CACI No. 3067. Unruh Civil Rights Act - Damages (Civ. Code, §§ 51, 52(a))

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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3067.Unruh Civil Rights Act - Damages (Civ. Code, §§ 51, 52(a))
If you decide that [name of plaintiff] has proved [his/her/nonbinary
pronoun] claim against [name of defendant], you also must decide how
much money will reasonably compensate [him/her/nonbinary pronoun] for
the harm. This compensation is called “damages.”
[Name of plaintiff] must prove the amount of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun]
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
[Insert item(s) of claimed harm.]
In addition, you may award [name of plaintiff] up to three times the
amount of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] actual damages as a penalty
against [name of defendant].
New September 2003; Revised June 2012; Renumbered from CACI No. 3026
December 2012; Revised June 2013
Directions for Use
Give this instruction for violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act in which actual
damages are claimed. (See Civ. Code, § 51; CACI No. 3060, Unruh Civil Rights
Act - Essential Factual Elements.) This instruction may also be given for claims
under Civil Code section 51.5 (see CACI No. 3061, Discrimination in Business
Dealings - Essential Factual Elements) and Civil Code section 51.6 (see CACI No.
3062, Gender Price Discrimination - Essential Factual Elements). If the only claim
is for statutory damages of $4,000 (see Civ. Code, § 52(a)), this instruction is not
needed. (See Koire v. Metro Car Wash (1985) 40 Cal.3d 24, 33 [219 Cal.Rptr. 133,
707 P.2d 195] [Unruh Act violations are per se injurious; Civ. Code, § 52(a)
provides for minimum statutory damages for every violation regardless of the
plaintiff’s actual damages]; see also Civ. Code, § 52(h) [“actual damages” means
special and general damages].)
See the instructions in the Damages series (CACI Nos. 3900 et seq.) 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
Remedies Under Unruh Act and Other Civil Rights Statutes. Civil Code section
“[B]y passing the Unruh Act, the Legislature established that arbitrary sex
discrimination by businesses is per se injurious. Section 51 provides that all
patrons are entitled to equal treatment. Section 52 provides for minimum
statutory damages . . . for every violation of section 51, regardless of the
plaintiff’s actual damages.” (Koire,supra, 40 Cal.3d at p. 33, original italics.)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1030, 1715-1724
8 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Constitutional Law, §§ 994,
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 7-G, Unruh Civil
Rights Act, 7:1525 et seq. (The Rutter Group)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 116, Civil Rights: Discrimination
in Business Establishments, § 116.15 (Matthew Bender)

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