CACI 3067 Unruh Civil Rights Act—Damages (Civ. Code, §§ 51, 52(a))

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

3067 Unruh Civil Rights Act—Damages (Civ. Code, §§ 51, 52(a))

If you decide that [name of plaintiff] has proved [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] claim against [name of defendant], you also must decide how much money will reasonably compensate [him/her/nonbinary pronoun] for the harm. This compensation is called “damages.”

[Name of plaintiff] must prove the amount of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] damages. However, [name of plaintiff] does not have to prove the exact amount of the harm or the exact amount of damages that will provide reasonable compensation for the harm. You must not speculate or guess in awarding damages.

The following are the specific items of damages claimed by [name of plaintiff]:

[Insert item(s) of claimed harm.]

In addition, you may award [name of plaintiff] up to three times the amount of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] actual damages as a penalty against [name of defendant].

New September 2003; Revised June 2012; Renumbered from CACI No. 3026 December 2012; Revised June 2013

Crowdsource Lawyers

Directions for Use

Give this instruction for violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act in which actual damages are claimed. (See Civ. Code, § 51; CACI No. 3060, Unruh Civil Rights Act—Essential Factual Elements.) This instruction may also be given for claims under Civil Code section 51.5 (see CACI No. 3061, Discrimination in Business Dealings—Essential Factual Elements) and Civil Code section 51.6 (see CACI No. 3062, Gender Price Discrimination—Essential Factual Elements). If the only claim is for statutory damages of $4,000 (see Civ. Code, § 52(a)), this instruction is not needed. (See Koire v. Metro Car Wash (1985) 40 Cal.3d 24, 33 [219 Cal.Rptr. 133, 707 P.2d 195] [Unruh Act violations are per se injurious; Civ. Code, § 52(a) provides for minimum statutory damages for every violation regardless of the plaintiff’s actual damages]; see also Civ. Code, § 52(h) [“actual damages” means special and general damages].)

See the instructions in the Damages series (CACI Nos. 3900 et seq.) for additional instructions on actual damages and punitive damages. Note that the statutory minimum amount of recovery for a plaintiff is $4,000 in addition to actual damages. If the verdict is for less than that amount, the judge should modify the verdict to reflect the statutory minimum.

Sources and Authority

Remedies Under Unruh Act and Other Civil Rights Statutes. Civil Code section 52(a).

“[B]y passing the Unruh Act, the Legislature established that arbitrary sex discrimination by businesses is per se injurious. Section 51 provides that all patrons are entitled to equal treatment. Section 52 provides for minimum statutory damages … for every violation of section 51, regardless of the plaintiff’s actual damages.” (Koiresupra, 40 Cal.3d at p. 33, original italics.)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1030, 1715–1724
8 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Constitutional Law, §§ 994, 995
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 7-G, Unruh Civil Rights Act, ¶ 7:1525 et seq. (The Rutter Group)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 116, Civil Rights: Discrimination in Business Establishments, § 116.15 (Matthew Bender)