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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

225 Pa. Code Rule 614. Court’s Calling or Examining a Witness.

Rule 614. Court’s Calling or Examining a Witness.

 (a)  Calling. Consistent with its function as an impartial arbiter, the court, with notice to the parties, may call a witness on its own or at a party’s request. Each party is entitled to cross-examine the witness.

 (b)  Examining. Where the interest of justice so requires, the court may examine a witness regardless of who calls the witness.

 (c)  Objections. A party may object to the court’s calling or examining a witness when given notice that the witness will be called or when the witness is examined. When requested to do so, the court must give the objecting party an opportunity to make objections out of the presence of the jury.


   Pa.R.E. 614(a) and (b) differ from F.R.E. 614(a) and (b) in several respects. The phrase relating to the court’s ‘‘function as an impartial arbiter’’ has been added to Pa.R.E. 614(a), and the clause regarding ‘‘interest of justice’’ has been added in Pa.R.E. 614(b). These additions are consistent with Pennsylvania law. See Commonwealth v. Crews, 429 Pa. 16, 239 A.2d 350 (1968); Commonwealth v. DiPasquale, 424 Pa. 500, 230 A.2d 449 (1967); Commonwealth v. Myma, 278 Pa. 505, 123 A. 486 (1924).

   Pa.R.E. 614(a) also differs from F.R.E. 614(a) in that the Pennsylvania Rule requires the court to give notice of its intent to call a witness.

   Pa.R.E. 614(c), unlike F.R.E. 614(c), does not permit an objection to the court’s calling or questioning a witness ‘‘at the next available opportunity when the jury is not present.’’ Pa.R.E. 614(c) is consistent with Pa.R.E. 103(a)(1)(A), which requires a ‘‘timely objection.’’ The requirement that the objecting party be given an opportunity make its objection out of the presence of the jury is consistent with Pa.R.E. 103(d).

   Official Note

   Adopted May 8, 1998, effective October 1, 1998; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective March 18, 2013.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 Court’s Order at 43 Pa.B. 651 (February 2, 2013).


   The provisions of this Rule 614 rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (265702).

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