All jurors receive at least 34 cents for each mile they travel to court.
Functions and duties of a juror
The mileage payment, only for one-way travel, also starts on the second day. Some courts may pay you what it costs to take mass transit or local transit agencies may provide free bus or rail transportation to court. California has one day or one trial jury service. This means that people are not required to come to court for more than one day of jury duty unless they are assigned to a courtroom for jury selection, or serve on a trial, more than once every 12 months.
Typically, if you are not chosen for jury selection after one day at the courthouse then your service is done for at least one year. If you are selected to serve on a jury, after the trial is over your service is also completed for at least a year and often longer.
To be legally qualified for jury service, an individual must:
In fact, the majority of people who report for jury service serve for just one day. The vast majority of people who actually serve on a jury find it a fascinating and rewarding experience that they would do again. You must report for jury service if you are qualified and you have not been excused or had your service postponed. Carefully follow the instructions on the summons and contact the court if you need help.
Although many courts offer parking for jurors, it is often scarce. Free transit service may be available in your area. If there is an emergency at home, you can be contacted at the courthouse. In an emergency, the judge can excuse you at any time during the trial, even during deliberations , and an alternate can take your place. Of course, the emergency must be significant. The judge will make the final decision.
When you enter the courthouse, you may go through a metal detector. Your handbag, briefcase, backpack, and any containers may be x-rayed. Objects like knitting needles, scissors, nail clippers, pocket knives, and weapons are not allowed. If you have forbidden items, you may be asked to leave the courthouse and return without them.
Security officers might keep items they think are hazardous. They may or may not be returned to you when you leave the courthouse. Alcoholic beverages are also not allowed. We suggest you wear comfortable clothing that fits with the importance and dignity of the courtroom. Shorts, tank tops, bare midriffs, or similar dress are not allowed. Business attire is always appropriate. You may not use computers, cellular phones, cameras, or tape recorders in the courtroom. They may not be allowed in the courtroom even if they are shut off.
You may be excused if you are over 70 and have a serious health problem. If you are sick or disabled, you may postpone your service or request an excuse. Follow the directions on the summons for postponement or excuse. A doctor's note may be required. If you are qualified, please follow the directions on your summons and call in or report as instructed. You will receive additional information when you report for service. Even if you are qualified to be a juror, you might still have what is called an "undue hardship. If you face an undue hardship, you may be able to be excused from jury service or postpone service.
If you are eligible for an excuse, please mark the correct category on the summons response form. Return it to the court right away. Even if you ask for an excuse, you may still be required to come to court to speak with the judge. Sometimes business or personal matters make it impossible to serve on the date shown on your summons. In that case you may ask to postpone your jury service.
Follow the directions on your summons to request a postponement. Give the earliest date you will be able to serve. It is against the law to fire or harass an employee who is summoned to serve as a juror. As a juror you participate in an important public process and fulfill a civic obligation.
All persons accused of a crime or involved in a civil dispute have a constitutional right to have a jury decide their cases. When you serve on a jury, you make important decisions affecting other people's lives as well as your own community. Two types of trials have juries: criminal trials and civil trials. Juvenile and family law trials do not have juries. All potential jurors are selected at random from lists.
About Jury Service
Courts use Department of Motor Vehicles and voter registration lists. Staff of the superior courts will never ask past or prospective jurors for personal information like financial history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or Social Security numbers. Do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be associated with the courts, and contact your local jury office if you receive this type of request. If you receive a telephone call, an e-mail or other form of electronic communication from someone identifying himself or herself as a court employee and requesting your personal information, you may be the victim of a jury fraud scam.
Please do not provide any information and immediately contact the fraud unit of your local police department and the jury office of your local court. Selection is random. If you have already responded to a summons or have served in the past 12 months, contact your local jury office. Explain to the staff person that you have been summoned twice in 12 months. It is important for you to contact the court to resolve the problem. Jurors are summoned randomly from countywide lists maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the local registrar of voters.
Inclusion in the list of eligible jurors does not guarantee that you will be immediately selected for jury service. Further questions should be directed to your local court. You do not need to speak perfect English to serve as a juror.
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The court uses common, everyday language that people can understand. The work done by the courts affects all people, so it is important that all communities be a part of our justice system. No one person has to know everything.
Jurors decide the outcome of a trial as a group, with each member making an important contribution. If you cannot understand English, follow the instructions on the summons or contact the jury office.
If you need assistance, a friend or a family member who speaks English can call for you. However, you may still have to come in person to request a disqualification. You may not serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony offense and your civil rights have not been restored.