Jury Fees Are Now Due the Day of Initial Case Management Conference

All attorneys and litigants need to carefully review Code of Civil Procedure Section 631, which was amended effective June 27, 2012.  The most significant change is that Section 631 now requires, with some exceptions, a party to deposit the $150.00 in jury fees no later than on or before the date scheduled for the initial case management conference.  Two of the key subsections of Section 631 read as follows:

CCP Sec. 631(c): The advance jury fee deposit shall be made on or before the date scheduled for the initial case management conference in the action. If no case management conference is scheduled in a civil action, the advance jury deposit shall be made no later than 365 calendar days after the filing of the initial complaint. If the party has not appeared before the initial case management conference or has appeared more than 365 calendar days after the filing of the initial complaint, the deposit shall be made as provided in subdivision (d).

CCP Sec. 631(d) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), the deposit of advance jury fees shall be made at least 25 calendar days before the date initially set for trial, except that in unlawful detainer actions the fees shall be deposited at least five days before the date set for trial.

Now, jury fees deposited on or after June 27, 2012 are non-refundable.  Moreover, the new rules apply even if the case was filed before June 27, 2012.

By failing to timely deposit jury fees, that party waives the right to a trial by jury in that action. CCP Sec. 631(f)(5).  Of course, the court may, in its discretion and upon just terms, allow a trial by jury despite the waiver. CCP Sec. 631(g).  But no one wants to write a motion seeking relief from a waiver of a jury trial.

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California Law Blog addresses different legal issues confronting legal practitioners and clients. Email at henninglawfirm@hotmail.com with any questions or comments.

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