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Hawaii Rules of Evidence

Rules of evidence are a set of evidence rules that authorize how to collect, present and apply evidence for each case.  Hawaii Rules of Evidence govern proceedings in the courts of Hawaii. These rules apply to all actions and proceedings in the courts of this State.

Hawaii Rules of Evidence generally apply to civil and criminal case proceedings.  With respect to privileges, the rule applies at all stages of all actions, cases, and proceedings.

However, the rules other than those with respect to privileges do not apply in the following situations:

  • During determination of questions of fact preliminary to admissibility of evidence when the issue is to be determined by the court.
  • Proceedings before grand juries.
  • During miscellaneous Proceedings such as for extradition or rendition; detention hearing in criminal cases; sentencing, granting or revoking probation; issuance of warrants for arrest, criminal summonses, and search warrants; and proceedings with respect to release on bail or otherwise.
  • Proceedings before the small claims division of the district courts

Hawaii Rules of Evidence are construed to secure fairness in administration and elimination of unjustifiable expense and delay.  In addition, the rules aim at promotion of growth and development of the law of evidence for ascertaining truth and justly determining proceedings.

Table of Contents of Hawaii Rules of Evidence:

ARTICLE I. General Provisions 8

Rule 100. Title and citation.

Rule 101. Scope.

Rule 102. Purpose and construction.

Rule 102.1. Effect of commentary.

Rule 103. Rulings on evidence.

Rule 104. Preliminary questions.

Rule 105. Limited admissibility.

Rule 106. Remainder of or related writings or recorded statements.

ARTICLE II. Judicial Notice 2

Rule 201. Judicial notice of adjudicative facts.

Rule 202. Judicial notice of law.

ARTICLE III. Presumptions 6

Rule 301. Definitions.

Rule 302. Presumptions in civil proceedings.

Rule 303. Presumptions imposing burden of producing evidence.

Rule 304. Presumptions imposing burden of proof.

Rule 305. Prima facie evidence.

Rule 306. Presumptions in criminal proceedings.

ARTICLE IV. Relevancy and Its Limits 13

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.

Rule 405. Methods of proving character.

Rule 406. Habit; routine practice.

Rule 407. Subsequent remedial measures.

Rule 408. Compromise, offers to compromise, and mediation proceedings.

Rule 409. Payment of medical and similar expenses.

Rule 409.5. Admissibility of expressions of sympathy and condolence.

Rule 410. Inadmissibility of pleas, plea discussions, and related statements.

Rule 411. Liability insurance.

Rule 412. Sexual offense and sexual harassment cases; relevance of victim’s past behavior.

ARTICLE V. Privileges 15

Rule 501. Privileges recognized only as provided.

Rule 502. Required reports privileged by statute.

Rule 503. Lawyer-client privilege.

Rule 504. Physician-patient privilege.

Rule 504.1. Psychologist-client privilege.

Rule 505. Spousal privilege.

Rule 505.5. Victim-counselor privilege.

Rule 506. Communications to clergy.

Rule 507. Political vote.

Rule 508. Trade secrets.

Rule 509. Privilege against self-incrimination.

Rule 510. Identity of informer.

Rule 511. Waiver of privilege by voluntary disclosure.

Rule 512. Privileged matter disclosed under compulsion or without opportunity to claim privilege.

Rule 513. Comment upon or inference from claim of privilege; instructions.

ARTICLE VI. Witnesses 18

Rule 601. General rule of competency.

Rule 602. Lack of personal knowledge.

Rule 603. Oath or affirmation.

Rule 603.1. Disqualifications.

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 609.1. Evidence of bias, interest, or motive.

Rule 610. Religious beliefs or opinions.

Rule 611. Mode and order of interrogation and presentation.

Rule 612. Writing used to refresh memory.

Rule 613. Prior statements of witnesses.

Rule 614. Calling and interrogation of witness by court.

Rule 615. Exclusion of witnesses.

Rule 616. Televised testimony of child.

ARTICLE VII. Opinions and Expert Testimony 7

Rule 701. Opinion testimony by lay witnesses.

Rule 702. Testimony by experts.

Rule 702.1. Cross-examination of experts.

Rule 703. 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.


Rule 801. Definitions.

Rule 802. Hearsay rule.

Rule 802.1. Hearsay exception; prior statements by witnesses.

Rule 803. Hearsay exceptions; availability of declarant immaterial.

Rule 804. Hearsay exceptions; declarant unavailable.

Rule 805. Hearsay within hearsay.

Rule 806. Attacking and supporting credibility of declarant.

ARTICLE IX. Authentication and Identification 3

Rule 901. Requirement of authentication or identification.

Rule 902. Self-authentication.

Rule 903. Subscribing witness’ testimony unnecessary.

ARTICLE X. Contents of Writings, Recordings, and Photographs 8

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.

ARTICLE XI. Miscellaneous Rules 2

Rule 1101. Applicability of rules.

Rule 1102. Jury instructions; comment on evidence prohibited.

Hawaii Rules of Evidence

Inside Hawaii Rules of Evidence