Appeals on Evidentiary Matters In North Dakota

A trial court has broad discretion in evidentiary matters, and its decision to admit or exclude evidence will not be overturned on appeal unless the court abused its discretion. State v. Jaster, 2004 ND 223, P 12, 690 N.W.2d 213; City of Fargo v. Habiger, 2004 ND 127, P 31, 682 N.W.2d 300.

A trial court abuses its discretion if it acts in an arbitrary, unreasonable, or unconscionable manner, if its decision is not the product of a rational mental process leading to a reasoned determination, or if it misinterprets or misapplies the law. State v. Tupa, 2005 ND 25, P 3, 691 N.W.2d 579.

Under N.D.R.Ev. 801(c), hearsay is "a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted." If an out-of-court statement is not offered to prove its truth, it is not hearsay. Moen v. Thomas, 2001 ND 95, P 11, 627 N.W.2d 146; Ehrlich v. Backes, 477 N.W.2d 211, 214 (N.D. 1991); State v. Welch, 426 N.W.2d 550, 555 (N.D. 1988).

A statement offered to prove that it was made is not hearsay. Moen, at P11; Ehrlich, at 214; Welch, at 555.