RULE 405. METHODS OF PROVING CHARACTER
(a) By Reputation or Opinion. When evidence of a person's character or character trait is admissible, it may be proved by testimony about the person's reputation or by testimony in the form of an opinion. On cross-examination of the character witness, the court may allow an inquiry into relevant specific instances of the person's conduct.
(b) By Specific Instances of Conduct. When a person's character or character trait is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense, the character or trait may also be proved by relevant specific instances of the person's conduct.
Rule 405 was amended, effective March 1, 1990; March 1, 2014.
Rule 405 deals only with the method of proving character, once the admissibility of the character evidence has been determined. The three methods approved by this rule are (1) reputation, (2) opinion, and (3) specific instances of conduct.
Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendment is technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
Rule 405 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 15; March 24-25, 1988, page 12; December 3, 1987, page 15; April 8, 1976, page 22; October 1, 1975, page 3. Fed.R.Ev. 405; Rule 405, SBAND proposal.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Ev. 404, (Character Evidence; Crimes or Other Acts).