senate Bill S5004

Relates to discretionary retention of alternate jurors after final submission of the case

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Bill Status


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

  • 03 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 29 / May / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.765
  • 30 / May / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 03 / Jun / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 04 / Jun / 2013
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A6553

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:
A6553
Versions:
S5004
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Civil Practice Law and Rules
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง4106, CPLR
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S6658A, A10376

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5004

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 a 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.

This measure also makes gender-neutral changes.

In proposing this measure, our Advisory Committee expresses its
appreciation for the recommendations of Honorable Philip G. Minardo,
former Administrative Judge, Richmond County. 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 effective date and to all pending actions in which a jury
has not yet been selected.

2012 Legislative History: Senate 6658-A (Bonacic) Rules Assembly
10376 (M. of A. Skartados) Passed

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

                                  5004

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 3, 2013
                               ___________

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

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 JUROR OR jurors shall be drawn at the same
time, from the same source, in the same manner, and have the same quali-
fications  as  [the] regular jurors, and be subject to the same examina-
tions 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 JUROR OR jurors[. If]
TO ENSURE AVAILABILITY IF NEEDED. AT ANY TIME, before OR AFTER the final
submission of the case, IF 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.
                                                           LBD09911-01-3

S. 5004                             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 effective date  and  to  all  pending
actions  on  such  effective  date  in  which  a  jury  has not yet been
selected.

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