Ariz. R. Evid. 615

As amended through December 6, 2023
Rule 615 - Excluding Witnesses

At a party's request, the court must order witnesses excluded from the courtroom and prohibited from receiving trial testimony through any means, so that they cannot hear or review other witnesses' testimony. Or the court may do so on its own. But this rule does not authorize excluding:

(a) a party who is a natural person;
(b) one officer or employee of a party that is not a natural person if that officer or employee has been designated as the party's representative by its attorney;
(c) any person whose presence a party shows to be essential to presenting the party's claim or defense;
(d) a person authorized by statute to be present; or
(e) a victim of crime, as defined by applicable law, who wishes to be present during proceedings against the defendant.

Ariz. R. Evi. 615

Amended Oct. 19, 1988, effective 11/1/1988; 11/12/1991, effective 12/31/1991; 9/8/2011, effective 1/1/2012; amended Aug. 24, 2023, effective 1/1/2024.

Comment to 2024 Amendment

The rule does not limit the court's discretion to allow an entity-party to substitute its representative during trial under appropriate circumstances. If an entity seeks to have more than one witness-representative protected from exclusion, it is free to try to show under (c) that the witness is essential to presenting the party's claim or defense. Nothing in this amendment prohibits a court from exempting from exclusion multiple witnesses if they are found essential under (c).


This rule has been amended to conform to Federal Rule of Evidence 615, including the addition of subsection (d).

Subsection (e) (formerly subsection (d)), which is a uniquely Arizona provision, has been retained but amended to reflect that "a victim of crime" means a crime victim "as defined by applicable law," which includes any applicable rule, statute, or constitutional provision. The rule previously provided that "a victim of crime" would be "as defined by Rule 39(a), Rules of Criminal Procedure."

Additionally, the language of Rule 615 has been amended to conform to the federal 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 in the restyling to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.


The 1991 amendment to Rule 615 was necessary in order to conform the rule to the victim's right to be present at criminal proceedings, recognized in Ariz. Const. Art. II, § 2.1(A)(3).



Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 615.