Lutz v. Glendale Union High School, 403 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir. 2005)

Claudette Lutz, a longtime teacher and assistant principal at schools in Glendale, Arizona, alleged that she was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Lutz filed her case in Arizona state court, and the school district removed the action to federal court. Lutz then had 10 days during which to demand a jury, which she failed to do until 11 months later. Notwithstanding her failure to comply with the requirements of F.R.C.P. 38(b), the district court allowed Lutz’s action to be tried to a jury. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that although Lutz’s complaint made reference to a jury’s awarding damages, it did not make a similar reference in connection with the determination of liability. Accordingly, the liability phase of the lawsuit would have to be retried without a jury.