California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

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.

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.

Sources and Authority

"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 v. Pacific Southwest Airlines (1981) 126 Cal.App.3d 648, 652 [179 Cal.Rptr. 13].)

"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 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 v. Pacific Southwest Airlines, 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 v. Pacific Southwest Airlines, supra, 126 Cal.App.3d at p. 651, internal citation omitted.)

(Revised April 2004)