California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)
5014. Substitution of Alternate Juror
One of your fellow jurors has been excused and an alternate juror has been selected to take [his/her] place. The alternate juror must be given the opportunity to participate fully in your deliberations. Therefore, you must set aside and disregard all past deliberations and begin your deliberations all over again.
Sources and Authority
"Deliberations provide the jury with the opportunity to review the evidence in light of the perception and memory of each member. Equally important in shaping a member's viewpoint are the personal reactions and interactions as any individual juror attempts to persuade others to accept his or her viewpoint. The result is a balance easily upset if a new juror enters the decision-making process after the 11 others have commenced deliberations." (People v. Collins (1976) 17 Cal.3d 687, 693 [131 Cal.Rptr. 782, 552 P.2d 742].)
"We agree with plaintiff that the principles set forth in Collins apply to civil as well as criminal cases. The right to a jury trial in civil cases is also guaranteed by article I, section 16 of the California Constitution, and the provisions of the statute governing the substitution of jurors in civil cases are the same as the ones governing criminal cases. The same considerations require that each juror engage in all of the jury's deliberations in both criminal and civil cases. The requirement that at least nine persons reach a verdict is not met unless those nine reach their consensus through deliberations which are the common experience of all of them. Accordingly, we construe section 605 [now 234] of the Code of Civil Procedure to require that the court instruct the jury to disregard all past deliberations and begin deliberating anew when an alternate juror is substituted after jury deliberations have begun." (Griesel v. Dart Industries, Inc. (1979) 23 Cal.3d 578, 584-585 [153 Cal.Rptr. 213, 591 P.2d 503], overruled on other grounds in Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689, 702, fn. 4 [21 Cal.Rptr.2d 72, 854 P.2d 721], internal citations and footnote omitted.)
7 Witkin, California Procedure (4th ed. 1997) Trial, § 160
(Revised April 2004)