PA Commonwealth Court addresses competency of minor witnesses.

In the case of Commonwealth v. Humphreys, PICS Case No. 07-1482, the court held that “Prior to Rule 601, it had been held that if the child is under the age of 14, there must be a judicial inquiry as to mental capacity.” However, the new Rule 601 did not set a minimum age and as such the witness was able to testify without a hearing if it seemed to the court that the witness: (1) was able to clearly and accurately recall events at issue, (2) was capable of accurate perception; (3) was able to express hereself; (4) did not have an impaired memory; and (5) understood the duty to tell the truth.