Idaho Civil Rules 42–44Sometimes in a car accident, there are multiple defendants. If all of the facts are the same in the case, then it is possible to combine different cases together into one big case. Idaho Civil Rule 42 allows the court to join together cases that involve common questions of law or fact. Idaho Civil Rule 42 also allows the court to separate one case into more than one case to either avoid prejudice, expedite justice, or avoid undue prejudice. The court can order a separate trial for certain issues, claims, crossclaims, counterclaims or third-party claims.

Idaho Civil Rule 42: Consolidation; Separate Trials

  1. If actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may:
    • join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions;
    • consolidate the actions; or
    • issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.
  2. Separate trials. For convenience, to avoid prejudice, or to expedite and economize, the court may order a separate trial of one or more separate issues, claims, crossclaims, counterclaims, or third-party claims. When ordering a separate trial, the court must preserve any right to a jury trial.

In a civil trial, such as a dog bite or car accident, witnesses may be questioned in order to help the Court find out all of the facts of the case. Rule 43 sets forth the proper way for testimony to be taken from a witness. In general, a witnesses’ testimony has to be taken in open court. The exceptions to this rule can be found in the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure, the Idaho Rules of Evidence or any other rules adopted by the Idaho Supreme Court.

This rule also allows for someone to give their testimony through an interpreter. If someone does need an interpreter, the party must notify the court at least 14 days before the court proceeding.

Once a witness finishes testifying, the same witness cannot be reexamined on the same matter without the permission of the court.

Idaho Civil Rule 43: Taking Testimony

  1. In open court. At trial, the witnesses’ testimony must be taken in open court unless a statute, these rules, the Idaho Rules of Evidence or other rules adopted by the Idaho Supreme Court provide otherwise. For good cause in compelling circumstances and with appropriate safeguards, the court may permit testimony in open court by contemporaneous transmission from a different location.
  2. Affirmation instead of an oath. When these rules require an oath, a solemn affirmation suffices.
  3. If any party, or person the party intends to call as a witness, needs an interpreter as provided in Idaho Court Administrative Rule 52, the party must notify the court at least 14 days before commencement of the court proceeding, or as soon as practicable in the event of an expedited hearing. If the party fails to do so without good cause and as a result the trial or hearing is postponed, the court may require the party to pay costs resulting from failing to give adequate notice.
  4. Direct and cross-examination. The examination of a witness by the party producing the witness is the direct examination; the examination of the same witness, by the adverse party is the cross-examination. The direct examination must be completed before the cross-examination begins unless the court otherwise directs.
  5. Reexamination and recalling of witnesses. A witness once examined cannot be reexamined as to the same matter without leave of the court, but the witness may be reexamined as to any new matter upon which the witness has been examined by the adverse party. A witness, after being examined by the party producing the witness and the adverse party, cannot be recalled by the same party without leave of the court. This rule does not preclude the adverse party from calling the witness as that party’s own witness for direct examination.
  6. View of premises, property or things. During a trial, the court may order that the court or jury may view any property, place, item or circumstance relevant to the action.
    • Jury trials. The jury must be transported as a group, under the charge of an officer appointed by the court, to the place where the view is to be shown to them. No person may speak with the jurors on any subject connected with the trial of the action during the view, except as authorized by the court, and only the appointed officer may communicate with them in conducting the view pursuant to an order of the court.
    • Court trials. A view by the court must be conducted personally by the court after notice to all parties. Counsel have the right to be present at any view by the court or jury.
  7. Inspection of writings. Whenever a writing is shown to a witness it may be inspected by any other party.

Idaho Civil Rule 44 allows the court to take judicial notice, as long as it follows Rule 201 of the Idaho Rules of Evidence. If a party wishes the court to take judicial notice of a foreign law, a memo has to be submitted citing that foreign law to both the court and the opposing side at least 14 days prior to the trial.

Idaho Civil Rule 44: Judicial Notice of Facts and Foreign Law

  1. In general. The court must take judicial notice as provided by law.
  2. Adjudicative fact. When judicial notice is taken of an adjudicative fact, the court must instruct the jury as provided in Rule 201, Idaho Rules of Evidence.
  3. Foreign law.
    • If either party to an action intends to request the court to take judicial notice of the statutes or laws of a foreign state, a memorandum citing the foreign law must be submitted to the court and opposing counsel at least 14 days prior to trial or hearing. The court may deny the request for failure to submit a memorandum.
    • Opposing counsel may file a reply within 7 days following service of the moving party’s memorandum.


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