The Seventh Amendment (Amendment VII) to US Constitution is viewed as the portion of bill of rights. The amendment organizes the right to a panel of judge’s trial in specific civil cases and prevents law courts from upending the findings of jury. The previous version of the Seventh Amendment was bought forward by Congress during 1789 by James Madison together with other amendments in respect of objections raised by anti-federalist regarding the new constitution. Congress proposed the revised version of Seventh Amendment to states during September 28, 1789 and by December 15, 1791, the necessary three quarters of states had already approved the same. On 1st March, 1792 the Secretary of State made an announcement regarding the adoption of amendment.
The Seventh Amendment is usually viewed as one of the straightforward amendments of Bill of Rights. Whereas the Seventh Amendment provision for jury trails in the civil cases has not once been incorporated and practically each state voluntarily adheres with the requirements of Seventh Amendment. Majority of the Seventh Amendment’s provisions were rooted in the English common law tradition, and over the time it has experienced few marginal changes.
The total number of jurors have been cut from 12 to 6 while parties might waive their right to trial by jury in favour of direct verdict while distinguishing the other characteristics of common law tradition and the amendment continuous to remain intact. The Seventh Amendment should be considered as unincorporated right which means that it is yet to be bought inside the scope of protection that are offered to states under Fourteenth Amendment’s due procedure clause.
It mainly governs the federal civil courts and it does not have any kind of application on the civil courts that are set up by states when the courts make an attempt of hearing only disputes of state law.
The prohibition of overturning the jury’s findings of fact is applicable on the federal cases, state cases involving the federal law and reviewing the state cases by federal cases. As held in “United States v Wonson (1812)” it established the historical test which interpreted amendment by remaining dependent on English common law to ascertaining whether the panel of judge’s trial was necessary in civil suit. The amendment however does not provide guarantee trial by jury in cases that are under the maritime law for lawsuits that are against government and for several parts of patent claims.
In another case of “Beacon Theatres v Westover (1959)” the law court held that a district court made a mistake while trying to resolve all the issues itself in action where the plaintiff sought after a declaratory judgement and injunction which prevented the plaintiff from seeking declaratory judgement. Additionally, the plaintiff also sought injunction barring the defendant from instituting an anti-trust action against it and the defendant filed the counter claim which alleged the violation of anti-trust laws and asked for treble damages.
Unlike majority of the provision of Bill of Rights, the Seventh Amendment was never applied on states. The supreme court in “Walker v Souvinet (1975)” held that states were not required to offer jury trials in civil cases.
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