Obsolete Date: 3/1/2011
(a) Special Verdicts. The court in its discretion may require a jury to return only a special verdict in the form of a special written finding upon each issue of fact. In that event, the court may submit to the jury written questions susceptible of categorical or other brief answer or may submit written forms of the several special findings that might properly be made under the pleadings and evidence; or it may use such other method of submitting the issues and requiring the written findings thereon as it considers most appropriate. The court shall give to the jury such explanation and instruction concerning the matter thus submitted as may be necessary to enable the jury to make its findings upon each issue. If in so doing the court omits any issue of fact raised by the pleadings or by the evidence, each party waives the right to a trial by jury of the issue so omitted unless before the jury retires the party demands its submission to the jury. As to an issue omitted without a demand the court may make a finding; or, if it fails to do so, it is deemed to have made a finding in accord with the judgment on the special verdict.
(b) General Verdict Accompanied by Answer to Interrogatories. The court may submit to the jury, together with appropriate forms for a general verdict, written interrogatories upon one or more issues of fact the decision of which is necessary to a verdict. The court shall give such explanation or instruction as may be necessary to enable the jury both to make answers to the interrogatories and to render a general verdict, and the court shall direct the jury both to make written answers and to render a general verdict. When the general verdict and the answers are harmonious, the court shall direct the entry of the appropriate judgment upon the verdict and answers. When the answers are consistent with each other but one or more is inconsistent with the general verdict, the court may direct the entry of judgment in accordance with the answers, notwithstanding the general verdict or may return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict or may order a new trial. When the answers are inconsistent with each other and one or more is likewise inconsistent with the general verdict, the court shall not direct the entry of judgment but may return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict or may order a new trial.
Rule 49 was amended, effective March 1, 1990; March 1, 2011.
Rule 49 is is derived from Fed.R.Civ.P. 49.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendment is technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
Rule 49 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.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of September 24-25, 2009, pages 19-20; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; November 29-30, 1979, page 13; Fed.R.Civ.P. 49.