Rule 403.     Excluding Relevant Evidence for Prejudice, Confusion, Waste of Time, or Other Reasons

 

The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.

 

2011 Advisory Committee Note. – The language of this rule has been amended as part of the restyling of the Evidence Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility. This rule is the federal rule, verbatim.

 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE NOTE

 

This rule is the federal rule, verbatim, and is substantively comparable to Rule 45, Utah Rules of Evidence (1971) except that "surprise" is not included as a basis for exclusion of relevant evidence. The change in language is not one of substance, since "surprise" would be within the concept of "unfair prejudice" as contained in Rule 403. See also Advisory Committee Note to Federal Rule 403 indicating that a continuance in most instances would be a more appropriate method of dealing with "surprise." See also Smith v. Estelle, 445 F. Supp. 647 (N.D. Tex. 1977)(surprise use of psychiatric testimony in capital case ruled prejudicial and violation of due process). See the following Utah cases to the same effect. Terry v. Zions Coop. Mercantile Inst., 605 P.2d 314 (Utah 1979); State v. Johns, 615 P.2d 1260 (Utah 1980); Reiser v. Lohner, 641 P.2d 93 (Utah 1982).