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Old 08-07-2010, 10:32 AM
 
621 posts, read 616,690 times
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Default Question about summons for jury duty

Ah, the joys of snail mail. I got a "Summons for Petit Jury Service" yesterday, and I have some questions...if anyone by chance knows the answers.

This is the first time I've ever been involved in jury duty, and I know the basics about calling in everyday to see if my number comes up, but does that mean I will be selected to hear a trial? Or is kinda like a lottery thing, in which my number may not be selected?

I also know I could potentially be selected to hear more than one trial during my service availability term, which runs for 2 weeks. But whether I'm selected or not, how often can someone be placed in a jury pool? I'm just asking, because this has sorta thrown a wrench into some plans I had. I was possibly going to be taking an extended road trip around the country, and had considered leaving before the end of the summer. Now I can't do that. What would have happened if I had already left and wasn't home to see the summons in the mail? How do the courts account for such situations? Not only that, what happens if, after my service availability term expires, I pick back up with the plans I had? Is there any particular length of time before a person can be summoned again?
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:03 AM
 
8,231 posts, read 10,886,830 times
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Warren County right?

6.01 Jury Administration
A. The Warren County Common Pleas Court administers the jury system for the County through the office of a Jury Commissioner, and shall from time to time evaluate the system for the effectiveness of summoning and qualification procedures; the inclusiveness of the jury source list; the cost effectiveness of the jury management system; and the responsiveness of individuals to jury duty summonses.
The Jury Commissioner is responsible for summoning persons for jury service and collecting information so that each person’s eligibility for service can be determined, as well as basic information generally sought during voir dire. The Jury Commissioner shall establish procedures to respond to failures of summoned persons to report for jury duty.
B. The Jury Commissioner, on an annual basis, draws a list of potential jurors from the list of registered voters in Warren County maintained by the Board of Elections. Persons are randomly selected from this list to be summoned for jury service.
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C. All residents of Warren County who are citizens of the United States, at least eighteen years of age, able to communicate in the English language, and not ineligible due to a felony conviction are eligible for jury service. The Court shall make reasonable accommodations for those jurors having special needs due to physical impairment.
D. Persons summoned as potential jurors are required to be available for jury service for two months, but are excused from further service after the completion of two trials.
E. Persons called for jury duty will be paid a reasonable fee for their service. Employers are not permitted by law to penalize jurors who miss work due to jury duty.



Although I don't go to Warren County much, most places the jury commissioner will accept your excuse and defer your date of service. If you have a summons from the court, you must show up. Its the law. Some places they will send a sheriff out to pick you up. So I say call the jury commissioner or go over to the justice center well ahead of time and beg for relief.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:25 AM
 
621 posts, read 616,690 times
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Actually, it's the city of Hamilton...Butler County. Sorry 'bout that, Wilson. I'm sure with all my ranting lately it has sounded like I'm from Warren County, but nope. Not sure if that makes a difference.

I'm not really opposed to doing my civic duty as a juror, and I have no intentions of giving them an excuse for avoiding it. So I feel no need to go beg for relief from it. But if Butler County is the same as Warren County, and I have to be available for 2 months, then it just throws a wrench into some plans I had. I don't have a valid medical reason for being excused, nor any other legally valid reason. For me, the term listed on the questionnaire I received is for only 2 weeks. Maybe that's different in Warren county, where it's 2 months? Wow. I just want some sort of idea about whether I'll be safe to go through with my plans after the 2-week term is up. Do you know?
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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In ham co. It's 3 weeks and if you aren't in progress on a case when that up you are done. When I get up from my nap I'll look up butler co for you.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:24 PM
 
621 posts, read 616,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
In ham co. It's 3 weeks and if you aren't in progress on a case when that up you are done. When I get up from my nap I'll look up butler co for you.
Thanks, Wilson. I appreciate the help.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
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In my experience they are really quite reasonable is requesting to be excused for a previously planned event, even a vacation. Of course you go back into the pool and will likely be called again soon.

What you don't want to do is just blow it off, that can be the equivalent of perjury. Call the number on the notice and state your reason for wanting to be excused this cycle.

The last time I was called we went through all the prelims for jury selection. I was rather looking forward to it, something interesting to do. At the last minute the defendant requested and opted for a plea deal. The judge was very nice when he came in, explained this, thanked us all for our service, and sent us on our merry way. I think this happens relatively often these days.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:08 PM
 
621 posts, read 616,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
In my experience they are really quite reasonable is requesting to be excused for a previously planned event, even a vacation. Of course you go back into the pool and will likely be called again soon.
Yeah, but it's not a regular 1 or 2 week vacation-type situation I had been planning. It was going to be an extended road trip for an unspecified duration. So I'd rather not request to be excused, only to get called again while I'm gone and then risk getting in trouble because I didn't get the summons.

Makes me wonder what people do in situations like, for example, when they embark on 6-month excursions out of the country. If they got a summons in that time, what would happen if they didn't respond? I mean, they weren't home to get it, so....

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
The last time I was called we went through all the prelims for jury selection. I was rather looking forward to it, something interesting to do. At the last minute the defendant requested and opted for a plea deal. The judge was very nice when he came in, explained this, thanked us all for our service, and sent us on our merry way. I think this happens relatively often these days.
What is "petit" jury anyway? What kind of cases are they? It doesn't involve cases where I'd have to look at photos of someone's decapitated head, I hope? I would not be able to deal with that.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:08 PM
 
8,231 posts, read 10,886,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyspider View Post

What is "petit" jury anyway? What kind of cases are they? It doesn't involve cases where I'd have to look at photos of someone's decapitated head, I hope? I would not be able to deal with that.
A petit jury is a jury for the trial court as opposed to a grand jury which is a jury that hears complaints by the police to decide if a person must stand trial for an offense.

In Butler County, the petit jury hears cases of both civil and criminal nature. The civil cases are typically auto accidents, breaches of contract, medical malpractice. Criminal cases can be both misdemeanor and felony cases. In Butler county, those going to trial are usually drug and robbbery and violence cases.

Here are the jury rules (please note that KJ's explanation of the jury pool, while reasonable, is not the way they do it in Butler County.

9.00 Selection of Prospective Jurors
Prospective jurors shall be selected from the randomized
names contained in the voter registration master file, maintained
by the Butler County Board of Elections on a magnetic disk in the
Butler County computer system. The voter registration master
file is the current list of all registered voters in Butler
County.
Selection of prospective jurors shall be made by a key
number system in accord with Ohio Revised Code '2313.07(C) as
follows:
There is a random selection of a predetermined number (e.g.,
20,000 for the 1999-2000 jury year) of registered voters from the
voter registration master file. A juror identification number
shall be assigned to each prospective juror as selected.
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Those prospective jurors shall comprise the master qualified jury
list for the jury year.
A random selection of prospective jurors from the master
qualified jury list then occurs. Those selected shall comprise
the annual jury list for the jury year.
The selected key number is a computer-generated random
number between 0.000000 and 0.999999, multiplied by the last
assigned voter identification number (assigned by the Board of
Elections at the time of registration and maintained in the voter
registration master file), plus 1. This formula is repeated for
each prospective juror until the desired number of prospective
jurors has been selected. A juror identification number shall be
assigned, consecutively, to each prospective juror upon
selection.
The selection key number then used is a computer-generated
random number between 0.000000 and 0.999999, multiplied by the
last assigned juror identification number, plus 1. This formula
is repeated until all prospective jurors are randomly arranged.
The jury commissioners or their designated representatives
shall supervise the actual selection of prospective jurors in
accord with this rule and the Ohio Revised Code.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:24 AM
 
621 posts, read 616,690 times
Reputation: 279
Well, I had to report this week...and that was certainly interesting. Obviously I wasn't chosen as a juror, but it's enlightening to experience that process anyway. I somehow thought all the questioning that would take place was going to be on an individual one-one-one basis between the judge, clerk, and myself. I had no idea the prosecutor and defendant's attorney were involved in the questioning process, and that it would take place in a group setting. Why do they do it that way?
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:01 PM
 
8,903 posts, read 10,204,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
In my experience they are really quite reasonable is requesting to be excused for a previously planned event, even a vacation. Of course you go back into the pool and will likely be called again soon.

What you don't want to do is just blow it off, that can be the equivalent of perjury. Call the number on the notice and state your reason for wanting to be excused this cycle.

The last time I was called we went through all the prelims for jury selection. I was rather looking forward to it, something interesting to do. At the last minute the defendant requested and opted for a plea deal. The judge was very nice when he came in, explained this, thanked us all for our service, and sent us on our merry way. I think this happens relatively often these days.

DO realize that every county in Ohio does it differently.

For example, in Lorain Co., you show up on the first day and you call in the rest of the week. You only report when they tell you that are needed.

In Cuyahoha Co., you sit there for eight hours a day, five days a week. On the last day of service, they kept us in the waiting room until 4:30 pm although there were no courtrooms that were active on that Friday afternoon.
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