Delaware Trial Handbook § 21:1. RIGHT TO OBJECT TO IMPROPER EVIDENCE

An objection is the device used to call the court’s attention to a matter, proceeding or evidence that is not in accordance with law or with court rules or to invoke the discretion of the court in matters committed to the court’s discretion.1 Any party has the right to object to the introduction of any evidence that is not material to the issues drawn by the pleadings, is not relevant or is rendered inadmissible by one of the other rules of evidence.

A party may lose the right to object by failing to make an objection in a timely manner. Any objection to evidence should be made as soon as the ground for the objection becomes apparent.2 If the witness answers before an objection can be interposed, a motion should be made to strike the answer. In the absence of a motion to strike, the testimony may be considered.3

1. See Huggins v. State, Cr. A. No. IK-89-0005R1, slip op. at 2, Steele, J. (Del. Super. Jan. 29, 1993).

2. See D.R.E. 103(a); MacFeat v. Philadelphia, W. & B. R. Co., 62 A. 898, 901 (Del. Super. 1904). Cf. State v. Von Buren, 102 A. 981, 982 (Del. Gen. Sess. 1918) (objecting to argument).

3. See D.R.E. 103(a)(1). Cf. Rochester v. Katalan, 320 A.2d 704, 705 (Del. 1974) (in context of summary judgment).

© 2010  David L. Finger