The word mistrial, the term applied to either a trial that is terminated prematurely by order of the trial court or a trial that ends inconclusively because the jury is unable to reach a verdict, does not appear in the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rules governing post-trial motions (CR 50.02, 59.01, 59.05 and 60.02) by their own terms apply to proceedings initiated by a motion filed after conclusion of a trial and/or after entry of judgment. A trial court, however, has inherent power under the common law to grant a mistrial, thereby terminating an ongoing trial prior to its conclusion, and to order a new trial based on a significant procedural or evidentiary error, on serious misconduct by a party, a party’s counsel, a witness, or a juror, or on an event beyond the control of the court or the parties that materially impairs a party’s right to a fair trial or that would cause the verdict of the jury to be contrary to law.
Kentucky courts consider a mistrial to be an “extreme remedy” that “should be resorted to only when there is a fundamental defect in the proceedings.” Kentucky courts have adopted a standard of “manifest necessity” for granting a mistrial, under which a trial judge should grant a motion for a mistrial only when there is a manifest necessity for doing so. Manifest necessity is present when the occurrence complained of is of such a “character and magnitude that a litigant will be denied a fair and impartial trial, and the prejudicial effect can be removed in no other way.” The manifest necessity rule has long been adhered to by the federal courts.
The power to grant a mistrial and order a new trial is within the discretion of the trial court.  An appellate court will not overturn the decision of the trial court to deny a mistrial except for an abuse of discretion.
Juror misconduct is grounds for mistrial, but does not automatically require one. A court must determine whether the misconduct has prejudiced a party to the extent that he or she is unable to receive, or has not received, a fair trial.
If the number of remaining jurors during a trial becomes fewer than that required by law for a verdict (12 for a civil action in circuit court, six for a civil action in district court), such is grounds for a mistrial and new trial, provided that the parties may stipulate that a verdict may be rendered by a jury consisting of a lesser number than that otherwise required by law. Certain other errors or irregularities in the jury’s verdict may also be grounds for a mistrial and new trial.
As stated above, the term mistrial is also applied to a trial court’s order entered after a jury is unable to reach a verdict (a/k/a a hung jury). In the case of a mistrial declared after a hung jury, a party who has moved for a directed verdict at the close of all the evidence may make a motion for JNOV under CR 50.02 within 10 days of the discharge of the jury.
A motion for mistrial may be made orally if done at a hearing or trial, under CR 7.02(1). A party seeking a mistrial must make a timely objection and request for mistrial. However, the “palpable error” rule may apply to give the trial court authority to grant a mistrial even where the matter relied on for the motion was not objected to in a timely manner.
Some of this material was reprinted from Vol. 7, Kentucky Practice, Rules of Civil Procedure Annotated, 6th ed., CR 59.01, Comment 9 at pp. 86-87 (2010 supp.), by Kurt A. Philipps, Jr., David V. Kramer and Todd V. McMurtry, with permission of the authors and the publisher, Thomson Reuters. Copyright (c) 2010 Thomson Reuters. For more information about this publication please visit: http://west.thomson.com/productdetail/130503/11774808/productdetail.aspx.
 Woodward v. Commonwealth, 147 S.W.3d 63 (Ky. 2003).
 Martin v. Commonwealth, 170 S.W.3d 374 (Ky. 2005).
 Gould v. Charlton Co., Inc., 929 S.W.2d 734 (Ky. 1996)
 See, e.g., United States v. Perez, 6 L. Ed. 165 (1824)
 Martin v. Commonwealth, 170 S.W.3d at 381. Cf. Gori v. United States, 367 U.S. 364 (1961).
 Martin v. Commonwealth, supra.
 Byrd v. Commonwealth, 825 S.W.2d 272 (Ky. 1992); Johnson v. Commonwealth, 12 S.W.3d 258 (Ky. 1999).
 Byrd v. Commonwealth, 825 S.W.2d 272; Ratliff v. Commonwealth, 194 S.W.3d 258 (Ky. 2006).
 See Kentucky Const. § 248; CR 48; KRS 29A.280; Administrative Procedures of the Court of Justice, AP II § 27.
 See 7 Philipps, Kramer & McMurtry, Kentucky Practice, “Rules of Civil Procedure Annotated,” CR 49.01, Comments 7 and 9 (6th ed. 2005 and 2010 supp.).
 See KRS 29A.320(2)(b).
 Hadley v. Com. ex rel. Jackson, 105 S.W.3d 427 (Ky. 2003).
 : Id. See also CR 61.02; KRE 103(e); and 7 Kentucky Practice CR 46 Comment 4.
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