Kakos v. Butler

2015 WL 13754360 (2015)

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Kakos v. Butler

Illinois Circuit Court
2015 WL 13754360 (2015)

Facts

Dr. James Kakos and his wife (plaintiffs) filed a civil suit against four medical facilities and five of their employees, including Dr. Jesse Butler (defendants). Butler and the other defendants jointly moved for permission to file a demand for a 12-person jury and sought a ruling that legislation limiting them to a six-person jury was unconstitutional. The defendants asserted that the Clerk of Court would not allow them to pay the fee required for a 12-person jury. In 2015 the Illinois legislature passed legislation that restricted the size of civil juries to six jurors. Prior to this amendment to the existing law, persons had a right to 12 jurors for a civil trial in which the damages sought exceeded $50,000. Persons could request and pay for a jury of 12 in civil cases that involved damages of less than $50,000. The new legislation removed the option for a 12-person jury in a civil trial altogether. Butler challenged the amendment as a violation of Illinois’s constitution. Article I, § 13 of the Illinois constitution guaranteed that the right to a jury, as enjoyed at the time the provision was adopted, was not to be violated. When the constitutional provision was adopted, the right to a civil jury included 12 jurors.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gomolinski, J.)

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