The proponent may use a summary, chart, or calculation to prove the content of voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs that cannot be conveniently examined in court. The proponent must make the originals or duplicates available for examination or copying, or both, by other parties at a reasonable time and place. The court may order the proponent to produce them in court.
Rule 1006 was amended, effective March 1, 2014.
Rule 1006 is based on Fed.R.Ev. 1006.
The admissibility of summaries of voluminous writings over the objection that such summaries are not the "best evidence" has long been permitted in North Dakota. Rule 1006 continues this rule of convenience and expands it to include summaries of recordings and photographs.
It is a condition precedent to the invocation of the rule that the component parts of the summary be made available for examination or copying. This is intended to give the party against whom the summary is offered a chance to analyze the underlying data and prepare any challenges to the summary he may wish to make. The court may direct that the original writings be produced at trial. This would be necessary, for example, should the opposing party wish to introduce the originals in an attack on the accuracy of the summary.
Rule 1006 does not permit the admissibility of summaries where the individual writings are themselves inadmissible. For example, where the original documents contain hearsay, summarizing the documents will not cure the hearsay objection.
It should be noted that not all summaries will come within the scope of Rule 1006. Computer printouts, which are summaries of stored data, are themselves originals. See Rule 1001(d). Summaries of absent originals may be admitted under Rules 1004 or 1005 without reference to Rule 1006.
Rule 1006 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.