Chapter 3 - § 3.1 RIGHT TO JURY TRIAL




➢ Constitutional Right. There is no constitutionally guaranteed right to a jury trial in state civil proceedings. Johnson v. Schonlaw, 2018 CO 73, ¶ 9; Garhart ex rel. Tinsman v. Columbia/HealthONE, LLC, 95 P.3d 571, 580 (Colo. 2004); Scholz v. Metropolitan Pathologists, P.C., 851 P.2d 901, 905-06 (Colo. 1993); Blades v. DaFoe, 704 P.2d 317, 319 (Colo. 1985); Brekke v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 81 P.3d 1101, 1104 (Colo. App. 2003), aff'd, 105 P.3d 177 (Colo. 2004); First Nat'l Bank v. Theos, 794 P.2d 1055, 1058 (Colo. App. 1990).
➢ Right to a Jury Trial. "Although the Colorado Constitution does not protect the right to a jury trial in civil cases, this right has 'been an essential part of Colorado's justice system almost from its inception,' and thus, such right may be lost only for the reasons listed in C.R.C.P. 39(a)." Wright v. Woller, 976 P.2d 902, 902-03 (Colo. App. 1999); Whaley v. Keystone Life Ins. Co., 811 P.2d 404 (Colo. App. 1989).

➢ Right to a Jury Trial. No single statutory provision enumerates all of the occasions when parties enjoy the right to a jury trial in civil litigation. C.R.C.P. 38 (district court) and C.R.C.P. 338(a) (county court) suggest that a trial by jury may be available in actions for the recovery of specific real or personal property, with or without damages, or for money claimed as due on contract, or as damages for breach of contract, or for injuries to person or property. Colorado statutory law prohibits jury trials in certain settings. See C.R.S. § 13-5-201(3) (trial before a district court magistrate), and C.R.S. § 19-1-105 (trial in juvenile court).1 Jury trials generally are not available under the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act, C.R.S. §§ 14-10-101, et seq., or in other actions in equity. Carder, Inc. v. Cash, 97 P.3d 174, 187 (Colo. App. 2003) (court properly denied request for jury trial in action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief); Miller v. Carnation Co., 516 P.2d 661 (Colo. App. 1973). However, upon motion or on its own initiative, a court may try any issue that is not triable by a jury with an advisory jury. C.R.C.P. 39(c).

➢ Right to a Jury Trial; Nature of Relief Sought. The right to a trial by jury in civil actions exists only in proceedings that are legal rather than equitable. Cont'l Title Co. v. Dist. Court, 645 P.2d 1310, 1316 (Colo. 1982); Zick v. Krob, 872 P.2d 1290, 1293 (Colo. App. 1993). Such actions are characterized by the nature of

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