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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are called for jury duty, you will have many questions – from where you should report to what will happen during a trial if you are chosen to serve. Most of these steps are set by state law and a few court rules. What you read here should cover most of your questions when called to serve in the Superior Court of California, although each county may be slightly different.

1. Who may be called to serve as a juror?

You may be called to serve if you are 18 years old or older, a United States citizen, and a resident of the County of Kings. In addition you must not have served as any kind of juror during the past 12 months, nor have been convicted of a felony.

2. How did my name get selected for jury duty?

Jurors' names are selected at random from lists of registered voters. In addition, the law provides that the courts may use the names of all persons who have driver’s licenses or identification cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

3. How long will my name be on the prospective juror's list?

Your name will remain on the court's jury list for at least one year, and you may be called for jury duty at any time during that year. If you are not called one year, your name may be placed on next year’s list.

4. When I am summoned as a juror, what should I do?

READ the entire summons. Complete the juror profile section, and bring the summons with you when reporting. Your juror group number and future instructions are located on the front of the summons. Check your status by checking the reporting instructions by phone, per the instructions on your summons. For info about visiting the court, click here.

5. What happens if I do not respond to the jury summons?

For your information, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 209 provides that "Any prospective trial juror who has been summoned for service, and who fails to attend upon the court as directed or to respond to the court or jury commissioner and to be excused from attendance, may be attached and compelled to attend; and, following an order to show cause hearing, the court may find the prospective juror in contempt of court, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, or 5 days in the county jail, or both" (CCP 1218(a)).

6. May I postpone my jury service to a more convenient time?

You may request to reschedule your jury service to a more convenient time. Usually it must be rescheduled during the same year and not exceed 90 days from the date of your summons. Jurors are allowed one postponement. To request a postponement, you may return "Part Two" (located at the bottom of the summons) mark the reason, sign, date and return it to the Jury Office via mail, in person or fax to (559) 585-3262

7. How can I be a juror if my boss won’t let me off?

Employers must allow employees time off to serve on a jury. The California Labor Code Section 230 prohibits any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned to court for jury services as long as reasonable notice is given. If you are a teacher or student, you are protected by California Education Code Sections 44037 and 87306.

If you are concerned that jury duty has negatively impacted your employment, the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) can provide assistance. A Senior Labor Commissioner will respond to questions at DLSE2@dir.ca.gov.

8. What should I wear to Court?

Dress as you would to go to a business meeting or social function. Check with the Jury Services Office if you have any doubts. For info about visiting the court, click here.

9. How much of my day will jury service take?

You should plan to attend court as a juror all day from 8:00 – 4:30 p.m. depending on the court's schedule. Trials are of varying length. Many trials are completed in 2-3 days. The trial judge will advise you of probable trial duration and may excuse you from serving a particular case if your service would amount to extreme hardship.

10. What happens if I’m late?

Contact the Jury Services Office as soon as you know that you are going to be late. If you are already assigned to a courtroom, contact the Jury Services Office or the clerk of the court and explain your situation. Remember the trial cannot proceed until everyone is present. If you don’t have a good excuse, the judge may fine you for being late.

11. Is it true that I must not discuss the case with anyone while it’s in progress?

Do not talk to anyone about the case until you are discharged from the jury, not even the lawyers or the judge, except through the bailiff. Discussions with others can cause a mistrial because the juror gained evidence outside the record. If any person persists in talking to you about the trial or attempts to influence you as a juror, tell the bailiff. During deliberations at the end of the trial, of court, you will discuss the case with other jurors in order to reach a verdict.

© 2017 Superior Court of California - County of Kings
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