California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

3026. Unruh Civil Rights Act - Damages (Civ. Code, §§ 51, 51.5, 51.6)

If you decide that [name of plaintiff] has proved [his/her] claim against [name of defendant], you also must decide how much money will reasonably compensate [him/her] for the harm. This compensation is called "damages."

[Name of plaintiff] must prove the amount of [his/her] damages. However, [name of plaintiff] does not have to prove the exact amount of the harm or the exact amount of damages that will provide reasonable compensation for the harm. You must not speculate or guess in awarding damages.

The following are the specific items of damages claimed by [name of plaintiff]:

[Insert item(s) of claimed harm.]

In addition, you may award [name of plaintiff] up to three times the amount of [his/her] actual damages as a penalty against [name of defendant].

Directions for Use

See the instructions in the Damages series (CACI Nos. 3900-3963) for additional instructions on actual damages and punitive damages. Note that the statutory minimum amount of recovery for a plaintiff is $4,000 in addition to actual damages. If the verdict is for less than that amount, the judge should modify the verdict to reflect the statutory minimum.

Sources and Authority

Civil Code section 52(a) provides: "Whoever denies, aids or incites a denial, or makes any discrimination or distinction contrary to Section 51, 51.5, or 51.6, is liable for each and every offense for the actual damages, and any amount that may be determined by a jury, or a court sitting without a jury, up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damage but in no case less than four thousand dollars ($4,000), and any attorney's fees that may be determined by the court in addition hereto, suffered by any person denied the rights provided in Section 51, 51.5, or 51.6."

Secondary Sources

11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 116, Civil Rights: Discrimination in Business Establishments, § 116.15 (Matthew Bender)

3 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 35, Civil Rights (Matthew Bender)

(New September 2003)