To establish a uniform procedure for the receipt, maintenanceand release of exhibits.
This rule shall apply to all trial incourts of record and not of record, except small claims court. In thediscretion of the court, this rule may apply to any proceeding in whichexhibits are introduced.
Statement of the Rule:
(1) Marking exhibits.
(1)(A) Marking Exhibits. Prior to trial, or at a time specified by thejudge, each party must mark all exhibits it intends to introduce by utilizingexhibit labels in the format prescribed by the clerk of court. Labels or tagsmust include, at a minimum, a case number, exhibit number/letter, and anappropriate party designation. With approval of the court, a photograph may beoffered by the submitting party as a representation of the original exhibit.
(1)(B) Digital Exhibits. Digital exhibits mustbe marked as provided in paragraph (1)(A) and submittedto the court as prescribed by the clerk of court. Exhibits should not be eFiled.
(1)(C) Courts not of record. Courts not of record may exempt parties fromthe requirements outlined in paragraphs (1)(A) and(1)(B) and prescribe an alternative process for marking exhibits.
(2) Exhibit custody during trial.
(2)(A) Custody of the Parties. During the trial, bulky and sensitiveexhibits, and exhibits that require law enforcement chain of custody, willremain in the custody of the party offering the exhibit. Such exhibits include,but are not limited to: biohazards, controlled substances, paraphernalia, firearms,ammunition, explosive devices, pornographic materials, jewelry, poisonous ordangerous chemicals, intoxicating liquors, money or articles of high monetaryvalue, counterfeit money, original digital storage media such as a hard drive orcomputer, and documents or physical exhibits of unusual bulk or weight. Theclerk of court or designee must list these exhibits in the exhibit list andnote that the original exhibit is in the custody of the party.
(2)(B) Custody of the Court. Physical exhibits received during trial,other than those in paragraph (2)(A), must be placedin the custody of the clerk of court or designee. Digital exhibits received asevidence by the court during the trial shall be stored electronically or ondigital media such as a thumb drive and stored in accordance with paragraph(2)(C). The clerk of court or designee must list all exhibits in the exhibitlist, and the list shall be made a part of the court record. An exhibit listmay be the court?s designated case management system or a form approved by theJudicial Council.
(2)(C) Secured Storage.
(2)(C)(i) Upon dailyadjournment, the clerk of court or designee must compare the exhibit list withthe exhibits received that day. Digital exhibits received under paragraph (2)(B) shall be stored electronically in a manner meeting therequirements outlined in paragraph (3)(A)(ii). Physical exhibits received underparagraph (2)(B) must be stored in an envelope or container, marked with thecase number, and stored in a secured storage location that meets therequirements outlined in paragraph (3)(A)(ii).
(2)(C)(ii) Exhibits may be stored in atemporary secured location for no more than 72 hours, provided the temporarylocation is sufficient to prevent access by unauthorized persons, and thelocation is secured with a key lock, combination lock, or electronic lock.Access to the temporary storage location shall be limited to the clerk ofcourt, judge, or a designee.
(3) Exhibit custody prior to disposition.
(3)(A) Pending Disposition. Exhibits in the court?s custody pursuant toparagraph (2)(B) may not be taken from the custody ofthe clerk of court or designee until final disposition of the case, except uponorder of the court and execution of a receipt that identifies the material, theparty to whom the exhibit is released, and the date and time of the release.The receipt shall be made a part of the court record.
(3)(A)(i) ExhibitManager. The clerk of court shall appoint an exhibit manager withresponsibility for the security, maintenance, documentation of the chain ofcustody, and disposition of exhibits. The clerk of court may also appoint aperson to act as exhibit manager during periods when the primary exhibitmanager is absent. Unaccompanied or unauthorized access to secured storagelocations by anyone other than the exhibit manager, acting exhibit manager, orthe clerk of court is prohibited without a court order.
(3)(A)(ii) Secured Storage Location. Each court must provide physical andelectronic secured storage locations within their facility for storing exhibitsretained by the court under subsection (2)(B), and shall maintain a currentinventory list of all exhibits in the court?s custody. The physical securedstorage location must be sufficient to prevent access from unauthorizedpersons, secured with a key lock, combination lock, or electronic lock, andprotected from theft or damage. The electronic secured storage location shouldbe sufficient to prevent access from unauthorized persons. Prior to use,physical and electronic secured storage locations must be certified by theCourt Security Director. Requests for certification must be made in writing andshall fully describe the secured storage location, local access procedures, andsecurity controls. Any changes to the location, access procedures, or securitycontrols require recertification by the Court Security Director.
(3)(B) Exhibit custody post disposition. In courts of record, upon finaldisposition of the case, exhibits in the court?s custody shall be disposed ofor returned to the offering parties pursuant to paragraph (5). The clerk ofcourt, exhibit manager, or designee shall execute a receipt identifying thematerial taken, the party to whom the exhibit is released, and the date andtime of the release. The receipt shall be made a part of the court record. Incourts not of record, upon final disposition of the case, all exhibits shall bereturned to the parties.
(3)(C) Exhibits in the custody of the parties. Unless otherwise ordered bythe court, exhibits identified in paragraph (2)(A)shall remain in the custody of the parties until they are eligible for disposalpursuant to paragraph (5). Parties are responsible for preserving exhibits inthe same condition as when they were first admitted into evidence.
(3)(D)Access to exhibits by parties.Parties may file a motion requesting access to an exhibit in the custody of thecourt or another party. Upon order of the court, the clerk of court, exhibitmanager or designee, or party with custody of the exhibits shall promptly make availablefor examination exhibits, or original or true copies of the exhibits.
(4) Appeals. Exhibits and exhibit listsshall be provided upon appeal in accordance with the Utah Rules of AppellateProcedure.
(5) Disposal of exhibits. Parties maydispose of, and exhibit managers, clerks of court, ordesignees shall dispose of any exhibits in their custody 90 days after the timefor appeal has expired, or the statute of limitations for post-convictionrelief, including the time for appeal from post-conviction relief has expired,whichever is later. Exhibits in the court?s custody shall be disposed of asfollows:
(5)(A)Property having no monetary value shall be destroyed by the exhibit manager,clerk of court, or designee. The exhibit manager shall create a certificate ofdestruction including a description of the exhibit, the case and exhibitnumbers, and the date and time of the destruction. The certificate ofdestruction shall be made a part of the court record.
(5)(B)Property having monetary value shall be returned to its owner or, if unclaimed,shall be given to the prosecuting agency, sheriff of the county, or other lawenforcement agency to be sold in accordance with Utah Code. The receivingagency shall furnish the court with a receipt identifying the receiving agency,the exhibit received, and the date and time the exhibit was received. Thereceipt shall be made a part of the court record.
Effective November 1, 2021