The purpose of the following information is to familiarize you with some of the facets of jury service and to answer any possible questions regarding jury service. It is not intended to advise you about the law.
This information can be downloaded and printed in WORD form by clicking here.
HOW WAS MY NAME CHOSEN?
The names of prospective jurors are randomly selected by computer from a combined list of registered voters and licensed drivers who are United States citizens and live in Monroe County, Ohio.
ELIGIBILITY FOR JURY SERVICE?
Anyone, including doctors, lawyers, clergy, and persons under 75 years of age, are eligible for jury service. Convicted felons are not eligible to serve on a jury.
TERM OF SERVICE.
Most jurors are chosen on a quarterly basis and serve for approximately three months. However, some jurors may be called for special service for a six month term. The Court maintains more than one panel of jurors at any given time. During your term of service, you may be called for Grand jury, which is normally scheduled one day per month or as a Petit juror, for any number of trials scheduled during your term.
HOW MUCH NOTICE WILL I RECEIVE PRIOR TO REPORTING FOR JURY SERVICE?
Your initial notice for jury service will be by summons from the Sheriff's Department. Grand jurors will be notified at that time of their first appearance date. Petit jurors are advised that they are to report "At the call of the Court". The Clerk of Courts will send written notice to Petit jurors two weeks prior to a trial date. The notice will include a telephone number to call the night before you are to appear. A message will advise you whether or not the trial is still scheduled.
WILL I BE REQUIRED TO TAKE AN OATH?
If for religious or personal reasons you prefer not to take an oath, an affirmation will be administered instead.
WHAT ABOUT MY CHILDREN?
There are no facilities to care for children at the court. Child care arrangements should be made in advance as this does not exclude you from jury service.
WHAT ABOUT MY EMPLOYER, PROFESSOR OR INSTRUCTOR?
By law, employers are not permitted to lay you off, discharge you, deny you advancement opportunity or otherwise penalize you for appearing for jury service. If you need written verification of jury service, please inform court personnel on the day you appear for service.
WHERE DO I PARK?
Designated juror parking is not available. You may park on the street near the vicinity of the courthouse.
Please call the Court so that arrangements can be made for a Deputy Sheriff to pick you up and bring you to Court.
WHAT IF WEATHER IS A FACTOR AFTER I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED FOR JURY SERVICE?
Only under extreme circumstances would jury service be canceled due to inclement weather. A message would be left at the number listed on your summons if a trial is canceled.
DO I GET PAID?
There is a nominal fee (determined by the Monroe County Commissioners) of $10/day for prospective jurors and $20/day for sitting jurors. Said fee(s) are paid at the end of a term of service.
WHAT IF I AM SICK, OR ON VACATION?
After you have initially been summoned for jury service, you need to contact the Clerk of Courts at 740-472-0761 as soon as you are aware of your unavailability. If you have a health problem, we will need a doctor's excuse. The Court also requires written verification of vacation plans in order to be excused.
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I MIGHT BE CALLED FOR JURY DUTY AND NOT SIT ON A JURY?
Yes. The Court always calls more jurors than what is actually needed to sit on a jury. There are any number of reasons a juror may be excused for a particular trial. The Judge will ask jurors questions that are required by law. Attorneys for the parties will also ask questions of the jurors. The questioning process is simply for the Court and attorneys to be able to pick a fair and impartial jury. You may be excused for a particular trial and called again at a later date.
***BE ON TIME. THE TRIAL CANNOT PROCEED UNTIL ALL JURORS ARE PRESENT.
***DRESS APPROPRIATELY. WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING THAT ENHANCES
THE DIGNITY OF THE COURT AND EMPHASIZES THE SERIOUSNESS OF YOUR
RESPONSIBILITY. NO HATS ARE PERMITTED IN THE COURTROOM.
***CELL PHONES ARE TO BE TURNED OFF WHILE IN THE COURTROOM. CELL
PHONES ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO BE USED DURING LUNCH PERIODS OR BREAKS.
***PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT IS BEING SAID BY EVERYONE.
***KEEP AN OPEN MIND THROUGHOUT THE TRIAL.
***DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE CASE WITH ANYONE WHILE THE TRIAL IS IN PROGRESS; NOT EVEN OTHER JURORS OR FAMILY MEMBERS.
***DO NOT TRY TO DISCOVER EVIDENCE ON YOUR OWN. CASES MUST BE DECIDED ONLY ON THE BASIS OF EVIDENCE ADMITTED IN COURT.
***LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE DELIBERATIONS.
***IT IS YOUR DUTY TO ACCEPT WHAT THE JUDGE SAYS ABOUT THE LAWS TO BE APPLIED TO THE CASE, WHETHER YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE LAW.
JURY EXCUSES AS ALLOWED BY OHIO LAW
Absence from the County
-You have permanently moved from Monroe County, Ohio
-You temporarily reside away from Monroe County as a member of the military Full-time student
-Written verification of your class schedule will be required 75 years or older
-You are not automatically excused. Many people over 75 years of age have served. If you wish to be excused, please contact the Clerk of Courts.
Physical inability to serve
-A doctor's excuse is required
Recent death or dangerous illness of spouse or near relative
Material harm to your interests or the public interest
You will need to outline your reasons in writing for Judge Julie R. Selmon to review.
Employment, financial hardship, unavailability of child care are not excuses allowable by law.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRAND JURORS AND PETIT JURORS?
The Grand Jury hears evidence presented by the Prosecutor to decide whether persons should be charged with crimes. A grand juror will hear a number of cases during each session. Grand jurors hear only one side of a criminal case and they make their detennination from the information presented to them by the Prosecutor as to whether or not there is probable cause to indict an individual or bring that individual to stand trial. On the other hand, petit jurors are the triers of fact in either a criminal or civil proceeding. They decide whether or not a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal matter or whether the plaintiff has proven their case by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil matter.
I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE LAW.
Jurors are given detailed instructions, by the Judge, on the law that they will need to decide the case.