Section 13.  In suits at common law where the value in controversy shall exceed five thousand dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved.  The legislature may provide for a verdict by not less than three-fourths of the members of the jury. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 107 (1987) and election Nov 8, 1988]


Attorney General Opinions


  The jury referred to is a jury of twelve.  Att. Gen. Op. 68-10.

  Constitutional amendment must be made to this section before a jury of less than twelve persons may be used for civil matters when parties do not stipulate to a smaller jury panel.  Att. Gen. Op. 97-2.


Law Journals and Reviews


  Hawai‘i 2000 Report Regarding Lawyers' Opinion Letters in Mortgage Loan Transactions.  22 UH L. Rev. 347.

  Blast It All: Allen Charges and the Dangers of Playing With Dynamite.  32 UH L. Rev. 323 (2010).


Case Notes


  Section does not prohibit use of six-member jury by federal district court in diversity personal injury action.  487 F.2d 957.

  Language of U.S. Constitution Seventh Amendment preserved in order to preserve also the judicial interpretation.  50 H. 528, 445 P.2d 376.

  Right under the procedural rules considered.  50 H. 528, 445 P.2d 376.

  Noncompliance with statute and court rules regulating manner of exercising right of jury trial constitutes waiver of right. 53 H. 372, 493 P.2d 1032.

  Although court may set aside jury verdict, respect for the jury's assessment of the evidence is mandated.  57 H. 378, 557 P.2d 788.

  Question of whether right of jury trial applies to summary possession proceeding raised but not decided.  58 H. 276, 567 P.2d 1239.

  Right of jury trial applies to actions involving dower claims. 61 H. 236, 602 P.2d 521.

  Appellant had right to jury trial on issue of damages in action arising out of breach of lease agreement where claim was in excess of jurisdictional limit.  72 H. 373, 818 P.2d 1177.

  A statutory cause of action, such as a suit under §92E-11(c), is a "suit at common law" under the Hawai‘i constitution.  76 H. 101, 869 P.2d 1320.

  Sanctions awarded pursuant to rule 26 of Hawai‘i arbitration rules did not violate due process or this section.  76 H. 494, 880 P.2d 169.

  Apart from the past or present terms of the relevant statutes, as between the common-law practice of England, and its analogue developed under this jurisdiction, the latter controls for purposes of this section.  91 H. 81, 979 P.2d 1107.

  Based on the established common law convention of this jurisdiction at the time of adoption of the state constitution, as a general matter, a right to jury trial exists in state eminent domain proceedings.  91 H. 81, 979 P.2d 1107.

  Condemnation proceedings constitute "suits at common law" for purposes of this section.  91 H. 81, 979 P.2d 1107.

  The "substance" of the jury trial right existing in 1959 does not include the jury determination of blight of summons damages; thus, no right to a jury determination of blight of summons damages exists under this section.  91 H. 81, 979 P.2d 1107.

  Employer was entitled to a jury trial, under this section, with respect to employees' allegation of sexual discrimination and retaliation, as §368-17(a) empowered the Hawaii civil rights commission to award legal forms of relief, and, in proceedings before the commission, the employees and executive director claimed legal relief in the form of monetary damages of $400,000 for each employee.  101 H. 438, 71 P.3d 389.

  Where third party leasing agents were not parties to lease agreement between landlord and tenant, express waiver of right to jury trial in agreement did not apply to those third parties.  85 H. 300 (App.), 944 P.2d 97.

  By entering an order of default against defendant on the issue of liability in an automobile accident case because defendant refused to make an offer of monetary settlement, trial court deprived defendant not only of defendant's right to a trial de novo to appeal the arbitration award, but also of defendant's right under this section to have the liability issue determined by a jury.  99 H. 432 (App.), 56 P.3d 734.

  Defendants were not denied their right to a jury trial by virtue of the trial court's imposing an unjust enrichment award against them; because plaintiffs' damages were not ascertainable or remediable by reference to the contractual remedies provided for, equitable remedies were appropriate; thus, trial court did not abuse its discretion by considering the jury's verdict to be only advisory or by imposing an equitable remedy.  116 H. 42 (App.), 169 P.3d 994.

  A fundamental constitutional right to a jury trial exists when a person is faced with substantial legal damages in a statutory discrimination action; where there was no reasoned basis for concluding that a person has a fundamental constitutional right if the Hawaii civil rights commission awards such damages, but no fundamental constitutional right if a court awards such damages, landlord was entitled to a jury trial with respect to tenant's demand for substantial compensatory and punitive damages.  128 H. 159 (App.), 284 P.3d 932 (2012).

  Although reasonable conditions may be placed upon the fundamental right to a jury trial in civil cases, including rules and procedures affecting its exercise, where, under the circumstances of the case, the Hawaii civil rights commission (HCRC) executive director's opposition to removal to court and declaration that landlord's procedural rights had been waived made the right "practically unavailable" to landlord because there was no method to remove the case absent the executive director doing so, landlord did not waive landlord's right to a jury trial during the HCRC proceedings.  128 H. 159 (App.), 284 P.3d 932 (2012).



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