Your job as a juror is to listen to all the evidence presented at trial, then "decide the facts"-- decide what really happened. The judge's job is to "decide the law" -- make decisions on legal issues that come up during the trial. All must do their job well if our system of trial by jury is to work.
You do not need special knowledge or ability to do your job.
It is enough that you keep an open mind, use common
sense, concentrate on the evidence presented, and be fair and honest in your deliberations.
Remember: Don't be influenced by sympathy or prejudice.
It is vital that you be impartial with regard to all testimony
and ideas presented at the trial.
We hope you find your experience as a juror interesting
and satisfying. Thanks for your willingness to serve!
What is the importance of jury service?
Jurors perform a vital role in our American system of justice. The protection of our rights and liberties is largely achieved through teamwork between the judge and jury who, working together in a common effort, put into practice the principles of our Constitution and laws. Thus, in this very important way, jurors become a part of the Court itself.
Jury service is a high duty of citizenship. Your greatest reward will be the knowledge that you have discharged this duty faithfully and honorably. In addition to determining and adjusting property rights, jurors may also be asked to decide questions involving a crime for which a person may be confined to prison. In a very real sense, therefore, the people must rely upon jurors for the protection of life, liberty and property.Can I be excused from a particular trial?
The court may temporarily excuse a juror from a particular trial on account of:
Sickness or physical disability
Serious illness or death of a member of his/her immediate family
Undue hardship or extreme inconvenience
Public necessityIf you are summoned to appear as a juror and believe that you are entitled to be excused for one of the reasons set forth above, please contact the Jury Commissioner at (775) 753-3666.Some Do's and Don'ts of Jury Service
DO arrive on time and DO return promptly after breaks and lunch.
DO pay close attention. If you cannot hear what is being said, raise your hand and
let the judge know.
DO keep an open mind all through the trial.
DO listen carefully to the instructions read by the judge.
DON'T talk about the case, or issues raised by the case with ANYONE (including other jurors) while the trial is going on.
DON'T talk to the lawyers, parties or witnesses about anything.
DON'T try to uncover evidence on your own. You must decide the case only on
the basis of evidence admitted in court.
DON'T let yourself get information about the case from the news media or any
other outside source.During Deliberation:
DO work out differences between yourself and other jurors through complete and fair discussions of the evidence and the judge's instructions.
DON'T mark or write on exhibits or otherwise change or injure them.
DON'T draw straws, flip coins or otherwise arrive at your verdict by chance.
DON'T talk to anyone about your verdict until the judge discharges the jury. No
juror can be forced to talk about the case without a court order. After discharge
you may discuss the verdict with others, including the media, the lawyers or
your family. However, DON'T feel obligated to do so.Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses?If the juror, or prospective juror, travels more than 30 miles one way for court, the juror will be reimbursed up to $70.00 per night for a hotel/motel room (you will need a receipt) and 36.5 cents per mile travel allowance. Meals are not reimbursed.How does the juror "point system" work?Jurors do not receive credit unless appearing for jury duty. Each juror actually appearing at the Courthouse for jury duty pursuant to a jury summons, but not actually sworn to serve as a juror, will receive a 1 credit of service for their appearance that day. Any person who has accumulated 2 credits of service shall be removed from the jury pool for the remainder of that year only.How am I chosen for jury service?The Jury Commissioner creates and maintains at random, a jury pool of registered voters from which potential jurors may be selected for jury trials. For each week in which at least one jury trial is set, the Jury commissioner will draw at random from that pool the names of jurors to serve as the jury panel for that particular week. If your name is drawn you will receive a summons from the Jury Commissioner in the mail. This summons will indicate the date and time when you are to appear. You will also be given the Jury Duty Hot Line Telephone number (753-DUTY or 753-3889) to call before coming to the Courthouse. This hot line contains a recording with the latest information as to whether or not you are still required to appear. It is not uncommon for trials to go off before the trial date, even at the last minute, so please use this service in order to avoid an unnecessary trip to the Courthouse.