California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

5013. Deadlocked Jury Admonition

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5013.Deadlocked Jury Admonition
You should reach a verdict if you reasonably can. You have spent time
trying to reach a verdict, and this case is important to the parties so
that they can move on with their lives with this matter resolved.
[If you are unable to reach a verdict, the case will have to be tried
before another jury selected in the same manner and from the same
community from which you were chosen and at additional cost to
everyone.]
Please carefully consider the opinions of all the jurors, including those
with whom you disagree. Keep an open mind and feel free to change
your opinion if you become convinced that it is wrong.
You should not, however, surrender your beliefs concerning the truth
and the weight of the evidence. Each of you must decide the case for
yourself and not merely go along with the conclusions of your fellow
jurors.
New September 2003; Revised April 2004, June 2012
Directions for Use
Give the optional second paragraph if desired. Similar language has been found to
be noncoercive in a civil case as long as it is accompanied by language such as
that included in the last paragraph of the instruction. (See Inouye v. Pacific
Southwest Airlines (1981) 126 Cal.App.3d 648, 650–652 [179 Cal.Rptr. 13]; cf.
People v. Gainer (1977) 19 Cal. 3d 835, 852 [139 Cal.Rptr. 861, 566 P.2d 997] [in
criminal case, it is error for a trial court to give an instruction that states or implies
that if the jury fails to agree, the case will necessarily be retried].)
Sources and Authority
• Deadlocked Jury. Rule 2.1036 of the California Rules of Court.
“The court told the jury they should reach a verdict if they reasonably could;
they should not surrender their conscious convictions of the truth and the
weight of the evidence; each juror must decide the case for himself and not
merely acquiesce in the conclusion of his fellows; the verdict should represent
the opinion of each individual juror; and in reaching a verdict each juror should
not violate his individual judgment and conscience. These remarks clearly
outweighed any offensive portions of the charge. The court did not err in giving
the challenged instruction.” (Inouye, supra, 126 Cal.App.3d at p. 652.)
• “A trial court may properly advise a jury of the importance of arriving at a
verdict and of the duty of individual jurors to hear and consider each other’s
arguments with open minds, rather than to prevent agreement by obstinate
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adherence to first impressions. But, as the exclusive right to agree or not to
agree rests with the jury, the judge may not tell them that they must agree nor
may he harry their deliberations by coercive threats or disparaging remarks.”
(Cook v. Los Angeles Ry. Corp. (1939) 13 Cal.2d 591, 594 [91 P.2d 118],
internal citations omitted.)
• “Only when the instruction has coerced the jurors into surrendering their
conscientious convictions in order to reach agreement should the verdict be
overturned.” (Inouye, supra, 126 Cal.App.3d at p. 651.)
• “The instruction says if the jury did not reach a verdict, the case would have to
be retried. It also says the jurors should listen with deference to the arguments
and distrust their own judgment if they find a large majority taking a different
view of the case. In a criminal case the mere presence of these remarks in a
jury instruction is error. However, civil cases are subject to different
considerations; the special protections given criminal defendants are absent.”
(Inouye, supra, 126 Cal.App.3d at p. 651, internal citation omitted.)
Secondary Sources
7 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Trial, § 281
Wegner et al., California Practice Guide: Civil Trials & Evidence, Ch. 15-D, Juror
Requests For Additional Information During Deliberations, ¶ 15:137 et seq. (The
Rutter Group)
1 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trial and Post-Trial Civil Procedure,
Ch. 17, Dealing With the Jury, 17.39
California Judges Benchbook: Civil Proceedings—Trial (2d ed.) § 14.43 (Cal CJER
2010)
CONCLUDING INSTRUCTIONS CACI No. 5013
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