EXCLUSION OF EXCLUDING
RELEVANT EVIDENCE ON GROUNDS
OF FOR PREJUDICE, CONFUSION, OR WASTE OF
TIME, OR OTHER REASONS
Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially
outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury,
or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative
The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following:
(a) unfair prejudice;
(b) confusing the issues;
(c) misleading the jury;
(d) undue delay;
(e) wasting time; or
(f) needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.
Rule 403 was amended, effective March 1, 2014.
Rule 403 is an adaptation of Rule 403 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
It does not
North Dakota law, but rather codifies it. Evidence has been traditionally excluded on
grounds of remoteness, see, e.g., In re Graf's Estate, 119 N.W.2d 478 (N.D. 1963), and on
grounds that its probative value is not commensurate with the time required for its use as
evidence. See Jones v. Boeing Co., 153 N.W.2d 897 (N.D. 1967). The rule vests wide
discretion in the trial court to control the introduction of evidence.
It should be noted that surprise is not listed as a ground for exclusion.
It has been
granting Granting a continuance is the proper remedy for unfair surprise.
Committee's Note to Rule 403, FRE.
Rule 403 was amended, effective March 1, 2014, in response to the December 1, 2011, revision of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes
: of April 26-27, 2012,
page 14; April 8,
1976, page 20; October 1, 1975, page 3. Rule Fed.R.Ev.403 ,
Federal Rules of Evidence;
Rule 403, SBAND proposal.