LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Ryan Hardy | Jun 25, 2010

Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure - Rule 2 - Strict Compliance

Did you know that the Rules of Evidence do not automatically apply to Family Law cases in Arizona? It's true. Unless you file a Notice with the Court, hearsay rules and other rules of evidence don't apply. There are circumstances under which you should consider filing the Notice and other circumstances where it might not be beneficial. For example, if you have a lot of friends that are willing to write statements for you but don't want to testify...don't file the Notice of Strict Compliance. If you think your ex might try to admit notes from the kids or have people testify on behalf of the kids, then file the Notice of Strict Compliance. The discovery deadlines are also much looser without strict compliance.

Rule 2.Applicability of Other Rules

A. Applicability of Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. The ArizonaRules of Civil Procedure apply only when incorporated by reference in these rules.

B. Applicability of Arizona Rules of Evidence

  1. Upon notice to the court filed by any party at least forty-five (45) days prior to hearing or trial, or such other date as may be established by the court, any party may require strict compliance with the Arizona Rules of Evidence, except as provided in subdivision 2(B)(3). If a hearing or trial is set upon less than sixty (60) days prior notice, the notice provided for in this paragraph will be deemed timely if filed within a reasonable time after the party receives notice of the hearing or trial date.

  2. If no such notice is filed, all relevant evidence is admissible, provided, however, that the court shall exclude evidence if its probative value is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, needless presentation of cumulative evidence, lack of reliability or failure to adequately and timely disclose same. This admissibility standard shall replace Rules 403, 602, 801-806, 901-903 and 1002-1005, Arizona Rules of Evidence., Eexcept as provided in subdivision 2(B)(3). All remaining provisions of the Arizona Rules of Evidence apply.

  3. Regardless of whether a notice is filed under subdivision 2(B)(1):

a. Records of regularly conducted activity as defined in Rule 803(6), Arizona Rules of Evidence, may be admitted into evidence without testimony of a custodian or other qualified witness as to its authenticity if such document (i) appears complete and accurate on its face, (ii) appears to be relevant and reliable, and (iii) is seasonably disclosed and copies are provided at time of disclosure to all other parties; and

b. Any report, document, or standardized form required to be submitted to the court for the current hearing or trial may be considered as evidence if either filed with the court or admitted into evidence by the court.

C. Applicability of Local Rules. To the extent these rules are inconsistent with local rules, the provisions of these rules shall apply.

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