Rule 43A.03. Juror Questions of Witnesses

In the court’s discretion, a juror desiring to propound a question to a witness may be permitted to do so. The juror must put the question in written form and submit it to the judge through a court officer at the end of a witness’ testimony. The judge shall review all such questions and, outside the hearing of the jury, shall consult the parties about whether the question should be propounded. The judge, in his or her discretion, may ask the juror’s question in whole or part and may change the wording of the juror’s question before propounding it to the witness. The judge may permit counsel to ask the question in its original or amended form in whole or part, in the judge’s discretion. When juror questions are permitted, early in the trial jurors shall be instructed about the mechanics of asking a question. In addition, the jurors shall be instructed to give no meaning to the fact that the judge chose not to ask a question or altered the wording of a question submitted by a juror. A juror’s question shall be anonymous, so that the juror’s name is not included in the question. All jurors’ questions, whether approved or disapproved by the court, shall be retained for the record. [Added effective July 1, 2003.]
Click here for Advisory Commission Comments to Rules 43A.01-43A.03.

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