Utah Rules of Evidence – Comment Period Closed August 12, 2017

URE 0511 Amend. The 2017 amendments reflect 2017 legislative changes to the underlying statute. Minor style and other non-substantive edits were also made.

URE 1102 Amend. Amends the definition of reliable hearsay. Removes the requirement that a statement made by a child victim must be “promptly reported.”

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3 thoughts on “Utah Rules of Evidence – Comment Period Closed August 12, 2017
  1. Nathan Evershed

    The “promptly reported” language in Rule 1102(7) does not make sense. Rule 1102 relaxes the hearsay rules by allowing “reliable hearsay” for “criminal preliminary examinations.” In every other application, Rule 1102 allows in evidence that would not be so easily admitted, and likely excluded, in a trial. For example, forensic reports and records, a statement of a non-testifying peace officer to a testifying peace officer, and an affidavit of a non-testifying witness are examples of evidence where the hearsay rules are relaxed for a preliminary hearing compared to a trial.
    The “promptly reported” language turns Rule 1102 on its head. Instead of a more relaxed standard to introduce evidence, in keeping with the essence of Rule 1102, it adds a requirement that a jury trial would not include. If a prosecutor wanted to introduce a video interview of a child victim of sexual or physical abuse at a trial, then he or she would need to follow Rule 15.5 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, which outlines the requirements to introduce such a video at a trial, and even at a preliminary hearing under Rule 1102. None of the requirements in Rule 15.5 require that the child must have promptly reported his or her victimization in order to allow such evidence, which Rule 1102 currently requires in a preliminary hearing. Thus, the “promptly reported” language of Rule 1102 makes evidence, involving child victims no less, more difficult to introduce at a preliminary hearing than at a jury trial, which is not in keeping with the essence of Rule 1102. Therefore, the “promptly reported” language should be removed and it is very encouraging that this amendment is being suggested.
    Thank you for your time.

  2. Paul Lyman

    Proposed Rules 7 and 7A of Criminal Procedure allow only seven day continuances. In rural areas some courts are only held monthly and others are only held every two weeks. There may not be a judge available within seven days. Longer periods should be allowed “for good cause shown.”

  3. Sandi Johnson

    I support the proposed change to remove the “promptly reported by the child victim” language. Research has shown that with child victims, the promise to tell the truth and using proper interviewing techniques are the important factors to consider. Removing this language protects victims from the trauma of reliving the experience more than is necessary.