Saturday, September 26, 2009

Waiver Of Peremptory Challenge To African-American Juror And Waiver Of Challenge To Admissibility Of Evidence

In USAA Casualty Insurance Company v. Allen (4D08-3380), the Fourth District held Appellant failed to preserve its objection to the trial court’s denial of appellant’s use of a peremptory challenge against an African-American juror under the procedure required by Melbourne v. State, 679 So. 2d 759, 765 (Fla. 1996)" and that the appellant had not properly preserved a motion in limine relating to the admissibility of evidence.

With regard to the juror challenge, the court stated: "In order to preserve the issue of whether the trial court’s ruling on a peremptory challenge constitutes reversible error, the appellant must accept the juror, or panel, subject to its prior objection and/or renew the objection before the jury is sworn."
As to the evidence, the trial court did not definitively rule on the objections to the evidence.  "It was thus incumbent on appellant to object when the appellees sought to introduce the evidence, which it did not do. Therefore, appellant failed to preserve the issue for appeal.


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