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Turner v. Computer Sciences Corp.

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

October 23, 2013

ADAM TURNER, Plaintiff,
v.
COMPUTER SCIENCES CORP., Defendant.

ORDER

LEE H. ROSENTHAL, District Judge.

This employment discrimination case was filed in January 2013 and timely removed from state court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. When the plaintiff filed suit, he did not demand a jury. Nor did he demand a jury within the 14 days after the defendant filed an answer. Instead, the plaintiff filed a jury demand in July 2013, when he amended his complaint. That was over six months after he filed suit and over two months after the deadline expired. The amended complaint added a new theory of recovery, based like the prior claims on allegations that he was fired based on racial discrimination and retaliation. The amended complaint did not plead additional facts or explain why a jury demand had not been sought earlier.

The defendant has moved to strike the plaintiff's jury demand. (Docket Entry No. 26). The plaintiff has filed no response.

Rules 38 and 39 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide:

Rule 38. Right to a Jury Trial; Demand
(a) Right Preserved. The right of trial by jury as declared by the Seventh Amendment to the constitution-or as provided by a federal statute-is preserved to the parties inviolate. (b) Demand. On any issue triable of right by a jury, a party may demand a jury trial by:
(1) serving the other parties with a written demand-which may be included in a pleading-no later than 14 days after the last pleading directed to the issue is served; and
(2) filing the demand in accordance with Rule 5(d).
(c) Specifying Issues. In its demand, a party may specify the issues that it wishes to have tried by a jury; otherwise, it is considered to have demanded a jury trial on all the issues so triable. If the party has demanded a jury trial on only some issues, any other party may-within 14 days after being served with the demand or within a shorter time ordered by the court-serve a demand for a jury trial on any other or all factual issues triable by jury.
(d) Waiver; Withdrawal. A party waives a jury trial unless its demand is properly served and filed. A proper demand may be withdrawn only if the parties consent.
...
Rule 39. Trial by Jury or by the Court
(a) When a Demand is Made. When a jury trial has been demanded under Rule 38, the action must be designated on the docket as a jury action. The trial on all ...

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