RULE 48. NUMBER OF JURORS; VERDICT
(a) Stipulation. The parties may stipulate that the jury will consist of any number fewer than nine or that a verdict or finding of a stated majority of the jurors will be taken as the verdict or finding of the jury.
(b) Jury of Six. In all civil actions in which a jury is impaneled, the jury must consist of six qualified jurors unless any party entitled to do so makes a written demand for a jury of nine in accordance with Rule 38.
(c) Polling. After a verdict is returned but before the jury is discharged, the court must on a party's request, or may on its own, poll the jurors individually. If the poll reveals a lack of unanimity or lack of assent by the number of jurors that the parties stipulated to, the court may direct the jury to deliberate further or may order a new trial.
Rule 48 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 2011.
Rule 48 was amended, effective January 1, 1988, to provide for a jury of 6 members unless a jury of nine is properly demanded. This is in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 28-14-03.1.
Rule 48 was amended, effective March 1, 2011, in response to the December 1, 2007, revision of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Subdivision (c) was added, effective March 1, 2011, to track the December 1, 2009, federal amendment. Subdivision (c) allows a court to poll the jury individually on its own and requires a poll at a party's request.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of September 23-24, 2010, page 13; September 24-25, 2009, pages 18-19; September 18-19, 1986, page 3;September 26-27, 1985, pages 3-4; November 29-30, 1979, page 12; September 15-16, 1977, page 4; June 2-3, 1977, page 8; Fed.R.Civ.P. 48.
Considered: N.D.C.C. § 28-14-03.1.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Civ.P. 38 (Jury Trial of Right); N.D.R.Crim.P. 23 (Trial by Jury or by Court).