The right to a jury trial in certain civil cases, claims Seventh Amendment

Coat of arms of the United States
Coat of arms of the United States.

The 7th Amendment or Amendment 7 to the US Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. This amendment codifies the right to a jury trial in certain civil cases, and inhibits courts from overturning a jury’s findings of fact.

An early version of the Seventh Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1789 by James Madison, along with the other amendments, in response to Anti-Federalist objections to the new Constitution. Congress proposed a revised version of the Seventh Amendment to the states on September 28, 1789, and by December 15, 1791, the necessary three-quarters of the states had ratified it. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson announced the adoption of the amendment on March 1, 1792.

The Seventh Amendment is generally considered one of the more straightforward amendments of the Bill of Rights. While the Seventh Amendment’s provision for jury trials in civil cases has never been incorporated (i.e., applied to the states) almost every state voluntarily complies with this requirement. The prohibition of overturning a jury’s findings of fact applies to federal cases, state cases involving federal law, and to review of state cases by federal courts. United States v. Wonson (1812) established the “historical test”, which interpreted the amendment as relying on English common law to determine whether a jury trial was necessary in a civil suit. The amendment thus does not guarantee trial by jury in cases under maritime law, in lawsuits against the government itself, and for many parts of patent claims. In all other cases, the jury can be waived by consent of the parties.

The amendment additionally guarantees a minimum of six members for a jury in a civil trial. The amendment’s twenty dollar threshold has not been the subject of much scholarly or judicial writing; that threshold remains applicable despite the inflation that has occurred since the 18th century.

The 7th Amendment or Amendment 7

The 7th Amendment as proposed by Congress in 1789 reads as follows:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Source amendment “Wikipedia.ORG”.

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