Jury Duty - Trial/Petit Jury Frequently Asked Questions

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How was my name chosen?

Your Name was obtained from the Erie County Board of Elections voters' registration records and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and then randomly selected from a computerization program. 

Eligibility for jury service?

Anyone is eligible for jury service, 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 18 years of age.

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

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.

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.

I do not know anything about the law...

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

How long do I have to serve on jury duty?

You have to check in with the Court for three (3) consecutive weeks.  However, the normal time you serve is usually about 3-5 days.

Do I have to be at court every day during my jury duty term?

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.

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. You may also call at anytime on Saturday or Sunday.  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.

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

You need to report to the 3rd floor at the Erie County Common Pleas Courthouse, 323 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio.

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.

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.  You will sign in each day you are required to report for jury duty.

 

Your attire

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

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 across the street from the Courthouse at the corner of Columbus Avenue and West Market Street.

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)
  • 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 granted or denied

    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.

    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.

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

    You can contact the Jury Manager, Lisa Sartor at (419) 624-6915 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. or by email at lsartor@eriecounty.oh.gov 

    What if I do not report when requested?

     You can be held in contempt of Court, which can result in a fine and/or jail time.

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