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Idaho Rules of Evidence Rule 804. Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay – When the Declarant Is Unavailable as a Witness.

(a)  Criteria for Being Unavailable. A declarant is considered to be unavailable as a witness if the declarant:


(1)  is exempted from testifying about the subject matter of the declarant's     statement because the court rules that a privilege applies;


(2)  refuses to testify about the subject matter despite a court order to do so;


(3)  testifies to not remembering the subject matter;


(4)  cannot be present or testify at the trial or hearing because of death or a then-existing infirmity, physical illness, or mental illness; or


(5)  is absent from the trial or hearing and the statement's proponent has not been     able, by process or other reasonable means, to procure:

(A)  the declarant's attendance, in the case of a hearsay exception under Rule 804(b)(1) or (6); or

(B)  the declarant's attendance or testimony, in the case of a hearsay exception under Rule 804(b)(2), (3), or (4).


But this subdivision (a) does not apply if the statement's proponent procured or wrongfully caused the declarant's unavailability as a witness in order to prevent the declarant from attending or testifying.


(b)  The Exceptions. The following are not excluded by the rule against hearsay if the declarant is unavailable as a witness:


(1)  Former Testimony. Testimony that:

(A)  was given as a witness at a trial, hearing, or lawful deposition, whether given during the current proceeding or a different one; and

(B)  is now offered against a party who had – or, in a civil case, whose predecessor in interest had – an opportunity and similar motive to develop it by direct, cross-, or redirect examination.


(2)  Statement Under the Belief of Imminent Death. In a prosecution for     homicide or in  a civil case, a statement that the declarant, while believing the declarant's death to be imminent, made about its cause or circumstances.


(3)  Statement Against Interest. A statement that:

(A)  a reasonable person in the declarant's position would have made only if the person believed it to be true because, when made, it was so contrary to the declarant's proprietary or pecuniary interest or had so great a tendency to invalidate the declarant's claim against someone else or to expose the declarant to civil or criminal liability; and

(B)  is supported by corroborating circumstances that clearly indicate its trustworthiness, if it is offered in a criminal case as one that tends to expose the declarant to criminal liability.


(4)  Statement of Personal or Family History. A statement about:

(A)  the declarant's own birth, adoption, legitimacy, ancestry, marriage, divorce, relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, or similar facts of personal or family history, even though the declarant had no way of acquiring personal knowledge about that fact; or

(B)  another person concerning any of these facts, as well as death, if the declarant was related to the person by blood, adoption, or marriage or was so intimately associated with the person's family that the declarant's information is likely to be accurate.


(5) Statement Offered Against a Party That Wrongfully Caused the Declarant's Unavailability. A statement offered against a party that wrongfully caused – or acquiesced in wrongfully causing – the declarant's unavailability as a witness, and did so intending that result.


(6)  Other exceptions.

(A)  In General.  A statement not specifically covered by any of the foregoing exceptions if:

(i)  the statement has equivalent circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness;

(ii)  it is offered as evidence of a material fact;

(iii)  it is more probative on the point for which it is offered than any other evidence that the proponent can obtain through reasonable efforts; and

(iv)  admitting it will best serve the purposes of these rules and the interests of justice.

(B)  Notice.  The statement is admissible only if, before the trial or hearing, the proponent gives an adverse party reasonable notice of the intent to offer the statement and its particulars, including the declarant’s name and address, so that the party has a fair opportunity to meet it.


(Adopted March 26, 2018, effective July 1, 2018.)


As the Third Branch of Government, we provide access to justice through the timely, fair, and impartial resolution of cases.


Members of the
Idaho Supreme Court

Chief Justice G Richard Bevan
Justice Robyn M. Brody
Justice Gregory W. Moeller
Justice Colleen D. Zahn
Justice Cynthia K.C. Meyer

Members of the
Idaho Court of Appeals

Chief Judge David W. Gratton
Judge Molly J Huskey
Judge Jessica M. Lorello



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