Current through 2021-2022 Regular Session Chapter 884
Section 9-11-50 - Motions for directed verdict and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict(a)Motion for directed verdict; when made; effect. A motion for a directed verdict may be made at the close of the evidence offered by an opponent or at the close of the case. A party who moves for a directed verdict at the close of the evidence offered by an opponent may offer evidence in the event that a motion is not granted without having reserved the right to do so and to the same extent as if the motion had not been made. A motion for a directed verdict which is not granted is not a waiver of trial by jury even though all parties to the action have moved for directed verdicts. A motion for a directed verdict shall state the specific grounds therefor. The order of the court granting a motion for a directed verdict is effective without any assent of the jury. If there is no conflict in the evidence as to any material issue and the evidence introduced, with all reasonable deductions therefrom, shall demand a particular verdict, such verdict shall be directed.(b)Motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict -- When made; new trial motion. Whenever a motion for a directed verdict made at the close of all the evidence is denied or for any reason is not granted, the court is deemed to have submitted the action to the jury subject to a later determination of the legal questions raised by the motion. Not later than 30 days after entry of judgment, a party who has moved for a directed verdict may move to have the verdict and any judgment entered thereon set aside and to have judgment entered in accordance with his motion for a directed verdict; or, if a verdict was not returned, such party, within 30 days after the jury has been discharged, may move for judgment in accordance with his motion for a directed verdict. A motion for a new trial may be joined with this motion, or a new trial may be prayed for in the alternative. If a verdict was returned, the court may allow the judgment to stand or may reopen the judgment and either order a new trial or direct the entry of judgment as if the requested verdict had been directed. If no verdict was returned, the court may direct the entry of judgment as if the requested verdict had been directed or may order a new trial.(c)Same -- Conditional rulings on grant of motion; motion for new trial by losing party.(1) If the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section is granted, the court shall also rule on the motion for a new trial, if any, by determining whether it should be granted if the judgment is thereafter vacated or reversed and shall specify the grounds for granting or denying the motion for the new trial. If the motion for a new trial is thus conditionally granted, the order thereon does not affect the finality of the judgment. In case the motion for a new trial has been conditionally granted and the judgment is reversed on appeal, the new trial shall proceed unless the appellate court has otherwise ordered. In case the motion for a new trial has been conditionally denied, the appellee on appeal may assert error in that denial; and, if the judgment is reversed on appeal, subsequent proceedings shall be in accordance with the order of the appellate court.(2) The party whose verdict has been set aside on motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict may serve a motion for a new trial not later than 30 days after entry of the judgment notwithstanding the verdict.(d)Same -- Denial of motion. If the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict is denied, the party who prevailed on that motion may, as appellee, assert grounds entitling him to a new trial in the event the appellate court concludes that the trial court erred in denying the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. If the appellate court reverses the judgment, nothing in this Code section precludes it from determining that the appellee is entitled to a new trial or from directing the trial court to determine whether a new trial shall be granted.(e)Erroneous denial of directed verdict. Where error is enumerated upon an order denying a motion for directed verdict and the appellate court determines that the motion was erroneously denied, it may direct that judgment be entered below in accordance with the motion or may order that a new trial be had, as the court may determine necessary to meet the ends of justice under the facts of the case.