A judgment notwithstanding the verdict motion in California is the topic of this blog post.
A judgment notwithstanding the verdict motion in California is authorized under the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 629.
A JNOV motion is an even more powerful tool than a motion for new trial. This is due to the fact that a JNOV motion challenges the legal sufficiency of the evidence at trial prevailing on the motion results in a new and different judgment in the moving party's favor.
However a JNOV motion is more limited in scope than a motion for new trial. The main limitation to the JNOV is that the trial court's power to grant a motion for JNOV is severely limited. The trial court may not grant a JNOV unless there is an actual verdict. If the jury returns no verdict or an incomprehensible verdict, a JNOV is not appropriate.
A JNOV also differs from a motion for a new trial in that a JNOV motion consists of a single document. The entire motion, including the notice of motion and memorandum of points and authorities, is due at the same time as the notice of intent to move for a new trial.
Code of Civil Procedure § 629 states in pertinent part that, “The court, before the expiration of its power to rule on a motion for a new trial, either of its own motion, after five days’ notice, or on motion of a party against whom a verdict has been rendered, shall render judgment in favor of the aggrieved party notwithstanding the verdict whenever a motion for a directed verdict for the aggrieved party should have been granted had a previous motion been made.”
Because new trial and JNOV motions are often sought concurrently, the time limit for filing the JNOV motion is exactly the same as the time for filing a notice of intent to move for a new trial.
A JNOV motion must be filed and served on all adverse parties within the period for filing a new trial notice of intent under Code of Civil Procedure Section 659 which is within 15 days of the date of mailing notice of entry of judgment by the clerk of the court, or service upon the moving party by any party of written notice of entry of judgment, or within 180 days after the entry of judgment, whichever is earliest. This time period cannot be extended by any court or any stipulation.
Because the filing of a JNOV motion contemplates entry of a new and different judgment you should include a proposed judgment when you file the motion or at the very latest submit it to the court at the time of hearing at the latest. This is very important because the trial court has a very limited time in which to act on the motion for JNOV.
However if no substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdict a JNOV must be granted as one California Court of Appeal has ruled in a published case that the purpose of a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict is not to afford a review of the jury's deliberation but to prevent a miscarriage of justice in those cases where the verdict rendered is without foundation.
Sample judgment notwithstanding the verdict motion in California for sale.
Attorneys and parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict that contains a memorandum of points and authorities, proposed order and proof of service by mail can see below.
The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for sale.
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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.