California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

3027. Unruh Civil Rights Act - Civil Penalty (Civ. Code, §§ 51.7, 51.9)

If you decide that [name of plaintiff] has proved [his/her] claim against [name of defendant], you must award the following:

1. Actual damages sufficient to reasonably compensate [name of plaintiff] for the harm;

2. A civil penalty of $25,000; and

3. Punitive damages.

[Name of plaintiff] must prove the amount of [his/her] actual 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 actual damages claimed by [name of plaintiff]:

[Insert item(s) of claimed harm.]

Directions for Use

Note that the $25,000 civil penalty is applicable only to actions brought under Civil Code section 51.7. Do not include item 2 in cases brought under Civil Code section 51.9.

See the Damages series (CACI Nos. 3900-3963) for additional instructions on actual damages and punitive damages. CACI No. 3942, Punitive Damages—Individual Defendant—Bifurcated Trial (Second Phase), instructs the jury on how to calculate the amount of punitive damages.

Sources and Authority

Civil Code section 52(b) provides: Whoever denies the right provided by Section 51.7 or 51.9, or aids, incites, or conspires in that denial, is liable for each and every offense for the actual damages suffered by any person denied that right and, in addition, the following:

(1) An amount to be determined by a jury, or a court sitting without a jury, for exemplary damages.

(2) A civil penalty of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to be awarded to the person denied the right provided by Section 51.7 in any action brought by the person denied the right, or by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney.

(3) Attorney's fees as may be determined by the court.

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)