CACI 206 Evidence Admitted for Limited Purpose

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

206 Evidence Admitted for Limited Purpose

During the trial, certain evidence was admitted for a limited purpose. You may consider that evidence only for that purpose and for no other.

Directions for Use

It is recommended that the judge call attention to the purpose to which the evidence applies.

If appropriate, an instruction limiting the purpose for which evidence is to be considered must be given upon request. (Evid. Code, § 355; Daggett v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. (1957) 48 Cal.2d 655, 665–666 [313 P.2d 557]; Continental Airlines, Inc. v. McDonnell Douglas Corp. (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 388, 412 [264 Cal.Rptr. 779].)

A limited-purpose instruction is insufficient to cure hearsay problems with case-specific testimony given by an expert witness. (People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665, 684 [204 Cal.Rptr.3d 102, 374 P.3d 320].)

For an instruction on evidence applicable to one party or a limited number of parties, see CACI No. 207, Evidence Applicable to One Party.

Sources and Authority

Evidence Admitted for Limited Purpose. Evidence Code section 355.

Refusal to give a requested instruction limiting the purpose for which evidence is to be considered may constitute error. (Adkins v. Brett (1920) 184 Cal. 252, 261–262 [193 P. 251].)

“The effect of the statute—here, the municipal code section—is to make certain hearsay evidence admissible for a limited purpose, i.e., supplementing or explaining other evidence. This triggers the long-standing rule codified in Evidence Code section 355, which states, ‘When evidence is admissible … for one purpose and is inadmissible … for another purpose, the court upon request shall restrict the evidence to its proper scope and instruct the jury accordingly.’ … In the absence of such a request, the evidence is ‘ “usable for any purpose.” ’ ” (Seibert v. City of San Jose (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1027, 1060–1061 [202 Cal.Rptr.3d 890], original italics.)

“Where the information is admitted for a purpose other than showing the truth of the matter asserted … , prejudice is likely to be minimal and a limiting instruction under section 355 may be requested to control the jury’s use of the information.” (Korsak v. Atlas Hotels, Inc. (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1516, 1525 [3 Cal.Rptr.2d 833].)

An adverse party may be excused from the requirement of requesting a limiting instruction and may be permitted to assert error if the trial court unequivocally rejects the argument upon which a limiting instruction would be based. (Warner Construction Corp. v. City of Los Angeles (1970) 2 Cal.3d 285, 298–299 [85 Cal.Rptr. 444, 466 P.2d 996].)

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Circumstantial Evidence, §§ 32–36
Jefferson, California Evidence Benchbook (3d ed. 1997) §§ 20.11–20.13
1A California Trial Guide, Unit 21, Procedures for Determining Admissibility of Evidence, § 21.21 (Matthew Bender)
48 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 551, Trial, §§ 551.66[2], 551.77 (Matthew Bender)
California Judges Benchbook: Civil Proceedings—Trial §§ 3.106, 12.26 (Cal CJER 2019)