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RULE 2-521. JURY--REVIEW OF EVIDENCE--COMMUNICATIONS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 2. Civil Procedure--Circuit Court
Chapter 500. Trial
MD Rules, Rule 2-521
RULE 2-521. JURY--REVIEW OF EVIDENCE--COMMUNICATIONS
(a) Jurors' Notes. The court may, and on request of any party shall, provide paper notepads for use by sworn jurors, including any alternates, during trial and deliberations. The court shall maintain control over the jurors' notes during the trial and promptly destroy the notes after the trial. Notes may not be reviewed or relied upon for any purpose by any person other than the author. If a sworn juror is unable to use a notepad because of a disability, the court shall provide a reasonable accommodation.
(b) Items Taken to Jury Room. Sworn jurors may take their notes with them when they retire for deliberation. Unless the court for good cause orders otherwise, the jury may also take exhibits that have been admitted in evidence, except that a deposition may not be taken into the jury room without the agreement of all parties and consent of the court. Written or electronically recorded instructions may be taken into the jury room only with the permission of the court.
Cross reference: See Rule 5-802.1(e).
(c) Jury Request to Review Evidence. The court, after notice to the parties, may make available to the jury testimony or other evidence requested by it. In order that undue prominence not be given to the evidence requested, the court may also make available additional evidence relating to the same factual issue.
(d) Communications With Jury.
(1) Instruction to Use Juror Number. The judge shall instruct the jury, in any preliminary instructions and in instructions given prior to jury deliberations that, in any written communication from a juror, the juror shall be identified only by juror number.
(2) Notification of Judge; Duty of Judge.
(A) A court official or employee who receives any written or oral communication from the jury or a juror shall immediately notify the presiding judge of the communication.
(B) The judge shall determine whether the communication pertains to the action. If the judge determines that the communication does not pertain to the action, the judge may respond as he or she deems appropriate.
Committee note: Whether a communication pertains to the action is defined by case law. See, for example, Harris v. State, 428 Md. 700 (2012) and Grade v. State, 431 Md. 85 (2013).
(C) If the judge determines that the communication pertains to the action, the judge shall promptly, and before responding to the communication, direct that the parties be notified of the communication and invite and consider, on the record, the parties' position on any response. The judge may respond to the communication in writing or orally in open court on the record.
(3) Duty of Clerk.
(A) The clerk shall enter on the docket (i) the date and time that each communication from the jury or a juror was received by or reported to the judge, (ii) whether the communication was written or oral, and, if oral, the nature of the communication, (iii) whether the judge concluded that the communication pertained to the action, and (iv) if so, whether the parties and attorneys were notified and had an opportunity on the record to state their position on any response.
(B) The clerk shall enter in the electronic or paper file each written communication from the jury or a juror and each written response by the judge. Any identification of a juror other than the juror number shall be redacted.
(C) In any entry made by the clerk, a juror shall be identified only by juror number.
Source: This Rule is derived as follows:
Section (a) is new.
Section (b) is derived from former Rules 558 a, b and d and 758 b.
Section (c) is derived from former Rule 758 c.
Section (d) is derived in part from former Rule 758 d and is in part new.

Credits

[Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984. Amended Dec. 15, 1993, eff. July 1, 1994; Nov. 12, 2003, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; April 5, 2005, eff. July 1, 2005; Dec. 4, 2007, eff. Jan. 1, 2008; Oct. 17, 2013, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; March 2, 2015, eff. July 1, 2015.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
2003 Orders
The November 12, 2003, order added section (a), relating to jurors' notes; redesignated former sections (a) through (c) as sections (b) through (d), respectively; in former section (a), now section (b), substituted “Jurors may take their notes with them when they retire for deliberation” for “Jurors may take notes regarding the evidence and may keep the notes with them when they retire for deliberation”; in former section (c), now section (d), in the first sentence, inserted “as promptly as practicable and in any event”; and amended the source note.
2005 Orders
The April 5, 2005 order in section (d), added the last sentence.
2007 Orders
The December 4, 2007, order rewrote section (a); and in section (b), substituted ‘‘Sworn jurors’’ for ‘‘Jurors’’. Section (a) previously read:
‘‘(a) Jurors' Notes. The court may, and upon request of any party shall, provide paper notepads for use by jurors during trial and deliberations. The court shall maintain control over the jurors' notes during the trial and promptly destroy the jurors' notes after the trial. A juror's notes may not be reviewed or relied upon for any purpose by any person other than the juror. If a juror is unable to use a notepad because of a disability, the court shall provide a reasonable accommodation.’’
2013 Orders
The October 17, 2013, order amended the Rule to delete section (d) and add a new section (d) specifying certain duties of judges, clerks, and other court officials and employees concerning written and oral communications from the jury.
2015 Orders
The March 2, 2015, order added subsection (d)(1) to provide for juror communication using juror numbers; added the words “or a juror” to subsection (d)(2)(A); added language to subsection (d)(2)(B) providing for certain actions by a judge who receives a juror communication; added a Committee note after subsection (d)(2)(B); added language to subsection (d)(2)(C) pertaining to a judicial determination that a juror communication pertains to the action; and amending subsection (d)(3) as to how the clerk handles a juror communication.
MD Rules, Rule 2-521, MD R RCP CIR CT Rule 2-521
Current with amendments received through November 15, 2019.
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