Chapter 3 - § 3.5 • CHALLENGES FOR CAUSE



Generally. Challenges for cause in a civil case are governed by C.R.C.P. 47(e) and are limited to instances in which the potential juror: (1) is incompetent to be a juror; (2) is related within the third degree to any party; (3) is involved in certain relationships with any party; (4) has previously served on a jury or been a witness in a previous trial between the same parties for the same cause of action; (5) has an interest in the outcome of the action; (6) has formed or expressed an opinion as to the merits of the action; or (7) exhibits enmity or bias concerning either party. See Dupont v. Preston, 9 P.3d 1193, 1195 (Colo. App. 2000).
Challenging the Juror Pool. In challenging a jury pool, the party so moving must do so prior to the swearing in of the jury and must allege that the requirements of the Uniform Jury Selection and Service Act were not complied with, as evidenced by supporting affidavits. If the court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the Act was not complied with, the panel will be discharged and a new panel ordered. C.R.S. § 13-71-139. Any party may challenge the array of jurors by motion; the issue will be decided by the court. C.R.C.P. 47(c).

Challenging the Juror Pool. Mere speculation as to the prejudice of the juror pool will not justify quashing the entire panel and is far short of a scenario that would constitute grounds for a mistrial. People v. Peltz, 697 P.2d 766, 771 (Colo. App. 1984), aff'd, 728 P.2d 1271 (Colo. 1986).

General; Procedure; Order. The plaintiff completes his or her challenges for cause first, and then the defendant makes any additional challenges for cause. C.R.C.P. 47(f).

General; Procedure; Examination. Challenges for cause must be tried by the court, and the juror challenged may be examined as a witness by either party. C.R.C.P. 47(f). If a challenge for cause is sustained, another juror is then called to fill the vacancy and may, in turn, be challenged for cause. C.R.C.P. 47(g).

General; Court's Discretion. Unless a prospective juror is prohibited from serving by virtue of a specified statute or court rule, disqualification is a matter within the sound discretion of the trial court. Day v. Johnson, 232 P.3d 175 (Colo. App. 2009), aff'd on other grounds, 255 P.3d 1064 (Colo. 2011); Rose v. Colorado Factory Homes, 10 P.3d 680 (Colo. App. 2000); State Dep't of Highways v. Copper Mountain, Inc., 624 P.2d 936, 937 (Colo. App. 1981).

General; Grounds. Sustaining a challenge for cause on grounds other than those provided for in C.R.C.P. 47(e) has the effect of giving the challenging party an additional peremptory challenge and constitutes reversible error. Faucett v. Hamill, 815 P.2d 989, 990 (Colo. App. 1991).

Erroneous Denial of Challenge for Cause. Allowing a litigant fewer peremptory challenges than authorized through denial of a challenge for cause does not by itself require automatic reversal. Instead, the reviewing court must determine whether the error substantially influenced the outcome of the case. Laura A. Newman, LLC v. Roberts, 365 P.3d 972, 978 (Colo. 2016).
Prior Jury Service. A challenge for cause may be made if one has served as a juror or has been a

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