 that there are those that say that is a valid testimony. In monetary cases there is no distinction between matters that will eventually become known and those that will not.