Rule 801. Definitions That Apply to This Article; Exclusions from Hearsay


(a)      Statement. “Statement” means a person’s oral assertion, written assertion, or nonverbal conduct, if the person intended it as an assertion.


(b)      Declarant. “Declarant” means the person who made the statement.


(c)      Hearsay. “Hearsay” means a statement that:


(1)   the declarant does not make while testifying at the current trial or hearing; and


(2)   a party offers in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement.


(d)      Statements That Are Not Hearsay. A statement that meets the following conditions is not hearsay:


(1)   A Declarant-Witness’s Prior Statement. The declarant testifies and is subject to cross-examination about a prior statement, and the statement:


(A)   is inconsistent with the declarant's testimony or the declarant denies having made the statement or has forgotten, or


(B)   is consistent with the declarant's testimony and is offered to rebut an express or implied charge that the declarant recently fabricated it or acted from a recent improper influence or motive in so testifying; or


(C)   identifies a person as someone the declarant perceived earlier.


(2)   An Opposing Party’s Statement. The statement is offered against an opposing party and:


(A)   was made by the party in an individual or representative capacity;


(B)   is one the party manifested that it adopted or believed to be true;


(C)   was made by a person whom the party authorized to make a statement on the subject;


(D)   was made by the party’s agent or employee on a matter within the scope of that relationship and while it existed; or


(E)   was made by the party’s coconspirator during and in furtherance of the conspiracy.



2011 Advisory Committee Note. – The language of this rule has been amended as part of the restyling of the Evidence Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.




Subsection (a) is in accord with Rule 62(1), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971).


Subsection (b) is in accord with Rule 62(2), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971). The hearsay rule is not applicable in declarations of devices and machines, e.g., radar. The definition of "hearsay" in subdivision (c) is substantially the same as Rule 63, Utah Rules of Evidence (1971).


Subdivision (d)(1) is similar to Rule 63(1), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971). It deviates from the federal rule in that it allows use of prior statements as substantive evidence if (1) inconsistent or (2) the witness has forgotten, and does not require the prior statement to have been given under oath or subject to perjury. The former Utah rules admitted such statements as an exception to the hearsay rule. See California v. Green, 399 U.S. 149 (1970), with respect to confrontation problems under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Subdivision (d)(1) is as originally promulgated by the United States Supreme Court with the addition of the language "or the witness denies having made the statement or has forgotten" and is in keeping with the prior Utah rule and the actual effect on most juries.


Subdivision (d)(1)(B) is in substance the same as Rule 63(1), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971). The Utah court has been liberal in its interpretation of the applicable rule in this general area. State v. Sibert, 6 Utah 2d 198, 310 P.2d 388 (1957).


Subdivision (d)(1)(C) comports with prior Utah case law. State v. Owens, 15 Utah 2d 123, 388 P.2d 797 (1964); State v. Vasquez, 22 Utah 2d 277, 451 P.2d 786 (1969).


The substance of subdivision (d)(2)(A) was contained in Rules 63(6) and (7), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971), as an exception to the hearsay rule.


Similar provisions to subdivisions (d)(2)(B) and (C) were contained in Rule 63(8), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971), as an exception to the hearsay rule.


Rule 63(9), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971), was of similar substance and scope to subdivision (d)(2)(D), except that Rule 63(9) required that the declarant be unavailable before such admissions are received. Adoptive and vicarious admissions have been recognized as admissible in criminal as well as civil cases. State v. Kerekes, 622 P.2d 1161 (Utah 1980).


Statements by a coconspirator of a party made during the course and in furtherance of the conspiracy, admissible as non-hearsay under subdivision (d)(2)(E), have traditionally been admitted as exceptions to the hearsay rule. State v. Erwin, 101 Utah 365, 120 P.2d 285 (1941). Rule 63(9)(b), Utah Rules of Evidence (1971), was broader than this rule in that it provided for the admission of statements made while the party and declarant were participating in a plan to commit a crime or a civil wrong if the statement was relevant to the plan or its subject matter and made while the plan was in existence and before its complete execution or other termination.