Rule Change to CCP 631 - Jury Fee Deposit

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By Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS



Senate Bill 1021 is an amendment to California Code of Civil Procedure 631 and was filed with the Secretary of State on June 27, 2012.  This rule amends the manner in which civil litigants are to deposit jury fees prior to trial.  It states that the jury fees are now due prior to the initial Case Management Conference.  The deposit is also now nonrefundable.   The amended CCP 631 reads:

"(a) The right to a trial by jury as declared by Section 16 of Article I of the California Constitution shall be preserved to the parties inviolate. In civil cases, a jury may only be waived pursuant to subdivision (f).

(b) Each party demanding a jury trial shall deposit advance jury fees with the clerk or judge. The total amount of the advance jury fees shall be one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for each party.

  (c) The advance jury fee deposit shall be made on or before the date scheduled for the initial case management conference in the action. If no case management conference is scheduled in a civil action, the advance jury deposit shall be made no later than 365 calendar days after the filing of the initial complaint. If the party has not appeared before the initial case management conference or has appeared more than 365 calendar days after the filing of the initial complaint, the deposit shall be made as provided in subdivision (d).

(d) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), the deposit of advance jury fees shall be made at least 25 calendar days before the date initially set for trial, except that in unlawful detainer actions the fees shall be deposited at least five days before the date set for trial.

(e) The parties demanding a jury trial shall deposit with the clerk or judge, at the beginning of the second and each succeeding day's session, a sum equal to that day's fees and mileage of the jury, including the fees and mileage for the trial jury panel if the trial jury has not yet been selected and sworn. If more than one party has demanded a jury, the respective amount to be paid daily by each party demanding a jury shall be determined by stipulation of the parties or by order of the court.

(f) A party waives trial by jury in any of the following ways:

(1) By failing to appear at the trial.

(2) By written consent filed with the clerk or judge.

(3) By oral consent, in open court, entered in the minutes.

(4) By failing to announce that a jury is required, at the time the cause is first set for trial, if it is set upon notice or stipulation, or within five days after notice of setting if it is set without notice or stipulation.

(5) By failing to deposit with the clerk, or judge, advance jury fees as provided in subdivision (c) or (d), as applicable.

(6) By failing to deposit with the clerk or judge, at the beginning of the second and each succeeding day's session, the sum provided in subdivision (e).

(g) The court may, in its discretion upon just terms, allow a trial by jury although there may have been a waiver of a trial by jury.

(h) The court shall transmit the advance jury fees to the State Treasury for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund within 45 calendar days after the end of the month in which the advance jury fees are deposited with the court.

(i) Advance jury fees deposited after the effective date of the act that amended this section during the 2011-12 Regular Session shall be nonrefundable."

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