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Jury Service...

If you have been summoned to the Trumbull County Court Central Division to be a juror, you become a very important person in our legal system.  The United States constitution allows that a collective body of “eligible” citizens shall serve as jurors.  The court understands that jury service imposes on your personal and business lives, but as a citizen you should assume this role with pride. The court wishes to thank you for your service as a juror.

Being a juror does not require any special skills or education.  It will be your job to fairly evaluate the evidence as presented in the case that you are assigned.  Even if you are not selected to serve on a particular case, your role is vital to the case.  Many times, your presence as a juror encourages parties to resolve issues and avoid a trial.

If you have been selected as a prospective juror, you will be asked to report to the court on the date of the trial. Bring the summons with you when you come to jury duty.  Make sure that you notify the clerk of any address corrections if it is wrong on the summons.  This is the address that will be used for the payment of jury service.  Your employers are encouraged but not required to pay an employee’s full daily wage while the employee is serving as a juror. An employee must be allowed time off from work to serve as a juror.  It is illegal for an employer to discharge or penalize an employee who is summoned to serve and who notifies the employer before the jury service date. An employer who discharges or penalizes an employee for serving as a juror may be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General and subjected to criminal penalties.  Jurors are not reimbursed for parking or other transportation costs.

As a prospective juror you must reside in the jurisdiction of this court.  The following is the jurisdiction of this court: Cortland City, Fowler Township, Johnston Township, Greene Township, Mecca Township, and Bazetta Township.  The jury pool was taken from the list of registered voters in those areas and was taken from the Trumbull County Board of Elections database.

Please come dressed appropriately for the court.  Make sure that you dress in layers; the court room’s temperature varies.
Do not bring children with you.  You may spend some time waiting, so you may want to bring along books or newspapers to read with you.

If you need an excuse or “proof of service” for your employer, please obtain one from the clerk of courts before entering the courtroom.  This excuse will show the dates of the jury service.

There will be eight jurors and one alternate juror selected as the panel for any particular case. At the end of the trial the alternate will be dismissed, but the remaining jurors will be sequestered for deliberations.

There will be a break for lunch.  You may leave the Court to get something to eat; which is not a provided expense.  There are a number of good restaurants in the area.

Jury duty is mandatory if you are summoned.  Skipping jury duty can result in civil or criminal penalties.

The average length of a civil trial is three to five days.  The average length of a criminal trial may be longer or shorter than the average.

Jurors are selected through a questioning process.  The lawyers, and sometimes the judge, may ask questions to decide whether or not each juror can serve on a particular case.  Their questions are intended to learn whether the individual has any bias or personal knowledge about the case that could hinder their ability to judge a case impartially.  Sometimes the jurors are asked to complete a questionnaire as part of this process.  During this process you may be excused “for cause”.   The attorneys have the right to use a set number of peremptory challenges to excuse jurors without explanation.

After the questioning process is completed the remainder of the candidates is on the juror.