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Rule 295. Correction of Verdict (1988)


If the purported verdict is defective, the court may direct it to be reformed. If it is incomplete, or not responsive to the questions contained in the court's charge, or the answers to the questions are in conflict, the court shall in writing instruct the jury in open court of the nature of the incompleteness, unresponsiveness, or conflict, provide the jury such additional instructions as may be proper, and retire the jury for further deliberations.

Amended by order of July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Comment. The amendment makes it clear that the court may direct a complete yet defective verdict to be reformed. The amendment also makes it clear that in the event the verdict is incomplete or otherwise improper, the court is limited to giving the jury additional instructions in writing.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941  


(No. 86c) Question: In Consolidated Underwriters v. Ruff, 164 S.W.2d 550 (Tex. Civ. App.-Beaumont 1942), the Court of Civil Appeals held that the action of the trial court in orally calling attention to a conflict in the jury's findings instead of reducing that instruction to writing, in accordance with Rule 295, committed reversible error upon the ground, as expressed in its opinion, that "In giving additional charges to the jury this rule must be complied with, since it has the force and effect of a statute.... Where the statute regulating the giving of the charges to the jury is violated, error must be presumed." The Supreme Court refused application for writ of error in the case for want of merit, thus declining, under Rule 483, to approve the opinion. Does the violation of such a requirement as is found in Rule 295 present a case of presumed harm?

Answer: In our opinion the answer should be in the negative. As to presumed harm, see the above questions and answers and No. 35 in 5 Tex. B.J. 170. As to the pertinent distinction between rules and statutes see No.6, 5 Tex. B.J. 168 and Texas Employers' Ins. Ass'n v. Lightfoot, 139 Tex. 304, 162 S.W.2d 929 (1942). Although the Subcommittee, considers that the result should be the same if a statute had been involved, that question is not presented here because in this instance the requirement of writing is found entirely in a rule of court.

6 Tex. B.J. 77 (1943) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 33 (1945).