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Rule 801. Definitions That Apply to This Article; Exclusions from Hearsay

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Evidence for Courts in the State of Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Evidence for Courts in the State of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
Article VIII. Hearsay
Arizona Rules of Evidence, Rule 801
Rule 801. Definitions That Apply to This Article; Exclusions from Hearsay
(a) Statement. “Statement” means a person's oral assertion, written assertion, or nonverbal conduct, if the person intended it as an assertion.
(b) Declarant. “Declarant” means the person who made the statement.
(c) Hearsay. “Hearsay” means a statement that:
(1) the declarant does not make while testifying at the current trial or hearing; and
(2) a party offers in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement.
(d) Statements That Are Not Hearsay. A statement that meets the following conditions is not hearsay:
(1) A Declarant-Witness's Prior Statement. The declarant testifies and is subject to cross-examination about a prior statement, and the statement:
(A) is inconsistent with the declarant's testimony;
(B) is consistent with the declarant's testimony and is offered:
(i) to rebut an express or implied charge that the declarant recently fabricated it or acted from a recent improper influence or motive in so testifying; or
(ii) to rehabilitate the declarant's credibility as a witness when attacked on another ground; or
(C) identifies a person as someone the declarant perceived earlier.
(2) An Opposing Party's Statement. The statement is offered against an opposing party and:
(A) was made by the party in an individual or representative capacity;
(B) is one the party manifested that it adopted or believed to be true;
(C) was made by a person whom the party authorized to make a statement on the subject;
(D) was made by the party's agent or employee on a matter within the scope of that relationship and while it existed; or
(E) was made by the party's coconspirator during and in furtherance of the conspiracy.
The statement must be considered but does not by itself establish the declarant's authority under (C); the existence or scope of the relationship under (D); or the existence of the conspiracy or participation in it under (E).


Amended Oct. 19, 1988, effective Nov. 1, 1988; Sept. 8, 2011, effective Jan. 1, 2012; Sept. 2, 2014, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Editors' Notes

Rule 801(d)(1)(B), as originally adopted, provided for substantive use of certain prior consistent statements of a witness subject to cross-examination. As the federal Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules noted, “[t]he prior statement is consistent with the testimony given on the stand, and, if the opposite party wishes to open the door for its admission in evidence, no sound reason is apparent why it should not be received generally.”
Though the original Rule 801(d)(1)(B) provided for substantive use of certain prior consistent statements, the scope of that rule was limited. The rule covered only those consistent statements that were offered to rebut charges of recent fabrication or improper motive or influence. The rule did not, for example, provide for substantive admissibility of consistent statements that are probative to explain what otherwise appears to be an inconsistency in the witness's testimony. Nor did it cover consistent statements that would be probative to rebut a charge of faulty memory.
The amendment retains the requirement set forth in Tome v. United States, 513 U.S. 150 (1995): that under Rule 801(d)(1)(B), a consistent statement offered to rebut a charge of recent fabrication or improper influence or motive must have been made before the alleged fabrication or improper inference or motive arose. The intent of the amendment is to extend substantive effect to consistent statements that rebut other attacks on a witness -- such as the charges of inconsistency or faulty memory.
The amendment does not change the traditional and well-accepted limits on bringing prior consistent statements before the factfinder for credibility purposes. It does not allow impermissible bolstering of a witness. As before, prior consistent statements under the amendment may be brought before the factfinder only if they properly rehabilitate a witness whose credibility has been attacked. As before, to be admissible for rehabilitation, a prior consistent statement must satisfy the strictures of Rule 403. As before, the trial court has ample discretion to exclude prior consistent statements that are cumulative accounts of an event.
The last sentence of Rule 801(d)(2) has been added to conform to Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2). The amendment does not, however, include the requirement in Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(1)(A) that a prior inconsistent statement be “given under oath” to be considered as non-hearsay.
Otherwise, the language of Rule 801 has been amended to conform to the federal 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 in the restyling to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
Statements falling under the hearsay exclusion provided by Rule 801(d)(2) are no longer referred to as “admissions” in the title to the subdivision. The term “admissions” is confusing because not all statements covered by the exclusion are admissions in the colloquial sense--a statement can be within the exclusion even if it “admitted” nothing and was not against the party's interest when made. The term “admissions” also raises confusion in comparison with the Rule 804(b)(3) exception for declarations against interest. No change in application of the exclusion is intended.
Evidence which is admissible under the hearsay rules may be inadmissible under some other rule or principle. A notable example is the confrontation clause of the Constitution as applied to criminal cases. The definition of “hearsay” is a utilitarian one. The exceptions to the hearsay rule are based upon considerations of reliability, need, and experience. Like all other rules which favor the admission of evidence, the exceptions to the hearsay rule are counterbalanced by Rules 102 and 403.
Rule 801(d). This subsection of the rule has been modified and is consistent with the United States Supreme Court's version of the Rule and State v. Skinner, 110 Ariz. 135, 515 P.2d 880 (1973).
Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 801, (modified).
17A Pt. 1 A. R. S. Rules of Evid., Rule 801, AZ ST REV Rule 801
Current with amendments received through 05/1/2020.
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