RULE 403. EXCLUDING RELEVANT EVIDENCE FOR PREJUDICE, CONFUSION, WASTE OF TIME, OR OTHER REASONS
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. 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. Granting a continuance is the proper remedy for unfair surprise.
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. Fed.R.Ev. 403; Rule 403, SBAND proposal.