Amdt14.S1.5.4.7 Trials and Appeals

Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Trial by jury in civil trials, unlike the case in criminal trials, has not been deemed essential to due process, and the Fourteenth Amendment has not been held to restrain the states in retaining or abolishing civil juries. 1 Thus, abolition of juries in proceedings to enforce liens, 2 mandamus 3 and quo warranto 4 actions, and in eminent domain 5 and equity 6 proceedings has been approved. states are also free to adopt innovations respecting selection and number of jurors. Verdicts rendered by ten out of twelve jurors may be substituted for the requirement of unanimity, 7 and petit juries containing eight rather than the conventional number of twelve members may be established. 8

If a full and fair trial on the merits is provided, due process does not require a state to provide appellate review. 9 But if an appeal is afforded, the state must not so structure it as to arbitrarily deny to some persons the right or privilege available to others. 10

Footnotes

  1.  Walker v. Sauvinet, 92 U.S. 90 (1876); New York Central R.R. v. White, 243 U.S. 188, 208 (1917).
  2.  Marvin v. Trout, 199 U.S. 212, 226 (1905).
  3.  In re Delgado, 140 U.S. 586, 588 (1891).
  4.  Wilson v. North Carolina, 169 U.S. 586 (1898); Foster v. Kansas, 112 U.S. 201, 206 (1884).
  5.  Long Island Water Supply Co. v. Brooklyn, 166 U.S. 685, 694 (1897).
  6.  Montana Co. v. St. Louis M. & M. Co., 152 U.S. 160, 171 (1894).
  7.  See Jordan v. Massachusetts, 225 U.S. 167, 176 (1912).
  8.  See Maxwell v. Dow, 176 U.S. 581, 602 (1900).
  9.  Lindsey v. Normet, 405 U.S. 56, 77 (1972) (citing cases).
  10.  405 U.S. at 74-79 (conditioning appeal in eviction action upon tenant posting bond, with two sureties, in twice the amount of rent expected to accrue pending appeal, is invalid when no similar provision is applied to other cases). Cf. Bankers Life & Casualty Co. v. Crenshaw, 486 U.S. 71 (1988) (assessment of 15% penalty on party who unsuccessfully appeals from money judgment meets rational basis test under equal protection challenge, since it applies to plaintiffs and defendants alike and does not single out one class of appellants).