Thursday, July 31, 2014

You've Been Instructed to Report to the Courthouse

When instructed to report to the courthouse, bring your jury summons with you and keep it with you during your service. Once you arrive at the courthouse, proceed to the 2nd floor, Jury Assembly Room and go to the check in window. Present your summons to staff at the window to check in. You must check in with staff to receive credit for appearing. If you fail to check in, you will be instructed to return the following business day to complete your jury service. Once you are checked in, instructions and additional information will be provided. Listen carefully to the information and all instructions.

For detailed information on juror parking, how to ride RT for free, and bicyle parking, visit the Location / Parking / Transportation Options page.

Courthouse Security

You will be required to enter the courthouse through an airport-style metal detector. Please allow sufficient time for the security process as there may be a line when entering the courthouse. Your personal belongings will be x-rayed. Objects like knitting needles, scissors, nail clippers, pocket knives, tools and weapons are not allowed. If you have any of these items, you may be asked to leave the courthouse and return without them. Security officers might keep items they think are hazardous and they may or may not be returned to you when you leave the courthouse.

Code of Conduct and Dress Code

Be alert and courteous. You may bring a book, laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc. while you are waiting. You will not be permitted to read while court is in session. You must turn the electronic devices completely off during court. The Jury Assembly Room has very few electrical outlets. The courthouse provides complimentary wireless connection to the Internet throughout the building. Read the Free Wireless Access for Jurors brochure for more information.

Please dress appropriately for the courtroom. Business or casual attire is suggested. Shorts and tank tops are not acceptable. Any juror not appropriately dressed will be excused to return the next court day in appropriate attire. The temperature of the jury assembly area and courtrooms can be unpredictable. Jurors are encouraged to dress accordingly.

Voir Dire Questionnaire

After you check in, jury staff will also instruct you to fill out a Voir Dire Questionnaire. This questionnaire is used to provide basic information about you to the judge, the attorneys and the parties on the case once you are sent to a courtroom. For information that you would prefer to discuss outside the presence of the other jurors, please write the letter "P" next to the question. The Court Reporter will take down all of your answers to the questions. Such transcripts are accessible to the public after the trial unless sealed by a Judge.

What to Expect When You Are in the Assembly Room

Throughout the day, jurors will be randomly selected by the court's database and assigned to a particular courtroom. If your name is selected, you will be given further instructions as to where to go and what to do.

If you are assigned to a courtroom, the judge will inform you of the length and nature of the case. If you have a hardship and the judge excuses you from that case, you must report back to the Jury Assembly Room for possible re-assignment to another courtroom. An "excuse" for hardship is a discretionary call by the judge, and a hardship in one case may not be a hardship for all cases. You may go to two or more courtrooms during your day of jury service.

If you are assigned to a courtroom and required to report the next day and an emergency arises that prevents you from doing so, you must contact the courtroom directly. Be sure to get the department's phone number before leaving for the day. If you are unable to do so, the phone numbers for the departments are listed in the white pages of the phone book (in the government section).

Jury Service is an all day event. You may be at the courthouse until 5:00 p.m., so please be sure that you have made appropriate arrangements. If at the end of the day, you are in the Jury Assembly Room and not assigned to a case you have completed your jury service.

Emergency Contact Information

The Jury Commissioner's Office telephone number may be given to your family, day care provider or someone who may need to contact you in case of an emergency while you are at the courthouse serving jury duty. The phone number is (916) 874- 7775.

Proof of Attendance

Please keep your juror badge with you until you complete your service. You will need your badge to check out and to receive your proof of attendance. At the conclusion of your jury service you will receive proof of attendance for the days that you served jury duty. This proof will be in the form of an attendance slip or a Juror History Report that will list each day of your service. This proof is only given at the end of your service, but may be provided prior to the end of your service to accommodate employer payroll processes. It is your responsibility to request appropriate documentation for your employer at the end of your service.

Pay Policy

State law does not currently require employers to continue paying the salary of employees while they are serving as jurors. However, many employers including state and local government agencies, have a policy which compensates employees for at least part, if not all the time spent for jury service. Before coming to court, you should talk with your employer.

Prospective jurors are paid the amount mandated by the State Legislature, $15.00 per day and $0.34 per mile, one way for the second day of service and every day thereafter. There is no pay for the first day of service. Service is defined as physically reporting to the courthouse. Days spent on standby service do not count as payment days. The amount paid for mileage is calculated by your zip code. Juror payment checks are mailed 3-4 weeks upon completion of service.

Juror payment checks are not forwarded by the Post Office, even if you have put in for a change of address with the Post Office. Therefore, it is important that the jury office has your correct name and address in order to make sure you receive your check timely.