Civil Case Update-How to Demand a Jury Trial


Duckett v. Riley, 428 Md. 471 (Md. 2012).

This case involved a procedural question: whether a case information sheet electing a jury trial and filed with the Complaint was sufficient for demanding a jury trial when the opposing party was not served with the information sheet. The Court held that the case information sheet was not a paper or pleading, nor was it served on the opposing party, and thus is not a proper means of demanding a civil jury trial.

The Maryland Rules require that a party file a separate paper or include a separately titled paragraph at the conclusion of a pleading to demand a jury trial. The case information sheet, filed with every civil Complaint, is meant to assist the Clerk and Court in scheduling and is not a proper vehicle for asserting the right to a jury trial. Notice must also be given to the opposing party that a jury trial has been demanded. As the party filing the Complaint in this case did not file a separate request for a jury trial, nor did she provide notice to the opposing party, the Court of Appeals concluded that she waived her right to a jury trial.