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AMI 712 Joint Enterprise—Definition and Effect

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 712
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 7. Agency—Employment—Partnership—Joint Enterprise—Imputed Liability
AMI 712 Joint Enterprise—Definition and Effect
A joint enterprise is a relationship that may exist between the driver and the other occupant[s] of a [motor vehicle][aircraft][boat]. In order for this relationship to exist these two elements must be present: First, [both][all of the] participants in the joint enterprise must have a community of interest in the object and purpose of the undertaking for which the [vehicle][aircraft][boat] is being used. Second, each of them must have an equal right to share in the control of the operation of the [vehicle][aircraft][boat]. As to the second element, the question is whether each had a right to share in the control, not whether such a right was actually exercised. If either of these two necessary elements is absent, there is no joint enterprise.
[If you find that a joint enterprise existed in this case, then, as between the participants in the joint enterprise and third persons, any (negligence)(fault) on the part of (either)(each) participant in the joint enterprise is chargeable to (the)(every) other participant.]
If the jury must determine whether certain alleged misconduct is to be imputed to a party because of the possible existence of a joint enterprise, AMI 207 may be used with this instruction. If the relationship permitting the imputation of conduct is admitted, use AMI 208.
Do not use the second paragraph when the case is submitted on interrogatories.
This instruction is based in substantial part on the rule announced in Lockhart v. Ross, 191 Ark. 743, 87 S.W.2d 73 (1935), and cited with approval in Stockton v. Baker, 213 Ark. 918, 213 S.W.2d 896 (1948).
The Arkansas Supreme Court has announced its willingness and intention to re-examine the viability of the joint enterprise doctrine, including whether it should be available against another member of the enterprise. Yant v. Woods, 353 Ark. 786, 120 S.W.3d 574 (2003).
Testimony that the driver would have turned driving over to the co-owner passenger if he had asked warranted giving a joint enterprise instruction. Neal v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., 305 Ark. 97, 805 S.W.2d 643 (1991). It is error to give this instruction where the evidence does not establish equal control between a driver and passenger. Helton v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 260 Ark. 342, 538 S.W.2d 569 (1976). A sufficient showing of community of interest and equal right to share in the control and operation of the vehicle warranted submission to the jury of an owner-passenger’s vicarious liability on a theory of either joint enterprise or agency (AMI 705), or both. Reed v. McGibboney, 243 Ark. 789, 422 S.W.2d 115 (1967).
For a general discussion of joint enterprise, see Lovell v. Brock, 330 Ark. 206, 952 S.W.2d 161 (1997) (proper query is whether there is enough evidence to show “an equal right to direct and govern the movements and conduct of each other in respect to the common object and purpose of the undertaking”).
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