State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_1A > GS_1A-1__Rule_51

Rule 51. Instructions to jury.

(a)        Judge to explainlaw but give no opinion on facts. – In charging the jury in any action governedby these rules, a judge shall not give an opinion as to whether or not a factis fully or sufficiently proved and shall not be required to state, summarizeor recapitulate the evidence, or to explain the application of the law to theevidence. If the judge undertakes to state the contentions of the parties, heshall give equal stress to the contentions of each party.

(b)        Requests forspecial instructions. – Requests for special instructions must be in writing,entitled in the cause, and signed by the counsel or party submitting them. Suchrequests for special instructions must be submitted to the judge before thejudge's charge to the jury is begun. The judge may, in his discretion, considersuch requests regardless of the time they are made. Written requests forspecial instructions shall, after their submission to the judge, be filed withthe clerk as a part of the record.

(c)        Judge not tocomment on verdict. – The judge shall make no comment on any verdict in opencourt in the presence or hearing of any member of the jury panel; and if anyjudge shall make any comment as herein prohibited or shall praise or criticizeany jury on account of its verdict, whether such praise, criticism or commentbe made inadvertently or intentionally, such praise, criticism or comment bythe judge shall for any party to any other action remaining to be triedconstitute valid grounds as a matter of right for a continuance of any actionto a time when all members of the jury panel are no longer serving. Theprovisions of this section shall not be applicable upon the hearing of motionsfor a new trial or for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. (1967,c. 954, s. 1; 1985, c. 537, s. 2.)