Check this jury duty status link to view the current status of your jury duty obligation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Failure to Appear
You should understand that a jury summons is a legal document. It is not an invitation which you may casually decline to accept. No person who is summoned as a juror shall fail to attend and serve as a juror without having been excused. Such person may be fined not less than $100 nor more than $250 and may be punished as for contempt of court.
Who is eligible to serve on a jury?
All persons are eligible to serve on a jury except those who:
All reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate prospective physically handicapped jurors who have special needs. If you need any special arrangements relative to a disability, please contact the court as soon as you receive your summons.
- are less than 18 years of age;
- are not residents of Licking County;
- are not citizens of the United States;
- are not able to communicate in the English language; or
- have been convicted of a felony and have not had their civil rights restored. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Sections 2961.01 and 2967.16, a convicted felons civil rights are automatically restored upon release from confinement.
Senate Bill 69, enacted in 1998, removed the statutory exemptions from jury duty for physicians, dentists, attorneys, police officers, firefighters, elected officials, and people over the age of 70.
Senate Bill 71, effective May 18, 2005, allows a juror over the age of 75 years to be excused if they request to be excused not later than the date on which the prospective juror is scheduled to report for jury duty.
The computer automation of our jury system makes it difficult to reschedule jury service dates. Contact the court as soon as possible if you have a date conflict.
Who can be excused from jury duty?
You should understand that a jury summons is a legal document. It is not an invitation which you may casually decline to accept. For this reason all requests to be excused must be first approved before you can consider yourself "released" from the summons and duty to report to the court for jury service. Include a daytime phone number, so the court may contact you with its decision. Since jury duty is a constitutional responsibility, requests for excuse are not taken lightly. Inconvenience to a prospective juror or employer is not an adequate reason to be excused from jury duty.
You are entitled to be excused as a juror if:
- The interests of the public will be materially injured by the jurors attendance;
- The jurors spouse or a near relative of the juror or the jurors spouse has recently died or is dangerously ill;
- The juror is a cloistered member of a religious organization (a place, especially a monastery or convent, devoted to religious seclusion);
- The prospective juror has a mental or physical condition that causes the prospective juror to be incapable of performing jury service;
- Jury service would otherwise cause undue or extreme physical or financial hardship to the prospective juror or a person under the care or supervision of the prospective juror. Undue or extreme physical or financial hardship does not exist solely based on the fact that a prospective juror will be required to be absent from the prospective jurors place of employment;
- The juror is over 75 years of age (although you are not disqualified from serving if you wish to);
- The prospective juror is an active member of a recognized Amish sect and requests to be excused because of the prospective jurors sincere belief that as a result of that membership the prospective juror cannot pass judgment in a judicial matter;
- The prospective juror has moved outside the jurisdiction of Licking County; or
- The prospective juror has served, by being seated on a jury, in any court of the state within the past two years.
A request to be excused should include as many details as possible, with applicable documentation. For instance, if you are traveling out of the jurisdiction, you might enclose a copy of your travel itinerary or plane tickets, including dates and places of travel. If you have a mental or physical condition that makes you incapable of performing jury service, provide a letter from your physician stating the reason why you are not mentally or physically capable of jury service. If you no longer reside within this court's jurisdiction, a photocopy of your drivers license showing your current address will satisfy the residency excuse.
To maintain proper security, all persons entering the courthouse are subject to search and screening, including bags, cases, and parcels.
If you are not selected to be seated as a juror for the trial, your service will be completed before lunchtime. A good time to break for lunch will be determined as the trial progresses. Since each trial is different, it is hard to predetermine an exact lunchtime. Breaks will be provided throughout the day at which time telephones will be available and use of cell phones is permitted.
Refreshments are provided to all jurors when they arrive for jury selection.
You will receive a pass from the Jury Commissioner to place on the dashboard of your vehicle that will identify you as a juror. If the parking pass is adequately displayed and your vehicle is not in a private parking lot, you will be exempt from receiving a parking citation.
Use good judgment and report for jury duty properly dressed. Shorts, mini-skirts, T-shirts, and tank tops are not appropriate courtroom attire. Because temperatures vary in the courtroom and the assembly room, jurors are encouraged to dress in layers.
How long will I have to serve as a juror?
The parties involved in a case usually try to settle their differences and avoid the time and expense of a jury trial. Sometimes a case is settled only minutes before the trial begins. The majority of jury trials in our court do not go to trial, so those cases will not need juries. Your time spent waiting to serve is not wasted as your presence encourages settlement.
The Licking County Municipal Court operates on a one trial/one day system for jurors. If the trial you were summoned to serve on should cancel before your scheduled report date, you may be asked to call back into the court one time to cover a second jury trial date.
It will take approximately two hours to question and select eight jurors and an alternate. If you are not selected to be seated as a juror for the trial, your service is complete and you will be discharged. If you ARE selected to serve on the jury panel for a trial, your service is complete at the conclusion of the trial. When a case does go to jury trial, it can usually be completed in one day. Occasionally, a complex trial may go beyond the first day into a second day or deliberations may be extended past 4:30 p.m. to complete a trial in one day.
Will I be paid for being a juror?
Yes. You will be paid a flat fee of $25.00 for your service as a juror.
Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
Your employer is not required to pay you while on jury duty; however, employers are prohibited by law from firing an employee or taking any disciplinary action that could lead to the discharge of your employment. Check with your personnel department about your company policy regarding jury duty pay.
While employers have valid concerns about how jury service affects their employee resources, they are encouraged to support the jury system by paying employees while they are serving as jurors. We need to make it easier for citizens to report for jury service if society is to have the benefit of fair trials. Many citizens cannot afford to serve if they will lose their earnings during jury service. A much broader cross section of society will be free to serve when financial hardship is removed. This will create juries that are truly representative and reflective of our society. By agreeing to compensate employees during jury service, not only will employers continue to enjoy the benefits of the jury system, but they will also contribute toward its improvement.
What is the juror information system?
You should receive your jury summons about three weeks prior to the actual date you have been summoned to serve. All jurors are to call a special phone number (740/349.2160) the afternoon before the scheduled trial date. When you call this number you will hear a recorded announcement advising you of the trial status.
You will be advised either:
- that the jury trial has cancelled and you do not need to report for the trial, or;
- that the jury trial is scheduled to proceed and you are to report for jury selection.
You may call the court at 740-670-7858 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) if you have additional questions or want to speak to the Jury Commissioner.
What happens when I appear for jury service?
When you arrive at the court, you will sign-in at the front desk in the lobby and be directed to a jury waiting area. The courts bailiff will then escort you to the courtroom.
All prospective jurors take an oath that they will truthfully answer questions posed to them by the Judge, the Prosecutor and the Defense Attorney during the selection process. The purpose of the questions is to find out if there is some reason why it might be difficult for you to be fair and impartial in the case to be tried. You will be told a little bit about the facts of the case, so the court can determine if any past experience or prejudice might make it hard for you to be fair. You also have an opportunity to tell the court about anything else that might impact your ability to sit as a juror including health problems, employment situations, and other obligations in your life.
It will take approximately one hour to question and select eight jurors and an alternate. If you are not selected as a juror, your service is complete and you may leave.
The most common complaint of jurors is the unexplained time apparently wasted during jury selection and trials. What might appear to be a waste of time to you is actually time being used by the judge and attorneys working on matters that must be done outside the presence of the jury. These events often arise unexpectedly and cannot be planned for in advance. A case may settle just before a trial was to start which eliminates the need for a jury to be assigned. This is unpredictable and unfortunately may negate the need for your services that day as a juror. Your presence may have accelerated this result and without your knowledge, you will have played a vital role in our legal system. Please be aware of these issues and bear with us as we all work to accomplish our goal of achieving justice for all.
What are the different types of cases?
There are two basic types of cases heard by a jury in the Licking County Municipal Court: criminal and civil.
A criminal case results when a person is accused of committing a crime. You, as a juror, must decide whether the person charged is guilty or not guilty. The accused person is presumed innocent, and the City or State, represented by a prosecutor, must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The person charged with the crime is called the defendant. In a criminal case all eight jurors must agree upon the same verdict.
A civil case results from a disagreement or dispute between two or more parties concerning money or property. The party suing is called the plaintiff and the party being sued is called the defendant. A municipal court is limited to $15,000 for a lawsuit. In a civil case, you, as a juror, must answer questions of disputed facts based upon the testimony and evidence submitted at trial. An answer to these questions is called the verdict. A verdict in a civil case requires that three-fourths of the jury agree. A total of eight jurors are seated with one alternate juror. Therefore, in a civil matter, six of the jurors must agree on a verdict.
What are the benefits of serving on a jury?
It is understandable that you may be apprehensive about being called for jury duty. Many fear that their time will be wasted or that the experience will be very negative. However, jurors have the opportunity to learn a great deal about the legal system. You are directly involved in making our justice system work, and your efforts help preserve our American right to a fair trial.
Court officials are careful to treat jurors courteously. We know how important jurors are to the task of achieving fair and just results for those who come before the court, and we want every juror to leave with a positive opinion about the experience. The benefits to individuals who serve as jurors are significant, but most significant are the benefits of jury service to the entire community.
How was I selected?
You were selected at random from a computer-generated list of registered Licking County voters.
I have been called to serve three times in the past five years and none of my friends have ever been called. Why dont you pick some other people?
A computer program randomly selects names from the master jury file to summons potential jurors. Since that process is random, some people may be selected more than others.
Some people would volunteer for jury service if you would let them. Why dont you?
The Licking County Municipal Court adheres to the random selection process set out in the law. Because it is random, some people who are willing to serve may never be asked, and others who do not wish to serve may be asked frequently.
I served on a jury three years ago. Do I have to serve again already?
Yes. If you served being sworn in and seated on a jury panel for a trial in any county of the state, you are prohibited from jury service in any court of the state for two years. If it has been more than two years since your last service, you are required to appear for jury service again, regardless of how many times you have served in the past.