Home Table of Contents

WPI 2.14 View of Site Is Not Evidence

6 WAPRAC WPI 2.14Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6 Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 2.14 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part I. General Instructions
Chapter 2. Credibility of Witnesses, Weight of Testimony, and Other Evidence
WPI 2.14 View of Site Is Not Evidence
You have been permitted to view a site involved in this case for the sole purpose of helping you understand the evidence presented to you in this courtroom. What you actually saw at the site or its surrounding area is not evidence. The physical features at the site may—or may not have changed. The conditions that prevailed at the time of the occurrence or other relevant times may or may not have changed. You are to rely solely on the testimony of witnesses and on the exhibits in order to decide issues involving the physical characteristics or appearance of the site at the time of the events in question.
If there has been a view of a site, this instruction should be given upon request with the court's written instructions. For the oral instruction to be used before viewing the scene, see WPI 6.03 (View—Before Visiting a Site).
RCW 4.44.270 provides that the court has the discretion to authorize a jury view of real property that is the subject of litigation or the place in which any material fact occurred.
The view of the scene is not evidence. It is improper to permit any evidence to be offered during the view of the premises. Cole v. McGhie, 59 Wn.2d 436, 367 P.2d 844 (1962); State v. McVeigh, 35 Wn.2d 493, 214 P.2d 165 (1950). The court may allow, by agreement, certain features to be pointed out by the lawyers. See WPI 6.03 (View—Before Visiting Site.) The purpose of the view is to enable the jury to better understand the evidence presented at trial, not to acquire new evidence. Cole v. McGhie, 59 Wn.2d 436.
For a more detailed discussion of views by the jury, see Tegland, 5 Washington Practice, Evidence Law and Practice §§ 402.44 and 402.45 (6th ed.).
[Current as of September 2018.]
End of Document