Vermont Rules of Evidence


The Vermont rules of evidence govern proceedings in the courts of Vermont to the extent and with the exceptions stated in Rule 1101.  These rules apply to all actions and proceedings in the courts of Vermont except as otherwise provided.  The rules other than those with respect to privileges do not apply in situations such as:

  • Preliminary questions of fact;
  • Proceedings before grand juries;
  • Miscellaneous proceedings such as proceedings for extradition or rendition, sentencing or granting or revoking probation; finding probable cause for arrests without warrant and issuance of citations, warrants for arrest, criminal summonses, and search warrants;
  • Contempt proceedings in which the court may act summarily;
  • Small claims proceedings; and
  • Proceedings in which all or part of the rules of evidence are made inapplicable by statute.

Table of Contents of Vermont Rules of Evidence

    I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

    Rule 101. Scope. 

    Rule 102. Purpose and Construction. 

    Rule 103. Rulings on Evidence. 

    Rule 104. Preliminary Questions. 

    Rule 105. Limited Admissibility. 

    Rule 106. Remainder of or Related Writings or Recorded Statements. 

    II. JUDICIAL NOTICE

    Rule 201. Judicial Notice of Adjudicative Facts. 

    III. PRESUMPTIONS

    Rule 301. Presumptions in Civil Cases. 

    Rule 302. [Reserved]. 

    Rule 303. Presumptions in Criminal Cases. 

    IV. RELEVANCY AND ITS LIMITS

    Rule 401. Definition of “Relevant Evidence”. 

    Rule 402. Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible; Irrelevant Evidence Inadmissible. 

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

    Rule 404. Character Evidence Not Admissible To Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes, Wrongs or Acts. 

    Rule 405. Methods of Proving Character. 

    Rule 406. Habit; Routine Practice. 

    Rule 407. Subsequent Remedial Measures. 

    Rule 408. Compromise and Offers To Compromise. 

    Rule 409. Payment of Medical and Similar Expenses. 

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

    Rule 411. Liability Insurance. 

    Rule 412. Inadmissibility of Statements Made by Ward To Guardian Ad Litem. 

    V. PRIVILEGES

    Rule 501. Privileges Recognized Only as Provided; Statutory Privileges. 

    Rule 502. Lawyer-Client Privilege. 

    Rule 503. Patient’s Privilege. 

    Rule 504. Husband-Wife Privilege. 

    Rule 505. Religious Privilege. 

    Rule 506. [Reserved]. 

    Rule 507. [Reserved]. 

    Rule 508. [Reserved]. 

    Rule 509. Identity of Informant. 

    Rule 510. Waiver of Privilege by Voluntary Disclosure. 

    Rule 511. Privileged Matter Disclosed Under Compulsion or Without Opportunity to Claim Privilege. 

    Rule 512. Comment Upon or Inference From Claim of Privilege: Instruction. 

    VI. WITNESSES

    Rule 601. Competency in General: Disqualification. 

    Rule 602. Lack of Personal Knowledge. 

    Rule 603. Oath or Affirmation. 

    Rule 604. Interpreters. 

    Rule 605. Competency of Judge as Witness. 

    Rule 606. Competency of Juror as Witness. 

    Rule 607. Who May Impeach. 

    Rule 608. Evidence of Character and Conduct of Witness. 

    Rule 609. Impeachment by Evidence of Conviction of Crime. 

    Rule 610. Religious Beliefs or Opinions. 

    Rule 611. Mode and Order of Interrogation and Presentation. 

    Rule 612. Writing or Object Used to Refresh Memory. 

    Rule 613. Prior Statements of Witness. 

    Rule 614. Calling and Interrogation of Witnesses by Court. 

    Rule 615. Exclusion of Witnesses. 

    VII. OPINIONS AND EXPERT TESTIMONY

    Rule 701. Opinion Testimony by Lay Witness. 

    Rule 702. Testimony by Experts. 

    Rule 703. Factual Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts. 

    Rule 704. Opinion on Ultimate Issue. 

    Rule 705. Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinion. 

    Rule 706. Court Appointed Experts. 

    VIII. HEARSAY

    Rule 801. Definitions. 

    Rule 802. Hearsay Rule. 

    Rule 803. Hearsay Exceptions: Availability of Declarant Immaterial. 

    Rule 804. Hearsay Exceptions: Declarant Unavailable. 

    Rule 804. Hearsay Exception; Putative Victim Age 12 or Under; Person with a Mental Illness or Developmental Disability. 

    Rule 805. Hearsay Within Hearsay. 

    Rule 806. Attacking and Supporting Credibility of Declarant. 

    Rule 807. Testimony Where Victim Is a Minor, a Mentally Ill Person or a Mentally Retarded Person. 

    IX. AUTHENTICATION AND IDENTIFICATION

    Rule 901. Requirement of Authentication or Identification. 

    Rule 902. Self-authentication. 

    Rule 903. Subscribing Witness’ Testimony Unnecessary. 

    X. CONTENTS OF WRITINGS, RECORDINGS, AND PHOTOGRAPHS

    Rule 1001. Definitions. 

    Rule 1002. Requirement of Original. 

    Rule 1003. Admissibility of Duplicates. 

    Rule 1004. Admissibility of Other Evidence of Contents. 

    Rule 1005. Public Records. 

    Rule 1006. Summaries. 

    Rule 1007. Testimony or Written Admission of Party. 

    Rule 1008. Functions of Court and Jury. 

    XI. MISCELLANEOUS RULES

    Rule 1101. Applicability Of Rules. 

    Rule 1102. Effective Date. 

    Rule 1103. Title. 

Vermont Rules of Evidence