senate Bill S6658A

Grants the court discretionary authority to retain alternate jurors after final submission of the case

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 08 / Mar / 2012
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 24 / May / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO JUDICIARY
  • 24 / May / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 6658A
  • 31 / May / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.986
  • 04 / Jun / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 05 / Jun / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Grants the court discretionary authority to retain alternate jurors after final submission of the case.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10376
Versions:
S6658
S6658A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Civil Practice Law and Rules
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง4106, CPLR

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6658A

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to the
discretionary retention of alternate jurors after final submission of
the case

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of
the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her Advisory
Committee on Civil Practice.

This measure would amend CPLR 4106 to permit the Court in its discretion
to retain one or more alternate jurors after final submission of the
case to ensure availability if needed during jury deliberations. The
proposed amendment of section 4106 also addresses the manner in which
the retained alternate jurors may be utilized.

Current CPLR 4106 provides that, after final submission of the case,
"the Court shall discharge the alternate jurors". As a consequence, in
the event that a juror becomes disabled during deliberations, the Court
must declare a mistrial unless all parties consent to proceed with a
five person jury, which consent is rarely obtained. In cases of several
weeks' duration, classically commercial, medical malpractice or products
liability cases, a mistrial results in a tremendous waste of time and
money for the litigants, the attorneys, and the Court, and frustration
for the remaining jurors who have served throughout a prolonged trial in
an effort to render a verdict. There is a continuing disparity among
many courts statewide as to the practice regarding alternate jurors.

This measure also would amend CPLR 4106 to address the manner in which
the retained alternate jurors may be utilized by providing that once
deliberations have begun, the court may allow an alternate juror to
participate in such deliberations only if a regular juror becomes unable
to perform the duties of a juror. The proposed amendment also makes
gender-neutral changes. The Committee appreciates the recommendations of
Honorable Philip G. Minardo, Administrative Judge (ret.), Richmond
County, regarding the amendment of Section 4106. Judge Minardo made his
recommendations on behalf of and with the support of the New York State
Association of Supreme Court Justices and the New York City Association
of Supreme Court Justices.

This measure would have no fiscal impact on the State. It would take
effect on the first day of January next succeeding the date on which it
shall become law and shall apply to all actions commenced on or after
that date and to all pending actions in which a jury has not yet been
selected.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None. New proposal.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 6658--A

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 8, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. BONACIC -- (at request of the Office of Court Admin-
  istration) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed  to  be
  committed  to the Committee on Judiciary -- committee discharged, bill
  amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
  tee

AN  ACT  to  amend  the civil practice law and rules, in relation to the
  discretionary retention of alternate jurors after final submission  of
  the case

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 4106 of  the  civil  practice  law  and  rules,  as
amended  by  chapter  336  of  the  laws  of 1972, is amended to read as
follows:
  S 4106. Alternate jurors. [Unless the court, in its discretion, orders
otherwise, one] ONE or [two] MORE additional  jurors,  to  be  known  as
"alternate jurors", may be drawn upon the request of a party AND CONSENT
OF  THE  COURT.   Such ALTERNATE jurors shall be drawn at the same time,
from the same source, in the same manner, and have the  same  qualifica-
tions  as  [the] regular jurors, and be subject to the same examinations
and challenges. They shall be seated with, take the oath  with,  and  be
treated  in  the same manner as the regular jurors[, except that after].
AFTER final submission of the case, the court [shall discharge the] MAY,
IN ITS DISCRETION, RETAIN SUCH alternate jurors[. If] TO  ENSURE  AVAIL-
ABILITY  IF NEEDED. AT ANY TIME, before OR AFTER the final submission of
the case, a regular juror dies,  or  becomes  ill,  or  [for  any  other
reason] is unable to perform [his duty] THE DUTIES OF A JUROR, the court
may  order  [him  to  be]  THAT JUROR discharged and draw the name of an
alternate,  OR  RETAINED  ALTERNATE,  IF  ANY,  who  shall  replace  the
discharged juror [in the jury box,] and be treated as if [he] THAT JUROR
had been selected as one of the regular jurors.  ONCE DELIBERATIONS HAVE
BEGUN,  THE  COURT  MAY  ALLOW AN ALTERNATE JUROR TO PARTICIPATE IN SUCH
DELIBERATIONS ONLY IF A REGULAR JUROR  BECOMES  UNABLE  TO  PERFORM  THE
DUTIES OF A JUROR.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14029-03-2

S. 6658--A                          2

  S  2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law and shall apply to  all
actions  commenced  on  or after such date and to all pending actions in
which a jury has not yet been selected.

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