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AMI 903 Violation of Statute or Ordinance as Evidence of Negligence

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 903
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 9. Rules of the Road
AMI 903 Violation of Statute or Ordinance as Evidence of Negligence
There [was][were] in force in the [State of Arkansas][and][City of ] at the time of the occurrence [a] [(number)] [statute(s)][ordinance(s)][regulation(s)], which provided:
(Quote or summarize applicable section:)
[First:]
[Second:]
[Third:]
[etc.:]
A violation of [this] [one or more of these (number)] [statute(s)][ordinance(s)][regulation(s)], although not necessarily negligence, is evidence of negligence to be considered by you along with all of the other facts and circumstances in the case.
NOTE ON USE
If more than one statute, ordinance, or regulation is given, insert the total number to be given in the spaces marked “number.”
Insert only statutes, ordinances, or regulations applicable under the facts. Any portions of the statute, ordinance, or regulation not applicable to the facts in the case must be deleted.
See AMI 913 and 914 in cases involving emergency vehicles.
Do not insert any statutory rule that embodies the standard of ordinary care. See AMI 901.
This identical instruction also appears as AMI 601.
COMMENT
This instruction is based on the holding in Bridgforth v. Vandiver, 225 Ark. 702, 284 S.W.2d 623 (1955). Where supported by the evidence, it must be given. McMickle v. Griffin, 369 Ark. 318, 254 S.W.3d 729 (2007); supp'l opinion on denial of reh'g, 2007 WL 1448346 (statutory requirements regarding vehicle permit, lighting, and speed).
I.C.C. safety regulation may establish a standard of care and therefore a violation would be evidence of negligence. Bussell v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 237 Ark. 812, 376 S.W.2d 545 (1964).
Those engaged in work upon the surface of the highway are not required to observe the statutory rules of the road. Ark. Code Ann. § 27-49-110; McMillin v. Bearden, 237 Ark. 673, 376 S.W.2d 665 (1964). See also Byrd v. Galbraith, 172 Ark. 219, 288 S.W. 717 (1926).
The Arkansas statute restricting admissibility in civil actions of evidence of seat-belt nonuse, Ark. Code Ann. § 27-37-703, was held unconstitutional on separation-of-powers grounds in Mendoza v. WIS Int’l, Inc., 2016 Ark. 157. Mendoza decided only the constitutional question, certified by a federal district court, and did not rule on such evidence’s admissibility. The court reasoned that the statute was a rule of evidence and hence a rule “of pleading, practice and procedure,” which “falls within this court’s domain,” rather than a matter of substantive law for the legislature. Id. at 5.
Insertion of an inapplicable statute may be reversible error. CRT, Inc. v. Dunn, 248 Ark. 197, 451 S.W.2d 215 (1970). Similarly, portions of the statute, ordinance, or regulation not applicable to the facts in the case must be deleted. Harkrider v. Cox, 230 Ark. 155, 321 S.W.2d 226 (1959).
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