Rules of Evidence
Evidence is information you can show the judge or tell the judge about. This can include both:
- physical evidence (like texts, photos, medical reports, etc.); and
- verbal evidence (like things you or another witness saw or heard and can testify about).
However, not all evidence is allowed in court. In state courts, which is where the types of cases in the Know the Laws – By State section would be filed, the state rules of evidence will determine what evidence can be used. In federal court, which is where immigration matters are heard, the Federal Rules of Evidence determine what evidence can be used. State rules of evidence are often very similar to the Federal Rules of Evidence, but each state may have different rules for their courts. Some states do not have formal rules of evidence, and instead rely on past court decisions (precedent). Below, you can find your state’s rules of evidence if your state has formal rules.
WomensLaw.org is not affiliated with the websites that are linked to below, and we cannot say for sure if the information contained on them is accurate. You may be able to find the most up-to-date rules of evidence at your local law library, which may be housed within a local public library or courthouse. In addition, many law schools open their library to the public, and you may want to call the nearest law school to see if this is an option.
We understand the rules can be very difficult to understand. WomensLaw will soon add a section explaining some common rules of evidence. Please check back soon for that page! WomensLaw will link to it here when it is complete.
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New Mexico compiles their rules, but does not allow direct linking. You can find New Mexico's Rules of Evidence by going to the New Mexico Compilation Commission website, expanding the table of contents (TOC) on the left side of the page, and selecting "Rules of Evidence" from the dropdown menu.
The Virgin Islands are "governed by the Rules of the Territorial Court and, to the extent not inconsistent therewith, by the Rules of the District Court, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence.--Amended Sept. 13, 1975; Oct. 14, 1994, eff. Nov. 16, 1994." Please see the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands' website for more information.