New Jersey Rules Evidence Rules

THIS DOCUMENT REFLECTS ALL CHANGES THROUGH DECEMBER 15, 2005

 


Rule 401. Definition of "Relevant Evidence".

    "Relevant evidence" means evidence having a tendency in reason to prove or disprove any fact of consequence to the determination of this action.


Rule 402. Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible

    Except as otherwise provided in these rules or by law, all relevant evidence is admissible.


Rule 403. Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Grounds of Prejudice, Confusion, or Waste of Time.

    Except as otherwise provided by these rules or other law, relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the risk of (a) undue prejudice, confusion of issues, or misleading the jury or (b) undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.


Rule 404. Character Evidence Not Admissible to Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes Evidence

    (a) Character Evidence Generally. Evidence of a person's character or character TRAIT, including a trait of care or skill or lack thereof, is not admissible for the purpose of proving that he acted in conformity therewith on a particular occasion, except:

(1) Character of Accused. Evidence of a pertinent trait of the accused's character offered by the accused, which shall not be excluded under Rule 403, or by the prosecution to rebut the same;

(2) Character of Victim. Evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused or by the prosecution to rebut the same, or evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor;

(3) Character of Witness. Evidence of the character of a witness as provided in Rules 608.

(b) Other Crimes, Wrongs, or Acts. Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the disposition of a person in order to show that such person acted in conformity therewith. Such evidence may be admitted for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity or absence of mistake or accident when such matters are relevant to a material issue in dispute.

(c) Character and Character Trait in Issue. Evidence of a person's character or trait of character is admissible when that character or trait is an element of a claim or defense.


Rule 405. Methods of Proving Character.

    (a) Reputation, Opinion, or Convictionof Crime. When evidence of character or a trait of character of a person is admissible, it may be proved by evidence of reputation, evidence in the form of opinion, or evidence of conviction of a crime which tends to prove the trait. Specific instances of conduct not the subject of a conviction of a crime shall be inadmissible.

(b) Specific Instances of Conduct. When character or a trait of character of a person is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense, evidence of specific instances of conduct may also be admitted.


Rule 406. Habit; Routine Practice.

    (a) Evidence, whether corroborated or not, of habit or routine practice is admissible to prove that on a specific occasion a person or organization acted in conformity with the habit or routine practice.

(b) Evidence of specific instances of conduct is admissible to prove habit or routine practice if evidence of a sufficient number of such instances is offered to support a finding of such habit or routine practice.


Rule 407. Subsequent Remedial Measures.

    Evidence of remedial measures taken after an event is not admissible to prove that the event was caused by negligence or culpable conduct. However, evidence of such subsequent remedial conduct may be admitted as to other issues.


Rule 408. Settlement Offers and Negotiations

    When a claim is disputed as to validity or amount, evidence of statements or conduct by parties or their attorneys in settlement negotiations, with or without a mediator present, including offers of compromise or any payment in settlement of a related claim, shall not be admissible to prove liability for, or invalidity of, or amount of the disputed claim. Such evidence shall not be excluded when offered for another purpose; and evidence otherwise admissible shall not be excluded merely because it was disclosed during settlement negotiations.


Rule 409. Payment of Medical and Similar Expenses.

    Evidence of furnishing or offering or promising to pay medical, hospital, property damage, or similar expenses occasioned by an injury or other claim is not admissible to prove liability for the injury.


Rule 410. Inadmissibility of Pleas, Plea Discussions and Related Statements

    Except as otherwise provided in this rule, evidence of a plea of guilty, which was later withdrawn, of any statements made in the course of that plea proceedings, and of any statement made during plea negotiations when either no guilty plea resulted or a guilty plea was later withdrawn, is not admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding against the person who made the plea or statement or who was the subject of the plea negotiation. However, such a statement is admissible (1) in any proceedings in which another statement made in the course of the same plea or plea discussions has been introduced and the statement should in fairness be considered contemporaneously with it, or (2) in a criminal proceeding for perjury, false statement, or other similar offense, if the statement was made by the defendant under oath, on the record, and in the presence of counsel.


Rule 411. Liability Insurance.

    Evidence that a person was or was not insured against liability is not admissible on the issue of that person's negligence or other wrongful conduct. Subject to Rule 403, this rule does not require the exclusion of evidence of insurance against liability when offered for another purpose, such as proof of agency, ownership, control, bias, or prejudice of a witness.


Rule 412. Prosecutions for Rape and Related Offenses [Not Adopted]


NJ Evidence Table of Contents

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