Rule 406. Habit; Routine Practice.
Evidence of a persons habit or an organizations routine practice may be admitted to prove that on a particular occasion the person or organization acted in accordance with the habit or routine practice. The court may admit this evidence regardless of whether it is corroborated or there was an eyewitness.
This rule is identical to F.R.E. 406. The concepts of habit and routine practice denote conduct that occurs with fixed regularity in repeated specific situations. Like the Federal Rule, Pa.R.E. 406 does not set forth the ways in which habit or routine practice may be proven, but leaves this for case-by-case determination. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Rivers, 537 Pa. 394, 644 A.2d 710 (1994) (allowing testimony based on familiarity with anothers conduct); Baldridge v. Matthews, 378 Pa. 566, 570, 106 A.2d 809, 811 (1954) (testimony of uniform practice apparently permitted without examples of specific instances).
Evidence of habit must be distinguished from evidence of character. Character applies to a generalized propensity to act in a certain way without reference to specific conduct, and frequently contains a normative, or value-laden, component (e.g., a character for truthfulness). Habit connotes ones conduct in a precise factual context, and frequently involves mundane matters (e.g., recording the purpose for checks drawn).
Adopted May 8, 1998, effective October 1, 1998; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective March 18, 2013.
Committee Explanatory Reports:
Final Report explaining the January 17, 2013 rescission and replacement published with the Courts Order at 43 Pa.B. 651 (February 2, 2013).
The provisions of this Rule 406 rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (338879).
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