Request a Jury Trial - Post Fees

The Constitution of California guarantees litigants the right to a jury trial in civil actions. (Cal. Const. Art. I, § 16.) That right is limited, however, to actions “at law,” as distinguished from proceedings “in equity,” and is dependent upon a timely demand. (C & K Engineering Contractors v. Amber Steel Co., Inc. (1978) 23 Cal.3d 1, 8.)

Legal Standard

In determining whether an action is one triable by a jury at common law, the court looks to “the nature of the rights involved and the facts of the particular case–the gist of the action.” (Wisden v. Super. Ct. (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 750, 755, 21 Cal.Rptr.3d 523; C & K Engineering, supra, at p. 9, 151 Cal.Rptr. 323, 587 P.2d 1136.) A jury trial must be granted where the gist of the action is legal; but “if the action is essentially one in equity and the relief sought ‘depends upon the application of equitable doctrines,’ the parties are not entitled to a jury trial.” (C & K Engineering, supra, at p. 9, 151 Cal.Rptr. 323, 587 P.2d 1136.)

Procedure

Even if a party timely demands a jury trial, the failure to post jury fees constitutes a waiver of that right. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 631(f)(5)&(6).) A party must post jury fees on or before the initial case management conference. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 631(c).) If no case management conference is scheduled, then the fees are due no later than 365 calendar days after the filing of the initial complaint. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 631(c)(2).) If the party requesting a jury has not appeared before the initial case management conference, then jury fees are due at least 25 calendar days before the initial trial date. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 631(c)(4).)

Relief from Waiver of Jury

It is well established that the Court has the discretion to grant relief from waiver of jury. (Code of Civ. Proc., § 631(g).) In exercising that discretion, courts are mindful of the requirement “to resolve doubts in interpreting the waiver provisions of section 631 in favor of a litigant's right to jury trial.” (Tesoro del Valle Master Homeowners Ass'n v. Griffin (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 619, 638; Bishop v. Anderson (1980) 101 Cal.App.3d 821, 823.) Accordingly, where the right to jury is threatened, the crucial focus is whether any prejudice will be suffered by any party or the court if a motion for relief from waiver is granted; a trial court abuses its discretion as a matter of law when relief has been denied where there has been no prejudice to the other party or to the court from an inadvertent waiver. (Id.)

Useful Rulings on Request Jury Trial

Recent Rulings on Request Jury Trial

MOHAMMAD ALI TABRIZIZADEH, ET AL. VS B.H. REAL ESTATE, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ET AL.

Discussion A party desiring trial by jury must both make a timely demand for jury trial and post jury fees. (See CCP § 631(f), (b)-(c).) At least one party demanding a jury trial on each side of a civil case must pay a nonrefundable jury fee on or before the date scheduled for the initial case management conference in the action. (See CCP § 631(b)-(c).) Failure to timely pay such fee constitutes a waiver of a trial by jury. (See id. at (f)(5).)

  • Hearing

JEAN NICHOLE BOLLINGER VS LSG SKY CHEFS, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

The deadline to demand a jury trial and post jury fees was February 7, 2020. Plaintiff’s counsel attests that, through inadvertence, the deadline was not calendared for said date. (Salinas Decl., ¶ 3.) Subsequently, on February 26, 2020, Plaintiff filed a notice of posting jury fees. Plaintiff attests that defense counsel was notified of the posting by mail and fax on February 25, 2020. (Salinas Decl., ¶ 3; Exh. 2.) Defendants filed no opposition.

  • Hearing

AMIR MOSTAFAVI VS ERIC KINGSLEY ET AL

Defendants also contend that they will be prejudiced because a jury trial would deprive them of the benefit from the work they have already done to prepare for the bench trial, including filing motions in limine, a trial brief, witness lists, and exhibit lists. (Ibid.) Plaintiff does not adequately explain why he did not post jury fees or seek relief before the prior trial date. Plaintiff states only that because the Court did not order him to do so on September 11, 2019, he failed to post the jury fee.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

PALM OIL INVESTMENT INC VS. ALEJANDRA CASTRUITA

Moreover, plaintiff had ample time from March 16, 2018 (when the complaint was filed) until August 17, 2018 (at the "initial" CMC) to timely post jury fees. In addition, defendants' failure to post jury fees should have suggested to plaintiff that defendants preferred a bench trial (thus, putting the onus on plaintiff to immediately post jury fees if it wanted a jury). In short, the failure to post jury fees was not inadvertence and/or excusable neglect.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

MALEEHAI RODRIGUEZ VS. CONFIE SEGUROS INSURANCE SERVICES

Next, Defendants argue that they will be prejudiced if Plaintiff is permitted to post jury fees after four years of litigation, as Defendants' counsel adopted a discovery and trial strategy based on a bench trial not a jury trial. (Mauri Decl. ¶4.) Thus, they argue it would be unfair to permit relief from Plaintiff's waiver. It is well established that the Court has the discretion to grant relief from waiver of jury. (CCP 631(g).)

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

JOSE RAMOS VS MIA MICHELLE MICHAWD ET AL

Absent prejudice to the opposing party, the court should grant relief for inadvertent failure to timely post jury fees. Tesoro Del Valle Master Homeowners Assn. v. Griffin (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 619, 638–39. Plaintiff has not opposed the motion. There is no evidence of prejudice. Defendants served a Demand for Jury trial on Plaintiff on 8/9/17, giving Plaintiff notice of Defendants’ intent to resolve the matter by jury trial. Motion, Ex B. Moving party is ordered to give notice.

  • Hearing

MICHELLE JEWSBURY V. RYAN PETETIT

Frederickson further notes that Defendant also requested a jury trial in his own CMC statements, filed November 30, 2016, January 23, 2017, and September 21, 2017. (Plaintiff’s Exs. 4-6.) Failure to post jury fees due to inadvertence of counsel is meritorious grounds for relief from the waiver when there is no prejudice from the granting of the relief. (Winston v. Sup. Ct. (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 600, 603; Byram v. Sup.

  • Hearing

KELLY O'HARA VS JONATHAN SPEES ET AL

Guajardo moves the court for an order, per CCP § 631, relieving defendants from waiver of jury trial and permitting a jury trial of this action, on the basis that defendants were previously represented by another law firm who demanded jury trial on their behalf but did not post jury fees, new counsel assumed jury fees were posted, and the parties prepared and filed joint jury instruction lists on the assumption that jury fees were posted.

  • Hearing

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

CHRISTOPHER TAKIER, ET AL. V. PHYSICIAN’S AUTOMATED LABORATORIES, INC., ET AL.

Hague notes that Plaintiffs have repeatedly requested a jury trial in the case management conference statements filed to date, and have demanded a jury trial in each complaint filed in these consolidated actions. (Ibid.) Failure to post jury fees due to inadvertence of counsel is meritorious grounds for relief from the waiver when there is no prejudice from the granting of the relief. (Winston v. Sup. Ct. (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 600, 603; Byram v. Sup.

  • Hearing

SAINT LUKES PASADENA, LLC VS. JASON K. BOUTROS, MD, INC.

Since the right to a jury is constitutional in nature, it is generally held that any doubt must be resolved in favor of upholding the right. Bishop v. Anderson (1980) 101 Cal.App.3d 821, 823. Here, it appears there is no dispute that defendant failed to timely post jury fees before the initial case management conference. Defendant argues that relief from this failure is ordinarily liberally granted, particularly where there is no serious hardship to the other side.

  • Hearing

OHR GEDALYAHU CONGREGATION VS. ISSACHAR SHABTAY

Since the right to a jury is constitutional in nature, it is generally held that any doubt must be resolved in favor of upholding the right. Bishop v. Anderson (1980) 101 Cal.App.3d 821, 823. Here, it appears there is no dispute that defendant failed to timely post jury fees before the initial case management conference. Defendant argues that relief from this failure is ordinarily liberally granted, particularly where there is no serious hardship to the other side.

  • Hearing

VIKKI VANG VS. THE LUCKY DERBY CASINO

Plaintiff's motion for relief from waiver of jury trial is GRANTED. It is undisputed that plaintiff waived her right to jury trial by failing to timely post the initial jury fee in advance of the initial case management conference heard on September 4, 2014. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 631(c), (f)(5).) Trial is scheduled for November 7, 2017. Plaintiff seeks relief from waiver on the grounds that counsel inadvertently forgot to calendar the need to post jury fees.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

VIKKI VANG VS. THE LUCKY DERBY CASINO

Plaintiff's motion for relief from waiver of jury trial is GRANTED. It is undisputed that plaintiff waived her right to jury trial by failing to timely post the initial jury fee in advance of the initial case management conference heard on September 4, 2014. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 631(c), (f)(5).) Trial is scheduled for November 7, 2017. Plaintiff seeks relief from waiver on the grounds that counsel inadvertently forgot to calendar the need to post jury fees.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

VIKKI VANG VS. THE LUCKY DERBY CASINO

Plaintiff's motion for relief from waiver of jury trial is GRANTED. It is undisputed that plaintiff waived her right to jury trial by failing to timely post the initial jury fee in advance of the initial case management conference heard on September 4, 2014. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 631(c), (f)(5).) Trial is scheduled for November 7, 2017. Plaintiff seeks relief from waiver on the grounds that counsel inadvertently forgot to calendar the need to post jury fees.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

VIKKI VANG VS. THE LUCKY DERBY CASINO

Plaintiff's motion for relief from waiver of jury trial is GRANTED. It is undisputed that plaintiff waived her right to jury trial by failing to timely post the initial jury fee in advance of the initial case management conference heard on September 4, 2014. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 631(c), (f)(5).) Trial is scheduled for November 7, 2017. Plaintiff seeks relief from waiver on the grounds that counsel inadvertently forgot to calendar the need to post jury fees.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

VIKKI VANG VS. THE LUCKY DERBY CASINO

Plaintiff's motion for relief from waiver of jury trial is GRANTED. It is undisputed that plaintiff waived her right to jury trial by failing to timely post the initial jury fee in advance of the initial case management conference heard on September 4, 2014. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 631(c), (f)(5).) Trial is scheduled for November 7, 2017. Plaintiff seeks relief from waiver on the grounds that counsel inadvertently forgot to calendar the need to post jury fees.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

AMNON AMBAR, ET AL., VS LANKERSHIM RETAIL GROUP, LLC ET AL.,

The Plaintiffs waived the right to a jury trial because they did not post jury fees before the April 26, 2017 date at which the Court had set the trial date. The Plaintiffs’ attorney, Lee Lubin, provides facts in his declaration to state that he was under the mistaken impression that the Plaintiffs had posted jury fees at some point during the substantial history of the case. Mr.

  • Hearing

JACQUELINE BURNETT VS. LENAJ INC

Given the strong policy favoring the constitutional right to jury trial and lack of opposition, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for relief from waiver. Plaintiff is ordered to post jury fees by August 31, 2017. This case has been assigned to Department 47 for hearing. In the event that either party requests a hearing the matter will be heard at 9:30 a.m. in Department 47.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

JACQUELINE BURNETT VS. LENAJ INC

Given the strong policy favoring the constitutional right to jury trial and lack of opposition, the Court grants Plaintiff's request for relief from waiver. Plaintiff is ordered to post jury fees by August 31, 2017. This case has been assigned to Department 47 for hearing. In the event that either party requests a hearing the matter will be heard at 9:30 a.m. in Department 47.

  • Hearing

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

JEFFREY DULLEA VS. SIDINI OLIVEIRA ET AL

Dullea has not clearly shown why he failed to post jury fees by June 8, 2016 and continues to cite an outdated version of CCP ? 631, there has been no showing that Ms. Oliveira would be prejudiced should the court allow trial by jury. Absent any showing of prejudice, the court allows trial by jury per CCP ? 631, subd. (g), despite Mr. Dullea's waiver. Mr. Dullea's filing of a "Demand for Jury Trial" on May 8, 2017 suffices to request a trial de novo.

  • Hearing

CHERRY CALDWELL YOUNG VS THE SALVATION ARMY

When a party demanding a jury trial has failed to timely pay the required jury fee, that party waives trial by jury. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 631(f)(5). The court may, in its discretion, allow a trial by jury although there may have been a waiver. Id., § 631(g). Defendant’s Answer includes a demand for jury trial and Defendant paid the required jury fees on June 15, 2017. Counsel for Plaintiff avers that she believed Defendant’s request for a jury trial and posting of fees was sufficient.

  • Hearing

NRG RENEW LLC V SUNPOWER CORPO

Assuming, arguendo, SunPower waived its right to a jury trial, it has presented just terms to be excused from that waiver Even assuming, arguendo, that SunPower waived its right to a jury trial by failing to post jury fees by August 19, 2014, CCP § 631(g) provides the Court discretion to excuse that waiver “upon just terms.” The Court is required to “resolve doubts in interpreting the waiver provisions of section 631 in favor of a litigant’s right to jury trial.”

  • Hearing

HOUSING AUTHORITY CITY OF SB VS DAVID MEREDITH

In an unlawful detainer action, the jury fees must be posted at least five days before the date set for trial. Code of Civil Procedure §631(b). Here, defendant was required to demand a jury within five days after the court first sent notice of trial setting on June 2, 2009. Defendant’s demand was therefore due no later than June 8, 2009. He failed to meet this requirement. Defendant was also required to post jury fees at least five days before the initial date set for trial, which was June 19, 2009.

  • Hearing

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