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Jury Service

1. Jury Service Selection

Potential Jurors are selected at random from Department of Revenue data and BMV motor vehicle lists.

2. Qualifications

  • a citizen of the United States;
  • at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • a resident of Washington County;
  • able to read, speak, and understand English;
  • not suffering from a physical or mental disability that prevents satisfactory jury service;
  • not under a guardianship based upon mental incapacity;
  • not a person who has had rights to vote revoked by reason of a felony conviction unless the right to vote have not been restored; 
  • not a law enforcement officer, if the trial is for a criminal case. 

3. Exemption

A person who has completed a term of jury service in the year preceding the date of the person’s summons may claim exemption from jury service.

4. Deferral

The Court may authorize deferral of jury service for up to one (1) year upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity.

5. Hardship

a. Jurors with a physical impairment or illness which might interfere with service may be excused. (Please note this at item #10 on the Juror questionnaire)

b. Jurors over 65 years of age may serve as Jurors, but by law may ask to be excused from serving. (Please note this at item #22 on the Juror questionnaire.)

6. Documentation

The facts supporting juror disqualifications, exemptions, and deferrals shall be recorded under oath or affirmation.

7. Term of Jury Service

a. A person who appears for service as a petit juror serves until the conclusion of the first trial in which the juror is sworn. A person who appears for service but is not selected and sworn as a juror completes the person’s service when jury selection is completed;

b. A person who:

  1. serves as a juror; or
  2. serves until jury selection is completed, but is not chosen to serve as a juror;
  3. may not be selected for another jury panel until all nonexempt persons in the jury pool for that year have been called for jury duty.

8. Jury Orientation

The Court will provide prospective jurors with orientation prior to the selection process so they may understand their role in our legal system.

9. Number of Jurors

a. In all criminal cases, if the defendant is charged with: murder, a Class A, B, or C felony, including enhancement(s), the jury shall consist of twelve (12) persons, unless the parties and the court agree to a lesser number of jurors. If the defendant is charged with any other crime, the jury shall consist of six (6) persons. The Court shall determine the number of alternates to be seated. The verdict shall be unanimous.

b. In all civil cases, the jury shall consist of six (6) persons, unless the parties agree to a lesser number of jurors before a jury is selected. The verdict shall be unanimous, unless the parties stipulate otherwise before the verdict is announced.

10. Challenge for Cause

a. In both civil and criminal cases either party may prevent a potential juror from serving if that person:
1. served as a juror in that same county within the previous three hundred sixty-five (365) days in a case that resulted in a verdict.
2. will be unable to comprehend the evidence and the instruction of the court due to any reason including defective sight or hearing, or inadequate English language communication skills.
3. has formed or expressed an opinion about the outcome of the case, and is unable to set that opinion aside and render an impartial verdict based upon the law and the evidence;
4. was a member of a jury that previously considered the same dispute involving one or more of the same parties;
5. is related within the fifth degree to the parties, their attorneys, or any witnesses subpoenaed in the case;
6. has personal interest in the result of the trial;
7. is biased or prejudiced for or against a party to the case; or
8. is a person who has been subpoenaed in good faith as a witness in the case.
b. In criminal cases a prospective juror may be prevented from serving if 
that person :
1. was a member of the grand jury that issued the indictment;
2. is a defendant in a pending criminal case;
3. in a case in which the death penalty is sought, is not qualified to serve in a death penalty case under law; or
4. has formed or expressed an opinion about the outcome of the case which appears to be founded upon
a. a conversation with a witness to the transaction;
b. reading or hearing witness testimony or a report of witness testimony.
c. In civil cases a prospective juror may be prevented from serving is the person in another suit, begun or contemplated, involving the same or a similar matter.

11. Pay

a. Potential Jurors are paid $25.00 for being summoned to Court.
b. Jurors are paid $57.00 per day if selected to serve.
c. Jurors receive a mileage allowance of .32 per mile between their home and the Court for each day of service.
d. Checks are mailed for Juror service 3-5 weeks after service.

12. Questionnaire

Potential jurors will be sent a Questionnaire and Qualification Form to complete and return to the Court.