Rule 105 Limited admissibility. When evidence which is admissible as to one party or for one purpose but not admissible as to another party or for another purpose is admitted, the court, upon request, shall restrict the evidence to its proper scope and instruct the jury accordingly. [L 1980, c 164, pt of §1]
RULE 105 COMMENTARY
This rule is identical with Fed. R. Evid. 105.
Hawaii has recognized the principle of limited admissibility. Low v. Honolulu Rapid Transit Co., 50 H. 582, 585-586, 445 P.2d 372, 376 (1968): "It is a basic proposition that evidence may be properly admitted for a limited permissible purpose even though it may not be admissible for all purposes." However, the present rule is not designed to provide automatic, uncritical admission in every such instance. As McCormick observes: "[I]n situations...where the danger of the jury's misuse of the evidence for the incompetent purpose is great, and its value for the legitimate purpose is slight...the judge's power to exclude the evidence altogether would be recognized." McCormick §59.
Determination of limited admissibility under this rule, therefore, involves a careful balance between the value of the evidence, in terms of the limited purpose for which it is admissible, and the danger of prejudice occasioned by possible consideration of the evidence by the jury for improper purposes in disregard of the limiting instruction. As the Advisory Committee's Note to Fed. R. Evid. 105 puts it: "A close relationship exists between this rule and Rule 403." The rule recognizes the necessity for discretionary judicial exclusion of such evidence when the danger of prejudice is great. Cf. Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123 (1968).
Last modified: October 27, 2016