The parties may stipulate that the jury shall consist of any number less than twelve, or less than six in the District Court, or that a verdict or a finding of a stated majority of the jurors shall be taken as the verdict or finding of the jury.
Effective July 1, 1974. Amended November 28, 2007, effective March 1, 2008.
(2008) The title of Rule 48 has been changed to "Number of Jurors--Majority Verdict" in light of the fact that there are six-person juries in the District Court. The language of Rule 48 has likewise been amended.
(1996) With the merger of the District Court rules into the Mass.R.Civ.P., Rule 48 has been made applicable to the District Court, to the extent that Massachusetts law permits trial by jury in District Court civil actions.
(1973) Rule 48 is the same as Federal Rule 48. Its provisions should be read in connection with M.G.L. c. 234, §§ 34A and 34B . Under section 34A , an agreement of five-sixths of the jury suffices to render a verdict. Under section 34B , if during trial a juror is unable to perform his duty for good cause (e.g.- death, illness) the trial may proceed with the remaining jurors, except that no trial may proceed with less than ten jurors unless the parties agree to the lesser number.
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