RULE 1.451. TAKING TESTIMONY

(a) Testimony at Hearing or Trial. When testifying at a hearing or trial, a witness must be physically present unless otherwise provided by law or rule of procedure.

(b) Communication Equipment. The court may permit a witness to testify at a hearing or trial by contemporaneous audio or video communication equipment (1) by agreement of the parties or (2) for good cause shown upon written request of a party upon reasonable notice to all other parties. The request and notice must contain the substance of the proposed testimony and an estimate of the length of the proposed testimony. In considering sufficient good cause, the court shall weigh and address in its order the reasons stated for testimony by communication equipment against the potential for prejudice to the objecting party.

(c) Required Equipment. Communication equipment as used in this rule means a conference telephone or other electronic device that permits all those appearing or participating to hear and speak to each other simultaneously and permits all conversations of all parties to be audible to all persons present. Contemporaneous video communications equipment must make the witness visible to all participants during the testimony. For testimony by any of the foregoing means, there must be appropriate safeguards for the court to maintain sufficient control over the equipment and the transmission of the testimony so the court may stop the communication to accommodate objection or prevent prejudice.

(d) Oath. Testimony may be taken through communication equipment only if a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths in the witness’s jurisdiction is present with the witness and administers the oath consistent with the laws of the jurisdiction.

(e) Burden of Expense. The cost for the use of the communication equipment is the responsibility of the requesting party unless otherwise ordered by the court.

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