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Questions about Jury Trial Process

What is a jury trial process?

A jury trial implies there is jury selected from a fair cross-section of people from the community within the jurisdiction of the trial. The jury will assess the evidence presented and pass a verdict. There is a judge who presides over the proceedings. The jury operates under the direction of the court. A jury trial is carried out if the case is criminal in nature with a possible punishment of jail time.

Can I request a jury trial, discovery, and admission?

Usually small claim courts disallow a jury and a discovery. For others types of courts that do allow it, the jury could be requested by paying the jury fee. The court clerk will be able to provide assistance with regard to the jury fee. Admission is part of the discovery along with interrogations and disclosures. This would be available when you make the request for discovery.

Does the jury or judge determine whether or not there is adequate proof of damages? Can a case be dismissed based on this?

The judge decides whether the evidence is sufficient or deficient to prove damages before it is presented to the jury. If the judge allows the evidence to go to jury, the duty lies with the jury to decide if it is sufficient to meet the burden of proof. If it does, they also decide the amount of damages.

If a person feels their case was mishandled and they lose a jury trial on a civil suit, what are possible recourse actions?

The person could appeal the jury’s decision within 30 days, but the reason for appeal should not be for the mere fact that the person lost the case. There has to be new evidence, evidence that was not considered by the jury but should have been, or an error in the trial proceedings. A notice to appeal should be filed after 10 days from the time the order is filed.

How do I file a motion for a jury trial for a criminal offense in Ohio?

As per Rule 23 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure ( “(A) Trial by jury. In serious offense cases the defendant before commencement of the trial may knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waive in writing his right to trial by jury. Such waiver may also be made during trial with the approval of the court and the consent of the prosecuting attorney. In petty offense cases, where there is a right of jury trial, the defendant shall be tried by the court unless he demands a jury trial. Such demand must be in writing and filed with the clerk of court not less than ten days prior to the date set for trial, or on or before the third day following receipt of notice of the date set for trial, whichever is later. Failure to demand a jury trial as provided in this subdivision is a complete waiver of the right thereto.”

Hence if you wish to have a jury trial you would need to create a motion with the case caption and request your case be decided by a jury based on Rule 23.

Why should juries consist of fair cross-section of people from the area where the trial is to be held? Is this a method to prevent discrimination to infiltrate into the jury? If juries are meant to be unprejudiced, why do defendants have a right to choose a trial by judge and reject a jury trial?

Juries consist of a fair cross-section of people or people from different backgrounds or cultures to neutralize the influence of predispositions of individual jurors and protect the concerned people from arbitrary government power. This is a method to prevent discrimination as the jury is a representative of the community.

Juries are pertinent to justice but there is no reason to discount that a judge is incapable of making a fair and correct inference based on the evidence presented to him/her. The judge may even be better suited due to his/her formal legal training.

Jury trials are meant to provide an impartial hearing of your case. It is one of the ways to attempt to eliminate discrimination. If you are facing a jury trial or have questions about the procedures, rights and other aspects, Experts can assist you in your endeavor.
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