CACI 201 Highly Probable—Clear and Convincing Proof

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

201 Highly Probable—Clear and Convincing Proof

Certain facts must be proved by clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher burden of proof. This means the party must persuade you that it is highly probable that the fact is true. I will tell you specifically which facts must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

Directions for Use

Evidence Code section 502 requires the court to instruct the jury regarding which party bears the burden of proof on each issue and the requisite degree of proof.

This instruction should be read immediately after CACI No. 200, Obligation to Prove—More Likely True Than Not True, if the jury will have to decide an issue by means of the clear-and-convincing evidence standard.

Sources and Authority

Burden of Proof. Evidence Code section 115.

Party With Burden of Proof. Evidence Code section 500.

“Proof by clear and convincing evidence is required ‘where particularly important individual interests or rights are at stake,’ such as the termination of parental rights, involuntary commitment, and deportation. However, ‘imposition of even severe civil sanctions that do not implicate such interests has been permitted after proof by a preponderance of the evidence.’ ” (Weiner v. Fleischman (1991) 54 Cal.3d 476, 487 [286 Cal.Rptr. 40, 816 P.2d 892] (quoting Herman & MacLean v. Huddleston (1983) 459 U.S. 375, 389–390).)

“ ‘Clear and convincing’ evidence requires a finding of high probability.” (In re Angelia P. (1981) 28 Cal.3d 908, 919 [171 Cal.Rptr. 637, 623 P.2d 198].)

“Under the clear and convincing standard, the evidence must be ‘ “ ‘ “so clear as to leave no substantial doubt” ’ ” ’ and ‘ “ ‘ “sufficiently strong to command the unhesitating assent of every reasonable mind.” ’ ” ’ ” (Butte Fire Cases (2018) 24 Cal.App.5th 1150, 1158 [235 Cal.Rptr.3d 228].)

“We decline to hold that CACI No. 201 should be augmented to require that ‘the evidence must be “so clear as to leave no substantial doubt” and “sufficiently strong as to command the unhesitating assent of every reasonable mind.” ’ Neither In re Angelia P., supra, 28 Cal.3d 908, nor any more recent authority mandates that augmentation, and the proposed additional language is dangerously similar to that describing the burden of proof in criminal cases.” (Nevarrez v. San Marino Skilled Nursing & Wellness Center (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 102, 114 [163 Cal.Rptr.3d 874].)

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Burden of Proof and Presumptions, §§ 39, 40
Jefferson, California Evidence Benchbook (3d ed. 1997) §§ 45.4, 45.21
4 California Trial Guide, Unit 91, Jury Deliberations and Rendition of Verdict, § 91.20 (Matthew Bender)
48 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 551, Trial, §§ 551.90, 551.92 (Matthew Bender)
1 Cathcart et al., Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Debt Collection and Enforcement of Judgments, Ch. 9, Burdens of Proof and Persuasion, 9.16