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Rule 615. Excluding Witnesses


(a) At a party’s request, the court must order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear other witnesses’ testimony. Or the court may do so on its own. But this rule does not authorize excluding:

(1) a party who is a natural person;

(2) an officer or employee of a party that is not a natural person, after being designated as the party’s representative by its attorney;

(3) a person whose presence a party shows to be essential to presenting the party’s claim or defense; or

(4) a person authorized by statute to be present.

(b) A sequestration order issued under subsection (a) of this rule prohibits a sequestered witness:

(1) from being present in the courtroom until after the witness has testified and is not subject to recall by any party; and

(2) from discussing the testimony he or she has given in the proceeding with any other witness who is subject to sequestration and who has not yet testified.

A sequestration order shall not be construed to impose additional restrictions unless the order clearly describes such restrictions.


2016 Update Committee Note

The amendments made by supreme court order dated April 20, 2017, effective July 1, 2017, made stylistic and substantive changes to the rule.

The amendments designated the first paragraph (a) and added subdivision (b). The changes to (a) are stylistic and mirror the federal rule. The addition of (b), not included in Federal Rule of Evidence 615, defines the scope of sequestration, makes clear that a standard sequestration order imposes no other restrictions unless they are clearly described, and is consistent with current New Hampshire practice.

For additional guidance regarding the substantive changes to the rule see the notes following Federal Rules of Evidence 615 (Notes of Advisory Committee on 1998 amendment).


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