Saturday, February 21, 2015

State v. Blann – Waiver of Criminal Jury Trial Form

State v. Blann – Waiver of Criminal Jury Trial Form
R. 1:8-1(a) requires that a jury trial is to be held in criminal matters, unless the
defendant executes a written waiver. On May 28, 2014, in State v. Blann, 217 N.J. 517
(2014) the Supreme Court directed the Administrative Director of the Courts to
promulgate a statewide jury waiver form for use in criminal cases. The Court stated that
the form, at a minimum, must highlight that a defendant who elects to waive the right to a
jury trial has been advised that:
(1) a jury is composed of 12 members of the
community, (2) a defendant may participate in the
selection of jurors, (3) all 12 jurors must unanimously
vote to convict in order for a conviction to be obtained,
and (4) if a defendant waives a jury trial, a judge alone
will decide his/her guilt or innocence.
[State v. Blann, 217 N.J. at 518 (quoting State v.
Blann, 429 N.J. Super. 220, 250 (App. Div. 2013)
(Lisa, J.A.D., retired and temporarily assigned on
recall, dissenting))].
The Committee developed a waiver of jury trial form for use in criminal cases,
which was promulgated by Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) Directive #03-14

on June 27, 2014.