Maine Rules of Evidence

Maine Rules of Evidence are a set of evidence rules that authorize how to collect, present and apply evidence for each case.  Maine Rules of Evidence govern proceedings in the courts of Maine.  Maine Rules of Evidence generally apply to all actions and proceedings in the Supreme Judicial Court, the Superior Court, the District Court, and the Probate Court.

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.
  • Miscellaneous proceedings such as for extradition or rendition; sentencing, or granting or revoking probation; issuance of warrants for arrest, criminal summonses, and search warrants; and proceedings with respect to release on bail or otherwise.
  • Contempt proceedings in which the court may act summarily.
  • Proceedings under the Maine Juvenile Code other than (a) probable cause determinations in bindover hearings and (b) adjudicatory hearings.

Maine 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 Maine Rules of Evidence

ARTICLE I. GENERAL PROVISIONS 6

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

ARTICLE II. JUDICIAL NOTICE 1

Rule 201. Judicial Notice of Adjudicative Facts

ARTICLE III. PRESUMPTIONS 3

Rule 301. Presumptions in General in Civil Actions and Proceedings

Rule 302. Presumption of Legitimacy

Rule 303. Presumptions in Criminal Cases

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; Notification of Defect

Rule 408. Compromise and Offers to Compromise

Rule 409. Payment of Medical and Similar Expenses

Rule 410. Withdrawn Pleas and Offers

Rule 411. Liability Insurance

Rule 412. Past Sexual Behavior of Victim

Rule 413. Protection of Privacy in Court Proceedings

ARTICLE V. PRIVILEGES 14

Rule 501. Privileges Recognized Only As Provided

Rule 502. Lawyer-Client Privilege

Rule 503. Health Care Professional, Mental Health Professional, and Licensed Counseling Professional–Patient Privilege

Rule 504. Husband-Wife Privilege

Rule 505. Religious Privilege

Rule 506. Political Vote

Rule 507. Trade Secrets

Rule 508. Secrets of State and Other Official Information; Governmental Privileges

Rule 509. Identity of Informer

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 in Criminal Cases; Instruction

Rule 513. Claim of Privilege in Civil Cases

Rule 514. Mediation Privilege

ARTICLE VI. WITNESSES 16

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

Rule 616. Illustrative Aids

ARTICLE VII. OPINIONS AND EXPERT TESTIMONY 6

Rule 701. Opinion Testimony by Lay Witnesses

Rule 702. Testimony by Experts

Rule 703. Basis 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

ARTICLE VIII. HEARSAY 6

Rule 801. Definitions

Rule 802. Hearsay Rule

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. [Reserved]

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. Title


Inside Maine Rules of Evidence