You spent four days in trial, called 10 witnessed, spent thousands of dollars and the jury comes back and says they are deadlocked, and they can't reach a decision on your case.
The actual process depends on the judge's procedure and personality. Some judge's will call the jurors in and ask the foreman if they are deadlocked and if there is any chance of making a decision?
Other judge's will give the jurors an Allen Charge where they are brought into the court room, instructed on the process of deliberation, and told to go back into the jury room and discuss the issues keeping an open mind.
Some judge's will give an Allen charge once others will give it a couple of times. However, if the jury comes back in and says they cannot reach a decision – the judge has no option but to declare a mistrial.
The case will be reset for a jury trial by the court and the parties will have to start over.
Sometimes the parties learn a lot of information at the trial and are able to negotiate a settlement other times the parties their dig their heels in deeper and the case needs to tried again.
A deadlocked jury is one of the risks of going to trial and something that should always be looked at when trying to decide if a case should be settled.
If you have any questions about the Indiana jury process, you can give us a call at (219) 690-8997.