Premptory Challenges, Number of

Number of Peremptory Challenges

The recent amendment to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.431(g)(2), did not affect the number, method, or process involved in raising peremptory challenges directed to the main jury panel. The number of strikes, the methods used, and the process remain the same. Each party is still allowed three peremptory challenges. These challenges may be raised at any time before the jury is sworn. When the number of parties per side is unequal, then the side with fewer parties will be allowed the same total number of peremptory strikes as the side with more parties. For example, if there is only one party plaintiff, but there are three party defendants, then the plaintiff will be allowed nine peremptory challenges and the defendant will be allowed nine peremptory challenges. The amendment to the Rule changed or clarified the method of attaining alternate jurors. Now, in multi-party cases, each side will be allowed the same number of peremptory challenges on the basis of one per party based on the side with the greater number of parties. Thus, if there are three defendants and one plaintiff in a case, each side will be able to assert three peremptory strikes during the selection of alternate jurors. Remember this change the next time you are selecting alternate jurors.