Duhaime's Law Dictionary


View Definition:

The displacement of a judge and jury to the location of events which are being described at trial.

Related Terms: Jury

A view is an opportunity for the jury to go to the scene of an accident or alleged crime.

Where a view is requested by or offered to a jury, the lawyers may make a pre-view statement and explain what the jury will see on the view.

What the jury observes on a view is admissible evidence and may assist the judge or jury in understanding the later testimony of witnesses.

A view, if one is to be held, often occurs at the beginning of a trial and before opening statement(s).

It is improper for a juror to make a private, personal inspection of the premises under review within the jury trial and such an action could cause a mistrial.

In Noble v Kertz and Sons Feed and Fuel:

"(T)here is a wealth of authority that while a trial judge trying a case without a jury may inspect the locus in quo for the purpose of understanding the evidence introduced, such view is not independent evidence, and findings may not be based on the result of such personal investigation, at least where the parties have not consented to or participated in such view."

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