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PA Commonwealth Court addresses competency of minor witnesses.

October 1, 2007

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In the case of <em>Commonwealth v. Humphreys</em>, PICS Case No. 07-1482, the court held that "Prior to Rule 601, it had been held that if the child is under the age of 14, there must be a judicial inquiry as to mental capacity." However, the new Rule 601 did not set a minimum age and as such the witness was able to testify without a hearing if it seemed to the court that the witness: (1) was able to clearly and accurately recall events at issue, (2) was capable of accurate perception; (3) was able to express hereself; (4) did not have an impaired memory; and (5) understood the duty to tell the truth.


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