“The right to a jury trial as guaranteed by our Constitution is one of our most precious rights…and the denial of that right is a very serious matter. Restrictions placed on the right to a jury trial will be subjected to the utmost scrutiny.” Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., v. Abbott, 863 S.W.2d 139 (Tex. App.–Texarkana 1993, writ denied).
“The right of trial by jury is a valuable right which should be guarded jealously by all of the courts of this State. Jones v. Jones, 592 S.W.2d 19 (Tex. Civ. App.–Beaumont 1979, no writ).
“Our constitution guarantees to our people the right to trial by jury. Of this right they should not be lightly deprived, but only where the case is clearly one for the court.” Young v. Blain, 245 S.W.65 (Tex. Comm’n App. 1922, holding approved).
“The right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate. The Legislature shall pass such laws as may be needed to regulate the same, and to maintain its purity and efficiency.” TEX. CONST. art. I., §15
“In the trial of all causes in the District Courts, the plaintiff or defendant shall, upon application made in open court, have the right of trial by jury; but no jury shall be empaneled in any civil case unless demanded by a party to the case, and a jury fee be paid by the party demanding a jury, for such sum, and with such exceptions as may be pre-scribed by the Legislature.” TEX. CONST. art. V., §10.
Requesting a jury trial for a family case in Texas is a two step process, i.e., a written request and payment of the jury fee. Payment of the fee to the clerk without written request filed with the clerk, does not satisfy the rule. Walker v. Walker, 619 S.W.2d 196 (Tex. App.–Tyler 1981, writ ref’d n.r.e.).
Tex. R. Civ. P. 216 requires that the demand and payment of the fee be made a reasonable time before the date set for trial on the non-jury docket, but no less than thirty days in advance.