(a)Applicability; exceptions. (1)Privileges.--The provisions of Rule 500 (privileges) shall apply, without relaxation, to all proceedings and inquiries, whether formal, informal, public or private, and to all branches and agencies of government.
(2)Court proceedings; relaxation.--These rules of evidence shall apply in all proceedings, civil or criminal, conducted by or under the supervision of a court. Except as provided by paragraph (a)(1) of this rule, these rules may be relaxed in the following instances to admit relevant and trustworthy evidence in the interest of justice: (A) actions within the cognizance of the Small Claims Section of the Special Civil Part of the Superior Court, Law Division, and the Small Claims Division of the Tax Court whether or not the action was instituted in a Small Claims Section or Division. (B) in accordance with a statutory provision; (C) proceedings in a criminal or juvenile delinquency action in which information is presented for the courts use in exercising a sentencing or other dispositional discretion, including bail and pretrial intervention and other diversionary proceedings; (D) to the extent permitted by law, proceedings to establish probable cause, including grand jury proceedings, probable cause hearings, and ex parte applications; (E) proceedings to determine the admissibility of evidence under these rules or other law.
(3)Administrative proceedings.--Except as otherwise provided by paragraph (a)(1) of this rule, proceedings before administrative agencies shall not be governed by these rules.
(4)Undisputed facts.--If there is no bona fide dispute between the parties as to a relevant fact, the judge may permit that fact to be established by stipulation or binding admission. In civil proceedings the judge may also permit that fact to be proved by any relevant evidence, and exclusionary rules shall not apply, except Rule 403 or a valid claim of privilege.
(5)Affidavit in lieu of testimony.--These rules shall not be construed to prohibit the use of an affidavit in lieu of oral testimony to the extent permitted by law.
(b) Definitions.--As used in these rules, the following terms shall have the meaning hereafter set forth unless the context otherwise indicates:
(1)Burden of persuasionmeans the obligation of a party to meet the requirements of a rule of law that the fact be proved either by a preponderance of the evidence or by clear and convincing evidence or beyond a reasonable doubt, as the case may be.
(2)Burden of producing evidencemeans the obligation of a party to introduce evidence when necessary to avoid the risk of a judgment or peremptory finding against that party on an issue of fact.
(3)Writinghas the meaning given in the definition contained in Rule 801(e).
(c)Repeal.--The adoption of these rules of evidence shall not operate to repeal any existing statute by implication. However, where an existing statute has been expressly superseded pursuant toN.J.S.A. 2A:84A-40by an official note heretofore or hereafter appended to a rule of evidence, such statute shall have no further force or effect.
HISTORY:Adopted September 15, 1992 to be effective July 1, 1993; paragraph (b)(2) amended September 15, 2004 to be effective July 1, 2005.
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