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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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