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West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland RulesEffective: August 1, 2020

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 5. Evidence (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 600. Witnesses
Effective: August 1, 2020
MD Rules, Rule 5-603
Before testifying, a witness shall be required to declare that the witness will testify truthfully. The declaration shall be by oath or affirmation administered either in the form specified by Rule 1-303 or, in special circumstances, in some other form of oath or affirmation calculated to impress upon the witness the duty to tell the truth.
Committee note: In special circumstances where diminished capacity may be a concern, such as when a child or person with limited cognitive ability is called to testify, the trial court may deviate from the form of oath specified by Rule 1-303. Before administering the oath, the trial court first must find that the individual with diminished capacity is competent to testify, based upon the four essential requirements set forth in Perry v. State, 381 Md. 138, 149 (2004): “(1) capacity for observation; (2) capacity for recollection; (3) capacity for communication, including ability ‘to understand questions put and to frame and express intelligent answers;’ and, (4) a sense of moral responsibility to tell the truth” (citing 2 Wigmore, Evidence § 506 (Chadbourn rev. 1979)).
Cross reference: For the oath made by a court interpreter, see Rule 1-333 (c)(3). For the general rule of competency, see Rule 5-601. For an attorney's responsibilities concerning a client's diminished capacity, see Rule 19-301.14.
Source: This Rule is derived from former F.R.Ev. Rule 603.


[Adopted Dec. 15, 1993, eff. July 1, 1994. Amended June 29, 2020, eff. Aug. 1, 2020.]
MD Rules, Rule 5-603, MD R REV Rule 5-603
Current with amendments received through November 15, 2020.
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