2015 ORS 40.310¹
Rule 601. General rule of competency

Except as provided in ORS 40.310 (Rule 601. General rule of competency) to 40.335 (Rule 606. Competency of juror as witness), any person who, having organs of sense can perceive, and perceiving can make known the perception to others, may be a witness. [1981 c.892 §43]

(Rule 601)

See also annota­tions under ORS 44.020 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 44.020)

Testing of witness competency by cross-examiner is properly limited to ques­tions about past or present medical treat­ment that relate specifically to witness ability to perceive, remember and relate matters about which witness testified. State v. Longoria, 17 Or App 1, 520 P2d 912 (1974), Sup Ct review denied

Under Evidence Code

Because this rule, like statutory predecessors, addresses only competency of witness, it does not make inapplicable case law rule that, if child is otherwise competent, it is error to refuse to permit child to testify. Nichols and Fleischman, 67 Or App 256, 677 P2d 731 (1984)

Where Oregon law not Washington Deadman's Statute governed admissibility of testimony in interpleader ac­tion brought by insurance company in District of Oregon, testimony of insured's widow and insurance agent was admissible to determine beneficiary. Equitable Life Assur. Soc. of the U.S. v. McKay, 861 F 2d 221 (9th Cir. 1988)

Determina­tion that four-year old victim was competent to testify was matter committed to sound discre­tion of trial court and discre­tion was not abused. State v. Bauman, 98 Or App 316, 779 P2d 185 (1989)

Notes of Decisions

Where Oregon law not Washington Deadman's Statute governed admissibility of testimony in interpleader ac­tion brought by insurance company in District of Oregon, testimony of insured's widow and insurance agent was admissible to determine beneficiary. Equitable Life Assur. Soc. of the U.S. v. McKay, 861 F2d 221 (9th Cir. 1988)

Chapter 40

(Generally)

Notes of Decisions

General rule is that polygraph evidence is inadmissible in pro­ceed­ing governed by Oregon Evidence Code. State v. Brown, 297 Or 404, 687 P2d 751 (1984)

Party could introduce results of polygraph test taken by spouse for purpose of showing that response of party upon learning polygraph results was reasonable. Fromdahl and Fromdahl, 314 Or 496, 840 P2d 683 (1992)

Where state law completely precludes reliable, ma­te­ri­ally exculpatory evidence, exclusion of that evidence violates Due Process Clauses of United States Constitu­tion. State v. Cazares-Mendez, 233 Or App 310, 227 P3d 172 (2010), aff'd State v. Cazares-Mendez/Reyes-Sanchez, 350 Or 491, 256 P3d 104 (2011)

Oregon Evidence Code articulates min­i­mum standards of reliability that apply to many types of evidence for admissibility, including eyewitness identifica­tion evidence, and parties must employ code to address admissibility of eyewitness testimony. State v. Lawson/James, 352 Or 724, 291 P3d 673 (2012)

Law Review Cita­tions

59 OLR 43 (1980); 19 WLR 343 (1983)

Chapter 40

Evidence Code

Annota­tions are listed under the heading "Under former similar statute" if they predate the adop­tion of the Evidence Code, which went into effect January 1, 1982.


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 40—Evidence Code, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors040.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 40, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano040.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.