JUDGE’S INQUIRY WHEN JURY REPORTS INABILITY TO REACH VERDICT Model Jury charge NJ Criminal cases
You have indicated that your deliberations have reached an impasse. Do you feel that further deliberations will be beneficial or do you feel that you have reached a point at which further deliberations would be futile? Please return to the jury room to confer, and advise me of your decision in another note.
 This charge presumes that the jury already has indicated its deadlock and has been instructed about continuing deliberations. See Model Jury Charges, (Criminal), Judge’s Instructions on Further Jury Deliberations (approved 1/14/13). It is the trial court’s responsibility, in consultation with the parties, to determine when to inquire of the jury if further deliberations would be fruitful. The trial judge may not impose a time limit for further jury deliberations. State v. Nelson, 304 N.J. Super. 561, 566 (App. Div. 1997).
 When a jury states that it cannot come to a unanimous verdict, it is appropriate for a trial judge to ask whether the jury desires more time to deliberate. State v. Vergilio, 261 N.J. Super. 648, 655 (App. Div.) certif. denied, 133 N.J. 443 (1993). A trial judge has discretion to require further deliberations after a jury has announced a deadlock but may declare a mistrial after a reasonable period of deliberations based upon the length and complexity of the trial. State v. Adim, 410 N.J. Super. 410, 423-24 (App Div. 2009). If the jurors indicate that further deliberations would be futile, the court should grant a mistrial. This would not prevent a retrial. N.J.S.A. 2C:1-9d(2).