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Rule 601. ?GeneralRules of Competency. 


(a)      Everyperson is competent to be a witness unless these rules provide otherwise.


(b)      Inan action for the declarant?s wrongfuldeath, a statement of the declarant isadmissible against the plaintiff notwithstanding the hearsay rule.


(c)      In an action againstthe declarant?s estate, the declarant?s statement is admissible notwithstandingthe hearsay rule if it was made at a time when the matter had been recentlyperceived by the declarant and whilethe declarant?s recollection was clearunless it was made under circumstances indicating its lack of trustworthiness.



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


Original Advisory Committee Note. ?Subdivision (a) of the rule generally embodies, in simpler terms,the substance of Rules 7 and 17, Utah Rules of Evidence (1971). The effect willbe to displace the decisions of the Utah Supreme Court applying Mansfield'sRule to a contest as to the legitimacy of children. Cf. Lopes v. Lopes,30 Utah 2d 393, 518 P.2d 687 (1974); Miller v. Marticorena,531 P.2d 487 (1975).


Rule 601departs from the federal rule by adding two paragraphs to treat the problem oflitigation involving deceased persons. The rule supersedes the Utah "DeadMan" statute, Utah Code ? 78-24-2 (1953), which is no longer operable.However, subparagraph (b) allows a decedent's hearsay statements to be receivedas an admission against the plaintiff in a wrongful death action. Subparagraph(c) authorizes the admission of a relevant hearsay statement of a deceased whenoffered in a suit against the estate of the deceased declarant.These two paragraphs have been taken from Sections 1227 and 1261 of theCalifornia Evidence Code. They have been placed in Rule 601 because theycompensate for the "Dead Man" statute which related to competency andbecause to place the provisions in the hearsay section of the rules woulddisturb the correlation between the Utah rules format and the Federal rules.These two subparagraphs should also be read in connection with the otherhearsay exceptions in Article VIII, in that statements not within Rule 601 mayotherwise be admissible under other hearsay exceptions.