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Petit Jury Frequently Asked Questions

View a printable version of our FAQ's (PDF, 16KB)

  1. How was my name chosen?
  2. Eligibility for jury service?
  3. What types of cases may I have to be a juror on?
  4. What do I need to do with the enclosed questionnaire?
  5. I do not know anything about the law...
  6. How long do I have to serve on jury duty?
  7. Do I have to be at court every day during my three (3) week term of jury duty?
  8. How will I know if and when I have to report?
  9. Where do I go at the Court when I am required to report for jury duty?
  10. I am no longer a resident of Erie County; do I still have to serve?
  11. Do I get paid?
  12. Your attire...
  13. Parking...
  14. What if weather is bad?
  15. Excusals...
  16. What about my children?
  17. What about my employer, professor, or instructor?
  18. What if I have other questions about my jury duty service?

 

1. How was my name chosen?

Your name was selected at random by a computer from a list of registered voters provided by the Board of Elections.

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2. Eligibility for jury service?

Anyone, to and including doctors, lawyers, clergy, physicians, dentists, attorneys, police officers, firefighters, and elected officials, who have been randomly selected via computer is eligible to serve on a jury.

A juror must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Erie County, and at least 18 years of age.

In general, convicted felons, pursuant to statute, are not eligible to serve on a jury.

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3. What types of cases may I have to be a juror on?

A Petit Juror hears Criminal or Civil Cases. In a Criminal case, a petit jury decides whether a defendant is “guilty” or “not guilty” by a unanimous vote. In a Civil case, the law requires a vote of at least three-fourths of the jury to find in favor for the Plaintiff or Defendant to reach a verdict.

A Grand Juror hears evidence about crimes and decides whether a person should be indicted and tried for committing a crime. A grand juror does not decide guilt or innocence, only whether or not there is probable cause that a particular individual committed a crime.

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4. What do I need to do with the enclosed questionnaire?

You need to fill out the questionnaire. Answer each question completely, (including those that require a simple "yes" or "no"), then sign it, then return it within five (5) days in the self-addressed, stamped envelope provided.

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5. I do not know anything about the law...

The Judge instructs jurors on the law that they need to decide the case.

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6. How long do I have to serve on jury duty?

Your term of service on jury duty is for three (3) weeks. This means you are “on-call” during that three-week period.

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7. Do I have to be at court every day during my three (3) week term of jury duty?

NO. There may or may not be any trials occurring during your three (3) weeks. In that case, you would never have to appear at the court at all! However, if there is a trial, you may be required to report to the court.

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8. How will I know if and when I have to report?

We make it convenient for you to check on your juror status through a recorded telephone message. Your first time to call the recorded message is on the Friday immediately prior to when your term of service begins and thereafter on every Friday until your term of service ends. Please call (419) 627-7731 after 6:00 p.m. and listen attentively to the entire message.

The recorded message will inform you of:

  1. If there is jury duty.
  2. Which jurors are selected to report.
  3. What date and time those jurors are to report.

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9. Where do I go at the Court when I am required to report for jury duty?

You must report to the "Office of the Clerk of Courts" at the Erie County Common Pleas Courthouse, 323 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio. This is on the 1st floor of the Courthouse, immediately to the right upon entering the courthouse.

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10. I am no longer a resident of Erie County; do I still have to serve?

No, but return the uncompleted questionnaire along with a note stating you no longer reside in Erie County.

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11. Do I get paid?

Prospective jurors are paid $30.00 per day for each day appearing for jury service up to and including ten (10) days. On the eleventh (11th) consecutive day and thereafter, you are paid $45.00 per day.

If the Court has instructed you to appear at the Court for jury duty, it is imperative that you report and check in at the Clerk of Courts office located on the first floor of the courthouse.

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12. Your attire...

Please use good judgment and report for jury duty properly dressed. Short skirts, tee shirts, and tank tops are not appropriate attire.

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13. Parking...

There are several “off-street” parking locations in the area near the Courthouse. One of the most convenient, and one that is of no cost, is the county parking garage located at the corner of Columbus Avenue and West Market Street.

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14. What if weather is bad?

In case of inclement weather, please listen to the following radio stations for cancellation of any jury trials or grand jury:

  • WLEC (1450 AM)
  • WCPZ (102.7 FM)
  • WGGN (97.7 FM)

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15. Excusals...

In limited circumstances, a juror may be excused pursuant to statute (See ORC 2313.16). If you feel that you are “eligible” to be excused, please DO NOT call the Court with a request to be excused. Submit your request in writing with any appropriate supporting documentation that you want the Court to review, then mail it with your completed questionnaire in the envelope provided. Medical reasons must include documentation by your physician/healthcare provider. Employment related reasons must be submitted and supported by you, not by your employer. The Court will then review your request/documentation and will inform you by letter if your request has been

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16. What about my children?

There are no facilities to care for children at the court. Childcare arrangements should be made in advance, as this does not exclude you from jury service.

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17. What about my employer, professor, or instructor?

By law, employers are not permitted to lay you off, discharge you, deny you advancement opportunity or otherwise penalize you for appearing for jury service. You will receive a “work/school slip” from the Clerk of Courts to give your employer, professor, or instructor proving that you appeared for jury service. Your professor or instructor must let you make up any work, tests, et cetera that was missed due to jury service.

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18. What if I have other questions about my jury duty service?

You can contact my Judicial Administrator, LINDA CALLIHAN, at (419) 624-6915 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. or by email at lcalligan@eriecounty.oh.gov.

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