Friday, August 22, 2014

EJT (Expedited Jury Trial) Program

(CCP 630.01 - 630.10) - external link

(CRC 3.1545-3.1552) - external link

An expedited jury trial is a short trial generally lasting one day and is intended to be quicker and less expensive than a traditional jury trial.

Some of the significant differences are:

  • Each side has 3 hours to present their case, including witness testimony, evidence and arguments.
  • The jury consists of 8 jurors (no alternates) and requires three quarters of the jury to reach a decision. which means only 6 jurors have to agree to reach a verdict)
  • Each side is allowed 15 minutes for jury voir dire.
  • All parties must waive their right to an appeal. (Appeals are only allowed in very limited circumstances.)
  • The decision of the jury is binding, except in cases where the parties have entered into a "high/low agreement." (Prior to the commencement of trial the parties may reach an agreement that the Defendant will pay a certain amount to the Plaintiff, even if the jury verdict is lower than that amount or no payment. In addition, the parties can put a cap on the highest amount the Defendant would have to pay, even if the jury verdict is higher.)

To request an Expedited Jury Trial, the parties must complete the Consent Order for Expedited Jury Trial (EJT-020). Once the consent is filed, the parties will be noticed to appear before the Presiding Judge (or his/her designee) for confirmation that the parties understand the program and for assignment to a trial Judge.

Also available is the Attachment to Consent Order for Expedited Jury Trial (EJT-020A).

Although the program requires the case to be tried in a single day, due to the Sacramento Superior Court operating under a Master Calendar system, the trials are scheduled to commence on a Thursday afternoon (the date to be determined by the trial judge and the parties) and will conclude on Friday afternoon.

For more information, please see the EJT Information Sheet (EJT-010-INFO) or call (916) 874-5522 and press 2 for Civil.