« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
SECTION 1. In any civil action where the parties are entitled to a trial by jury, and either party shall demand such trial, the clerk shall prepare separate ballots containing the names of the jurors suminoned, who have appeared and not been excused, and deposit them in a box. He shall then draw from the box names sufficient in number to constitute the jury. If the ballots become exhausted before the jury is complete, the marshal shall summon, under the direction of the court, from citizens of this District, and not from bystanders, so many qualified persons as may be necessary to complete the jury. The jury shall consist of twelve persons, unless the parties consent to a less number. The parties may consent to any number not less than three, and such consent shall be entered by the clerk on the minutes of the trial. The parties may agree upon the jurors to compose a special jury, and notify the court thereof, and the court shall thereupon direct the clerk to empannel such special jury, if it can be done without unreasonable delay of the cause.
SEC. 2. Either party may challenge the jurors, but when there are several parties on either side, they shall join in a challenge before it can be made. The challenges shall be to individual jurors, and shall be peremptory, or for cause. Each party shall be entitled to three peremptory challenges.
SEC. 3. Challenges for cause may be taken on one or more of the following grounds:
1. A want of the qualifications prescribed by statute to render a person competent as a juror.
2. Consanguinity or affinity within the third degree to either party. 3. Standing in the relation of guardian and ward, master and servant, employer and clerk, or principal and agent to either party, or being a member of the family of either party, or being security on any undertaking or obligation in the cause for either party.
4. Having served as a juror or been a witness on a previous trial between the same parties for the same cause of action.
5. Interest on the part of the juror in the event of the action, or in the main question involved in the action.
6. Having formed or expressed an unqualified opinion or belief as to the merits of the action.
7. The existence of a state of mind in the juror evincing enmity. against either party.
SEC. 4. Challenges for cause shall be tried by the court. The juror challenged, and any other person, may be examined as a witness on the trial of the challenge.
SEC. 5. As soon as the jury is completed, an oath or affirmation shall be administered to the jurors, in substance, that they and each of them will well and truly try the matter in issue between the plaintiff and defendant, and a true verdict give, according to the evidence.
SEC. 6. When the jury is completed and sworn, the ballots containing the names of the jurors sworn shall be laid aside till the jury so sworn is discharged, and then they shall be returned to the box; and every ballot drawn containing the name of a juror not so sworn shall be returned to the box as soon as the jury is completed.
SEC. 7. When the jury has been sworn, the trial shall proceed in the following order, unless the court for special reasons otherwise direct:
1. The plaintiff must briefly state his claim, and may briefly state the evidence by which he expects to sustain it.
2. The defendant must then briefly state his defence, and may briefly state the evidence he expects to offer in support of it.
3. The party who would be defeated if no evidence were given on either side, must first produce his evidence; the adverse party will then produce his evidence.
4. The parties shall then be confined to rebutting evidence, unless the court for good reasons in furtherance of justice permits them to offer evidence in their original case.
5. When the evidence is concluded, either party may request instructions to the jury on points of law, which shall be given or refused by the court; which instructions shall be reduced to writing, if either party require it.
6. The parties may then submit or argue the case to the jury. In the argument, the party required first to produce his evidence, shall have the opening and conclusion, but shall disclose in the opening all the points relied on in the cause; and if in the closing he refer to any new point or fact not disclosed in the opening, the adverse party shall have the right of replying thereto, which reply shall close the argument in the case.
SEC. 8. Whenever, in the opinion of the court, it is proper for the jury to have a view of the property which is the subject of litigation, or of the place in which any material fact occurred, it may order them to be conducted, in a body, under the charge of an officer, to the place, which shall be shown to them by some person appointed by the court for that purpose. While the jury are thus absent, no person other than the person so appointed shall speak to them on any subject connected with the trial.
SEC. 9. When the case is finally submitted to the jury, they may decide in court, or retire for deliberation. If they retire, they shall be kept together in a room provided for them, or some other convenient place, under the charge of an officer, until they agree upon a verdict, or are discharged by the court. The officer having them under his charge shall not suffer any communication to be made to to them, or make any himself, except to ask them if they have agreed upon their verdict; and he shall not, before their verdict is rendered, communicate to any person the state of their deliberations, or the verdict agreed upon.
SEC. 10. The jurors may, in the discretion of the court, at any time before the submission of the case to them, be permitted to separate, or may be kept together in charge of a proper officer; in either case they may be admonished by the court that it is their duty not to converse with, or suffer themselves to be addressed by, any other person, on any subject connected with the trial, and that it is their duty not to form or express an opinion thereon until the case is finally submitted to them.
SEC. 11. After the jury have retired for deliberation, if there be a disagreement between them as to any part of the testimony, or if they desire to be informed as to any part of the law arising in the case, they may request the officer to conduct them to the court, where the information upon the point of law shall be given, and the court
may give its recollection as to the testimony on the point in dispute, in the presence of or after notice to the parties or their counsel.
SEC. 12. If after the empanneling of the jury, and before a verdict, a juror become sick, so as to be unable to perform his duty, the court may order him to be discharged. In that case, unless the parties agree to proceed with the other jurors, a new juror may be sworn, and the trial begin anew; or the jury may be discharged and a new jury then or afterwards empanneled. The jury may be discharged by the court on account of any other accident or calamity requiring their discharge, or by consent of both parties, or after they have been kept together until it satisfactorily appears that there is no probability of their agreeing.
SEC. 13. Upon retiring for deliberation, the jury may take with them the pleadings in the cause, and all papers (except depositions) which have been received as evidence on the trial, or copies of such parts of public records or private documents given in evidence as ought not, in the opinion of the court, to be taken from the person having them in possession. They may also take with them notes of the testimony, or other proceedings on the trial, taken by themselves, or any of them, but none taken by any other person, except by consent of the parties.
SEC. 14. When the jury have agreed upon their verdict, they must be conducted into court by the officer having them in charge, their names called by the clerk, and the verdict rendered by their foreman. When the verdict is announced, either party may require the jury to be polled. If any juror dissent from the verdict, the jury shall be again sent out to deliberate.
SEC. 15. The verdict shall be written, signed by the foreman, and read by the clerk to the jury, and the inquiry made, whether it is their verdict. If any juror disagree, the jury must be sent out again; but if no disagreement be expressed, the verdict is complete, and the jury is discharged from the case. If, however, the verdict be defective in form only, the same may, with the assent of the jury before they are discharged, be corrected by the court.
SEC. 16. The verdict of a jury is either general or special. A general verdict is that by which they pronounce generally upon all or any
of the issues, either in favor of the plaintiff or defendant. A special verdict is that by which the jury find the facts only, leaving the judgment to the court. The special verdict shall present the conclusions of fact as established by the evidence, and not the evidence to prove them; and those conclusions of fact shall be so presented as that nothing shall remain to the court but to draw from them conclusions of law.
SEC. 17. In all actions, the jury, unless otherwise directed by the court, may, in their discretion, render a general or special verdict: but the court shall, at the request of either party, direct them to find a special verdict in writing upon all or any of the issues; and in all cases, when requested by either party, shall instruct them, if they render a general verdict, to find specially upon particular questions of fact, to be stated in writing. This special finding shall be recorded with the verdict.
SEC. 18. When the special finding of facts is inconsistent with the general verdict, the former shall control the latter, and the court shall give judgment accordingly.
SEC. 19. In actions for the recovery of money, the jury shall assess the amount of the recovery.
SEC. 20. In actions for the recovery of specific personal property, the jury must assess the value of the property, as also the damages for the taking or detention, whenever, by their verdict, there will be judgment for the recovery or return of the property.
TRIAL BY THE COURT.
1. How trials by jury may be waived.
2. How the finding shall be stated in the trial of question of fact by the court.
SECTION 1. The trial by jury may be waived by the parties in actions arising on contract; and with the assent of the court, in other actions, in the following manner:
1. By the consent of the party appearing, when the other party fails to appear at the trial by himself or attorney.