Civil Procedure Keyed to Cound
Flowers v. Flowers
The mother and Plaintiff, Billie Charlene Flowers (Plaintiff) and the father and Defendant, R.A. Flowers, Jr. (Defendant), were involved in a child custody suit that took place in a small town where many members of the community were familiar with the case and its litigants. During voire dire, jurors were asked whether evidence showing Plaintiff was a social drinker would alone influence the juror’s determination as to who should have custody. The juror in question, Mrs. Schmidt, vehemently stated she was against the consumption of alcohol, but that she could be impartial even if the evidence showed Plaintiff got drunk a few times. The court overruled the challenge of the juror for cause. An affidavit of a fellow juror stated that Mrs. Schmidt made comments about how she felt sorry for the Defendant and admired him and that the Plaintiff had run out on the Defendant once before. These statements were made to other prospective jurors before Mrs. Schmidt was chosen and sworn to serve as a juror. At the motion for mistrial and motion for new trial based on the affidavit, the judge refused to hear the juror’s affidavit testimony. On the hearing for the motion for a new trial, the Plaintiff claimed that there were other jurors she did not like, including Mrs. Schmidt. Had Mrs. Schmidt revealed her true feelings about her partiality, the Plaintiff would have used a peremptory challenge on her rather than another juror.
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