Rule 2.512 Instructions to Jury

(A)   Request for Instructions.

(1)   At a time the court reasonably directs, the parties must file written requests that the court instruct the jury on the law as stated in the requests. In the absence of a direction from the court, a party may file a written request for jury instructions at or before the close of the evidence.

(2)   In addition to requests for instructions submitted under subrule (A)(1), after the close of the evidence, each party shall submit in writing to the court a statement of the issues and may submit the party’s theory of the case regarding each issue. The statement must be concise, be narrative in form, and set forth as issues only those disputed propositions of fact that are supported by the evidence. The theory may include those claims supported by the evidence or admitted.

(3)   A copy of the requested instructions must be served on the adverse parties in accordance with MCR 2.107.

(4)   The court shall inform the attorneys of its proposed action on the requests before their arguments to the jury.

(5)   The court need not give the statements of issues or theories of the case in the form submitted if the court presents to the jury the material substance of the issues and theories of each party.

(B)   Instructing the Jury.

(1)   At any time during the trial, the court may, with or without request, instruct the jury on a point of law if the instruction will materially aid the jury in understanding the proceedings and arriving at a just verdict.

(2)   Before or after arguments or at both times, as the court elects, the court shall instruct the jury on the applicable law, the issues presented by the case, and, if a party requests as provided in subrule (A)(2), that party’s theory of the case.

(C)   Objections. A party may assign as error the giving of or the failure to give an instruction only if the party objects on the record before the jury retires to consider the verdict (or, in the case of instructions given after deliberations have begun, before the jury resumes deliberations), stating specifically the matter to which the party objects and the grounds for the objection. Opportunity must be given to make the objection out of the hearing of the jury.

(D)   Model Civil Jury Instructions and Model Criminal Jury Instructions.

(1)   The Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions and the Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions appointed by the Supreme Court have the authority to adopt model jury instructions and to amend or repeal those instructions approved by the predecessor committee. Before adopting, amending, or repealing an instruction, each committee shall publish notice of the committee’s intent, together with the text of the instruction to be adopted, or the amendment to be made, or a reference to the instruction to be repealed, in the manner provided in MCR 1.201. The notice shall specify the time and manner for commenting on the proposal. If the committee finds it necessary to take immediate action, the committee may adopt a new instruction or revision while the public comment period is pending. The committee shall thereafter publish notice of its final action on the proposed change, including, if appropriate, the effective date of the adoption, amendment, or repeal. A model jury instruction does not have the force and effect of a court rule.

(2)   Pertinent portions of the instructions approved by the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions or the Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions or a predecessor committee must be given in each action in which jury instructions are given if

(a)   they are applicable,

(b)   they accurately state the applicable law, and

(c)   they are requested by a party.

(3)   Whenever a committee recommends that no instruction be given on a particular matter, the court shall not give an instruction unless it specifically finds for reasons stated on the record that

(a)   the instruction is necessary to state the applicable law accurately, and

(b)   the matter is not adequately covered by other pertinent model civil jury instructions.

(4)   This subrule does not limit the power of the court to give additional instructions on applicable law not covered by the model instructions. Additional instructions, when given, must be patterned as nearly as practicable after the style of the model instructions and must be concise, understandable, conversational, unslanted, and nonargumentative.