Colgrove v. Battin

413 U.S. 149



The requirement of a six-member jury is not a basic procedural innovation because it does not bear on the ultimate outcome of civil litigation.


The petitioner sought a writ of mandamus to impanel a twelve-person jury, instead of the six-person jury the district court used. Petitioner alleged that the applicable rule violated the seventh amendment and deprived him of a right to trial by jury.


Did the lower court err in only impaneling a six-person jury?




The Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision. It found that the six-person jury requirement did not violate the constitutional provisions of the seventh amendment. The petitioner did not offer any precedent that stated twelve jury members was a substantive demand of the amendment. Further, it held that juries do not have to have the same characteristics as a common law jury to be constitutional.

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