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Will my case be heard by a jury?

September 30, 2009

Whether or not your Texas personal injury lawsuit will be heard by a jury depends on whether you or the defendant requests a jury trial. In Texas, the right to a jury trial is guaranteed by the state constitution. However, in civil lawsuits, such as a personal injury lawsuit, that right is not “self-executing.” That is, you have to make a written request for a jury trial. If you don’t, your case will go before a judge with no jury.

Both you and the defendant have a right to request a jury trial. In order to receive a jury trial, the party must comply with Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 216, which states:

a.       Request. No jury trial shall be had in any civil suit, unless a written request for a jury trial is filed with the clerk of the court a reasonable time before the date set for trial of the cause on the non-jury docket, but not less than thirty days in advance.

Also, in accordance with Rule 216, you must pay a small jury fee:

b.     Jury Fee. Unless otherwise provided by law, a fee of ten dollars if in the district court and five dollars if in the county court must be deposited with the clerk of the court within the time for making a written request for a jury trial.  The clerk shall promptly enter a notation of the payment of such fee upon the court’s docket sheet.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury law firm. To receive free legal advice about your personal injury lawsuit from an experienced attorney, email us at or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.




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