Criminal Law

3590. Final Instruction on Discharge of Jury

You have now completed your jury service in this case. On behalf of all the judges of the court, please accept my thanks for your time and effort.

Now that the case is over, you may choose whether or not to discuss the case and your deliberations with anyone.

[I remind you that under California law, you must wait at least 90 days before negotiating or agreeing to accept any payment for information about the case.]

Let me tell you about some rules the law puts in place for your convenience and protection.

The lawyers in this case, the defendant[s], or their representatives may now talk to you about the case, including your deliberations or verdict. Those discussions must occur at a reasonable time and place and with your consent.

Please immediately report to the court any unreasonable contact, made without your consent, by the lawyers in this case, their representatives, or the defendant[s].

A lawyer, representative, or defendant who violates these rules violates a court order and may be fined.

[I order that the court's record of personal juror identifying information, including names, addresses, and telephone numbers, be sealed until further order of this court.

If, in the future, the court is asked to decide whether this information will be released, notice will be sent to any juror whose information is involved. You may oppose the release of this information and ask that any hearing on the release be closed to the public. The court will decide whether and under what conditions any information may be disclosed.]

Again, thank you for your service. You are now excused.

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction on discharge of the jury. (Code Civ. Proc., § 206.) The court may give the bracketed portions at its discretion. (Id., § 237.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 237(a)(2) requires the court to seal the personal identifying information of jurors in a criminal case following the recording of the jury's verdict. Access to the sealed records may be permitted on a showing of good cause in a petition to the court, as provided by subdivisions (b) through (d).

Section 14 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration states that "it is appropriate for the trial judge to thank jurors for their public service, but the judge's comments should not include praise or criticism of the verdict or the failure to reach a verdict."


Statutory Authority. Code Civ. Proc., §§ 206, 237.

Secondary Sources

4 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 85, Submission to Jury and Verdict, § 85.05[1], [4][c] (Matthew Bender).

(New January 2006)