Is it right for the jury to have any kind of contact with the plaintiff’s family?

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2011

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Is it right for the jury to have any kind of contact with the plaintiff’s family?

There was a jury trial in which the plaintiff’s family gave the jurors snacks and the jurors said thank you to the family. The family was also in the hallway where the exited and came back into the courtroom. Is that right?

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The plaintiff's family should not have contact with the jurors and certainly should NOT be providing snacks to the jurors.  The defendant's attorney should raise this issue of misconduct with the court.  The judge will decide whether or not this misconduct warrants declaring a mistrial.

If this issue was not raised with the court and the jury verdict was against the defendant, the defendant should appeal and raise this issue.

As for the plaintiff's family being in the hall when the jury exited and entered the courtroom, this would not be a problem as long as there wasn't any communication between the family and the jurors.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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