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West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 3. Civil Procedure--District Court
Chapter 500. Trial
MD Rules, Rule 3-513
(a) Definition. In this Rule, “telephone” means a landline telephone and does not include a cellular phone.
(b) When Testimony Taken by Telephone Allowed; Applicability. A court may allow the testimony of a witness to be taken by telephone (1) upon stipulation by the parties or (2) subject to sections (e) and (f) of this Rule, on motion of a party to the action and for good cause shown. This Rule applies only to testimony by telephone and does not preclude testimony by other remote means allowed by law or, with the approval of the court, agreed to by the parties.
Cross reference: For an example of testimony by other means allowed by law, see Code, Family Law Article, § 9.5-110.
(c) Time for Filing Motion. Unless for good cause shown the court allows the motion to be filed later, a motion to take the testimony of a witness by telephone shall be filed at least 30 days before the trial or hearing at which the testimony is to be offered.
(d) Contents of Motion. The motion shall state the witness's name and, unless excused by the court:
(1) address and telephone number for the witness;
(2) the subject matter of the witness's expected testimony;
(3) the reasons why testimony taken by telephone should be allowed, including any circumstances listed in section (e) of this Rule;
(4) the location from which the witness will testify;
(5) whether there will be any other individual present in the room with the witness while the witness is testifying and, if so, the reason for the individual's presence and the individual's name, if known; and
(6) whether transmission of the witness's testimony will be from a wired handset, a wireless handset connected to the landline, or a speaker phone.
(e) Good Cause. A court may find that there is good cause to allow the testimony of a witness to be taken by telephone if:
(1) the witness is otherwise unavailable to appear because of age, infirmity, or illness;
(2) personal appearance of the witness cannot be secured by subpoena or other reasonable means;
(3) a personal appearance would be an undue hardship to the witness; or
(4) there are any other circumstances that constitute good cause for allowing the testimony of the witness to be taken by telephone.
Committee note: This section applies to the witness's unavailability to appear personally in court, not to the witness's unavailability to testify.
(f) When Testimony Taken by Telephone Is Prohibited. If a party objects, a court shall not allow the testimony of a witness to be taken by telephone unless the court finds that:
(1) the witness is not a party and will not be testifying as an expert;
(2) the demeanor and credibility of the witness are not likely to be critical to the outcome of the proceeding;
(3) the issue or issues about which the witness is to testify are not likely to be so determinative of the outcome of the proceeding that the opportunity for face-to-face cross-examination is needed;
(4) a deposition taken under these Rules is not a fairer way to present the testimony;
(5) the exhibits or documents about which the witness is to testify are not so voluminous that testimony by telephone is impractical;
(6) adequate facilities for taking the testimony by telephone are available;
(7) failure of the witness to appear in person is not likely to cause substantial prejudice to a party; and
(8) no other circumstance requires the personal appearance of the witness.
(g) Use of Deposition. A deposition of a witness whose testimony is received by telephone may be used by any party for any purpose for which the deposition could have been used had the witness appeared in person.
(h) Costs. Unless the court orders otherwise for good cause, all costs of testimony taken by telephone shall be paid by the movant and may not be charged to any other party.
Source: This Rule is new.


[Adopted March 9, 2010, eff. July 1, 2010.]

Editors' Notes

Prior Rules:
Rule 3-513, related to exclusion of witnesses, rescinded Dec. 15, 1993, eff. July 1, 1994. See Md. Rule 5-615.
MD Rules, Rule 3-513, MD R RCP DIST CT Rule 3-513
Current with amendments received through April 1, 2020.
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