Jury Service

 Jury service is one of the highest responsibilities that you can participate in as a citizen of the United States of America.  Your service as a juror is a vital function of our democracy.  Our judicial system belief is that a just and fair verdict in court comes from having disputes settled by our fellow citizens.  You become a very important part of our legal system when you participate as a fair and impartial juror in trial court.  Very few of us ever have to go to court as a plaintiff or defendant, but when we do, we want good, honest people to listen to the evidence and decide on the verdict.  Therefore, when called to serve on a jury, we have an obligation to our fellow citizens to honor the summons and appear at court. 

 

Jury Questionnaire

What you should know about jury service 

How are jurors selected and what are the requirements for being a juror?

What are the different types of jurors and what role do they fulfill?
Petit Jury (Brochure)
Grand Jury (Brochure)

What should you know about the law regarding your employer?

Jury Service - General Information

Location of the Williams Common Pleas Court

Parking Availability

Your attire

Where to check in for jury service

Your compensation

Meals/Snacks/Beverages

Oath of a juror

Progression when reporting for petit jury duty

Legal terms and definitions

Frequently asked questions

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT JURY SERVICE

How are jurors selected and what are the requirements for being a juror?

 

In Williams County, jurors are randomly selected from the voter registration file.  In December of each year an annual pool selection is completed and the list of prospective jurors is provided to the Jury Commissioners of Williams County.  Before the start of each term (January, May, September), the Commissioners mail questionnaires to the prospective jurors.  The questionnaire is not a summons to report for jury service, but simply the process used by the Williams County Common Pleas Court to gather a list of qualified county citizens to fulfill the need for various types of jurors.  When a juror is selected for a specific type of jury, additional information will be sent via regular mail.   

To qualify as a juror for Williams County, you must reside within the court’s jurisdiction, be at least 18 years of age and you must not have lost your right to sit as a juror by having been convicted of a felony.  Beyond this, every citizen is given the opportunity to fulfill their civic duty, without prejudice, as a member of a jury panel.

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What are the different types of jurors and what role do they fulfill?

 

The Williams County Common Pleas Court is responsible to summons two types of jurors; petit jurors and grand jurors.

 

Petit Jury

 

A petit jury term runs a length of four months beginning in January, May, and September of each jury year.  If you are selected to serve as a petit juror for Common Pleas Court, you will be summoned to appear approximately seven to ten days prior to the scheduled jury trial.  Your summons will include specific instructions on date and time of appearance, expected duration of trial, instructions on requests to be excused, and telephone contact information to confirm if the trial will proceed.  As a petit juror, you may be summoned to appear two to three times during your four month term. 

A petit juror selected to sit on a trial jury will hear a case of a criminal or civil nature.  You will not know the type of trial or the specifics of that trial until you appear as a juror and start the trial process.  The law for a criminal trial requires a trial jury of twelve jurors, with eight jurors being required for a trial jury on a civil trial.  Most jury trials will seat one or two alternate jurors, in the event of unforeseen circumstances in which a seated juror is unable to attend the entire trial.   

A criminal case is filed in the name of the State of Ohio against an individual who has been charged with a crime, called the defendant.  A crime is a violation of a law enacted by our legislature to protect our basic rights and freedoms.  When seated as a juror on a criminal case, you will hear evidence from both parties; the prosecution (State of Ohio) and the defendant.  A criminal trial requires all twelve jurors to unanimously find the defendant guilty or not guilty.   

A civil case is usually between two or more persons, companies, or corporations who have a dispute concerning money or property.  The party filing the suit is called the plaintiff.  The party against whom the suit is being filed is called the defendant.  When seated as a juror on a civil case, you will hear evidence from both parties.  A civil trial requires at least three-fourths of the trial jurors to agree on the verdict.   

Evidence is the testimony of the witnesses, the exhibits admitted during trial, facts agreed to by counsel, and facts the court requires you to accept as true.  Evidence does not include the pleadings, statements of counsel, or testimony which has been stricken.  You may not speculate as to why the court sustained an objection to any question or what the answer to such a question might have been.  Nor may you speculate on the truth of any suggestion included in an unanswered question.  A judge is not taking sides when ruling an objection to certain evidence, but merely applying the rules for the proper conduct of the trial.  There may be times when the jury is excused from the courtroom or when counsel and the judge will retire to chambers.  Under the law, various matters must be heard out of the presence of the jury.  When a trial is necessarily interrupted for such reasons, you should not feel as though your time is being wasted.  In many instances time is saved by such conferences.   

One of your duties as the “judge of the facts” is to determine the credibility of the witnesses.  You may consider the appearance of the witnesses upon the stand; the manner of testifying; the reasonableness of the testimony; the opportunity each witness had to see, hear and know the issues concerning the testimony; accuracy of memory; frankness or lack thereof; intelligence, interest and bias, if any; together with all the circumstances surrounding the testimony.  You are not required to believe the testimony of any witness simply because he or she was under oath.  It is your right to determine what testimony is worthy of belief and what is not, therefore you will apply the tests of truthfulness which you are accustomed to apply in your daily lives.   

As a juror, you are expected to bring all the experience, common sense, and common knowledge you possess, but you are not to rely upon any private sources of information.  This rule is only fair to the parties.  You must remain fair, impartial and attentive throughout the trial.  You may not discuss the case during the trial among other jurors or with anyone else.  You will receive the opening statements, the evidence, the arguments and the law, in that order.  It would be unfair of you to form or express an opinion before you receive everything necessary.  As a juror, if counsel, parties, or witnesses to the case approach you to discuss the case you should report the incident to the court or the bailiff immediately.  You may not, individually, investigate or attempt to obtain additional information on the case outside the courtroom.  You may not read, view or listen to any report in the newspaper, on the radio, or television on the subject of the trial.  You may only consider and decide the case upon the evidence received at the trial.  If you should acquire any information from an outside source regarding the trial, you must disregard that information when coming to your conclusion about the case.  When your period of service is completed, you will be released from these instructions.  The work of a juror is of the utmost responsibility and in the discharge of this responsibility you must be diligent in effort and conscientious in thought, otherwise a grave injustice may come about.  Jurors must decide the facts and apply the law impartially, without sympathy or favor to rich and poor, to corporations and to individuals, to men and to women, and to all litigants without regard to race, color or creed. 

 

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Grand Jury:

 

A grand jury term runs a length of four months beginning in January, May and September.  If you are selected to serve as a grand juror for Williams County, you will be notified by mail from the Common Pleas Court approximately two weeks prior to the start of a jury term.  The notification will include a jury summons with specifics on the first date you are scheduled to appear.  Grand jurors are sworn in by the Common Pleas Court Judge on their first appearance.  Grand Jury generally meets four times during the jury term on the third Wednesday of each month, unless otherwise specified.  It may be necessary during your jury term to meet for a “Special Grand Jury Session”.  You will be notified by the Court if this should occur.   

A selected grand juror will hear evidence presented by the Prosecutor’s Office about crimes and decide if a person should be charged and tried through Common Pleas Court for committing a crime.  A crime is a violation of a law enacted by our legislature to protect our basic rights and freedoms.  As a juror, you are expected to bring all the experience, common sense, and common knowledge you possess, but you are not to rely upon any private sources of information.  It is very possible that you may have read, viewed or listened to a report in the newspaper, on the radio or television about the crime you are hearing evidence regarding.  You may only reach a verdict on the charges upon the evidence received at the Grand Jury Session.  You must remain fair and attentive throughout the session.  You must not discuss the content of any Grand Jury Session with anyone throughout the term of your jury service or thereafter.  The work of a grand juror is of the utmost responsibility and in the discharge of this responsibility you must be diligent in effort and conscientious in thought.  Jurors must decide the facts and apply the law impartially, without sympathy or favor to rich and poor, to corporations and individuals, to men and to women, and to all accused without regard to race, color or creed.

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What should you know about the law regarding your employer?

 

It is your responsibility as a summoned juror to notify your employer of the potential to being called to serve on a jury for your jury term and to update them as required. 

Ohio Revised Code 2313.18 prohibits actions of an employer of a juror, specifically prohibiting an employer from discharging or threatening to discharge any permanent employee summoned to serve as a juror if that employee gives reasonable notice of their summons prior to being absent from work for service as a juror.  It also states “Whoever violates…shall be punished as for a contempt of court”.  

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jury service – general information

Location of the Williams County Common Pleas Court:

 

Address:  One Courthouse Square, 3rd Floor, Bryan, Ohio

 

 

Parking availability:

 

Jurors should park on Lynn Street on the West side of the Courthouse as this is the only public access to the Courthouse.

 

 

Your attire:

 

Please use your best judgment and report for jury service properly dressed.  Tee shirts, shorts, sweats, tattered jeans, and flip flops do not constitute proper attire for jury service.  Business casual wear is a proper choice. 

 

 

Where to check in for jury service:

 

When you report for jury service, you need to check in with the Clerk of Courts Office.  This office is located on the third floor of the Courthouse.

 

 

Your compensation:

 

Along with the knowledge you will gain of our legal system when sitting as a juror on a trial and the feeling of having fulfilled a civic duty, when you report as a petit juror and sign in through the Clerk’s Office, you will be compensated $40.00 per a full day and $20.00 for a half day of service.

 

 

Meals/Snacks/Beverages:

 

Jurors are provided free coffee, tea and water when reporting for service.  When serving as a petit juror, you will be provided with ample free time for lunch during the duration of a jury trial. When serving as a grand juror, the session is normally concluded prior to noon.  There are several restaurants in the Bryan area.  If you are not familiar with the area, please ask a fellow juror who is or a member of the court staff.  The jury room is equipped with a refrigerator if you desire to bring your own lunch.

 

 

Oath of a juror:

 

As a prospective juror who has been called for service and reports to the court, you will be asked to stand and to swear or affirm to answer truthfully all questions asked of you as to your qualifications to serve as a juror.

 

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Progression when reporting for petit jury duty:

 

After checking in with the Clerk of Courts Office, you will be escorted to the jury room where you will wait until all jurors are present.  After all jurors are present, the Clerk will take a role-call.  The judge will have you swear or affirm to your oath and the selection process will begin.  The selection process will contain questions presented to you by the judge and counsel.  Each party to a lawsuit is entitled to jurors who approach the case with open minds and who agree to keep their minds open until a verdict is reached.  Jurors must be as free as humanly possible from bias, prejudice or sympathy and not influenced by preconceived ideas either as to facts or the law.  The questions that will be asked are not designed to pry into your personal affairs, but to discover if you have any knowledge of this case; any preconceived opinions which cannot be laid aside; or if you’ve had any experiences that might cause you to identify yourself with either party.  These questions are necessary to assure each party an impartial jury.  There are two types of challenges for which a juror may be excused from sitting on a case.  The challenges for cause are covered by statute.  The judge decides whether or not a prospective juror should be excused for cause.  Peremptory challenges are also provided for in the law and are limited in number.  The court must excuse a person who is challenged peremptorily.  If you are challenged for any reason or in any way, it does not mean you may not serve on other juries and it is in no way a reflection on your honesty or ability.   After the jury has been selected those jurors remaining will be asked to stand and swear or affirm to well and truly try the matters in issue and render a true verdict according to the evidence and the law.  

The trial will begin with opening statements.  These opening statements are not evidence, but they are a preview of the claims or position of each party designed to help you follow the evidence as it is presented.   

Then, each side may offer evidence to support its claim or position.  In a civil case, the plaintiff proceeds first, followed by the defendant.  Thereafter, rebuttal evidence may be offered.  In a criminal case, the prosecution (State of Ohio) offers its evidence.  The defendant may offer evidence if so desired.  If the defendant presents evidence, the prosecution may present rebuttal evidence.  When all evidence has been presented, the attorneys for the respective parties will be given an opportunity to address the jury.   

Arguments will begin.  The lawyer for the plaintiff or the prosecution is usually heard first and will analyze the evidence and attempt to convince the jury that under the evidence and the law, they are entitled to have the case decided in their favor.  The lawyer for the defendant will then make an argument to show why the case should be decided in their favor.  The plaintiff’s attorney or the prosecuting attorney is then allowed to rebut the defendant’s argument.  These arguments are not evidence in the case.   

The judge will then instruct you as to the law.  You must apply the law as given by the court to the facts in the case as you find them.  You should listen to these instructions  carefully, bearing in mind that it is your sworn duty to follow the law.  You will then retire to the jury room for deliberations.   

Your first duty upon retiring is to select your foreperson.  The foreperson acts as chairperson.  It is the foreperson’s duty to see that the discussion is carried on in sensible and orderly fashion and that every juror has a chance to voice an opinion.  The foreperson has no greater voice than other members of the panel with respect to the verdict.  Discussion in the jury room should never be so loud that it can be heard outside.  Jurors should deliberate with open minds, give respectful consideration to the opinions of fellow jurors, freely exchange views or opinions concerning the suit and not be hesitant to change their minds when reason and logic so dictate.  It is your solemn oath to decide the case according to the law and the evidence.  Questions during deliberation must be written and presented to the bailiff.  The judge then reads the question in the presence of the attorneys and their clients.  The answer is written and returned to the foreperson by the bailiff.  The jury’s deliberation is secret.  Until a verdict is announced and accepted by the judge in open court, jurors may not disclose to anyone else the status of their deliberations or the nature of their verdict.  When a verdict is reached, the foreperson informs the bailiff of that fact. The jury then returns to the court and gives its verdict.  

Upon conclusion of the reading of the verdict, you will receive final words from the court and be excused of your duties. 

 

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Legal Terms and Definitions:

 

 

Action, Case, Suit, Lawsuit:

A legal dispute brought into court for a hearing or trial.

 

 

Parties:

The plaintiff and defendant in the case – also called the “litigants”.

 

 

Cause of Action:

The legal grounds on which a party to a lawsuit relies to get a verdict against an opponent.

 

 

Complaint:

The first pleading in a civil case stating facts and demanding relief to which plaintiff claims to be entitled.

 

 

Indictment:

The document informing the defendant of the criminal charges.

 

 

Answer:

A pleading filed with the court before the trial by the defendant in a civil case to answer or deny the plaintiff’s claims.

 

 

Counterclaim:

An answer to the complaint, in which the defendant claims to be entitled to damages or other relief from the plaintiff.

 

 

Issue:

A disputed question of fact, which you must decide.  It is sometimes spoken of as one of the “questions” which the jury must answer in order to reach a verdict.

 

 

Pleadings:

All the documents filed by the parties before the trial to establish what issues must be decided by the jury.

 

 

Deliberations:

The discussions of the jury, which occur after the judge has instructed you to retire to the jury room and consider your verdict.

 

 

Opening Statement:

Before introducing any evidence in the case, a lawyer tells the jury what the case is about and what evidence is expected to be brought in to prove that side of the case.  An opening statement is not evidence.

 

 

Examination, Direct Examination, Examination-in-Chief:

Questions, which the lawyers ask their own clients or witnesses called to the stand.

 

 

Cross-Examination:

Questions, which a lawyer puts to the party or a witness on the opposing side.  This is designed to test the testimony and credibility of the party or witness.

 

 

Deposition:

If a party to a lawsuit or a witness cannot be in court because of illness or other inability, that person’s testimony may be written out in question-and-answer form and read at the trial, just as it would have been given in court.  Or if such testimony was recorded, the recording is viewed at the trial.  Attorneys for both sides are present when a deposition is taken.  A deposition may also be used to deny a witness’ testimony or for the purpose of refreshing a witness’ recollection.

 

 

Exhibit:

Articles such as objects, pictures, books, letters and documents are often received into evidence.  These exhibits are given to the jury to take to the jury room while deliberating.

 

 

“Objection Overruled” or “Overruled”:

The judge’s ruling that a lawyer’s objection is not well taken under the rules for conducting the trial.  The judge’s ruling, so far as you are concerned, is final and may not be questioned.

 

 

“Objection Sustained” or “Sustained”:

The judge’s ruling that a lawyer’s objection is well taken under the rules for conducting the trial.  The judge’s ruling, so far as you are concerned, is final and may not be questioned.

 

 

Exception:

Occasionally, after the judge has made a ruling, a lawyer will say “exception”. This is a legal phrase, which has nothing to do with the duties of the jury and should be disregarded by you.  Its purpose is to preserve the point for further consideration and review by the higher courts at a later date.

 

 

Rest:

The lawyer has concluded the evidence to be introduced at that stage of the trial.

 

 

Argument:

After all the evidence on both sides of a lawsuit is in, the lawyers tell the jury what they think the evidence proves and why they think their side should win.  This is usually called an “argument” or “summing up” and is not evidence.

 

 

Instructions:

After all the evidence is in, and the lawyers have made their arguments, the judge outlines the question to be decided and states the issues you must decide.  The judge outlines the rules of law, which must guide your deliberations and control your verdict.  These are the judge’s “charge” or “instructions” to the jury.  A judge may, and sometimes must, instruct the jury on some point of law while the trial is in progress.

 

 

Record:

The official word-for-word copy of the proceedings, taken in shorthand, stenotype, or audio-transcription by an official court reporter.  Often the judge or the lawyers state that something is, or is not, “for the record” or “in the record”.

 

 

Jury Panel:

All prospective jurors from which the trial jury is chosen.

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Frequently asked questions

 

 

 

 

Prospective Juror Questionnaire:

 

The Williams County Sheriff and the Jury Commissioners of Williams County mail prospective juror questionnaires in late December, April and August of each year to individuals selected in the annual jury draw.  The jury pool is made up of registered voters of Williams County who are randomly selected using a computerized selection process.  The Court will utilize the information provided on these questionnaires for the selection of jurors for the next term beginning in January, May or September. 

 

 

 

 

Term Jury Summons – Petit Jury:

 

A petit jury term runs a length of four months beginning in January, May, and September of each jury year.  If you are selected to serve as a petit juror for Common Pleas Court , you will receive a summons to appear approximately seven to ten days prior to the scheduled jury trial.  Your summons will include specific instructions on date and time of appearance, expected duration of trial, instructions on requests to be excused, and telephone contact information to confirm if the trial will proceed.  As a petit juror, you may be summoned to appear two to three times during your four month term.

 

Term Jury Summons – Grand Jury:

 

A grand jury term runs a length of four months beginning in January, May and September.  If you are selected to serve as a grand juror for Williams County, you will receive a summons to appear approximately two weeks prior to the first scheduled grand jury for that term.  The notification will include specifics instructions on date and time of appearance.  Grand jurors are sworn in by the Common Pleas Court Judge on their first appearance.  Grand Jury generally meets four times during the jury term on the third Wednesday of each month, unless otherwise specified.  It may be necessary during your jury term to meet for a “Special Grand Jury Session”.  You will be notified by the Court if this should occur. 

 

 

 

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Prospective Juror Questionnaire

 

How was my name selected as a prospective juror?

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for a deceased relative, what should I do?

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire, but have moved from Williams County , what should I do?

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for a previous resident, what should I do?

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for my child, who is a full time college student and not living in Williams County , what should I do?

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for my spouse or relative who is no longer competent to serve as a juror due to Dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., what should I do?

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire at my parent’s address and no longer reside there but do still live in Williams County, what should I do?

My name has changed and I have received a prospective juror questionnaire addressing me as my old name, what should I do?

None of the questions address my concern, who should I contact?

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Question:

How was my name selected as a prospective juror?

Answer:

In Williams County , prospective jurors are selected using the list of registered voters provided by the Board of Elections.  The selection process is guided by computer programming and is set up to select individuals randomly from the current voter registration file.  

 

Question:

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for a deceased relative, what should I do?

Answer:

If you have opened the information form, please fill in their name and make note that they are deceased and return the form as instructed so that we may remove this person from the jury list.  

If you have not opened the information form, please return the correspondence through the mail after writing “Deceased – Return to Sender”, or something of that nature, on the outside of the pocket envelope.  Upon return, the person will be removed from the jury list.  

We apologize for this mailing.  The form was mailed because the person is still a registered voter in this county and was randomly selected for jury service.  If you wish to have them removed as a registered voter for this county, please contact the Williams County Board of Elections Office at 419-636-1854.

 

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Question:

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire, but have moved from Williams County , what should I do?

Answer:

Complete the name and address sections, making a specific note of your new county of residence, sign and date the form and return it as instructed so that we may remove you from the jury list.  

The form was mailed because you are still a registered voter in this county and was randomly selected for jury service.  If you wish to be removed as a registered voter for this county, please contact the Williams County Board of Elections Office at 419-636-1854.

 

Question:

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for a previous resident, what should I do?

Answer:

As you would do for any other piece of mail received at your address that does not belong to an individual currently residing there, write “Not a Resident – Return to Sender”, or something of that nature, on the outside of the pocket envelope and return it through the mail.  Upon receipt, the person will be removed from the jury list.  

The information was mailed because the person is still a registered voter for this county and the Board of Elections still has your address on file for them.

 

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Question:

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for my child, who is a full time college student and not living in Williams County , what should I do?

Answer:

If your child will be available to complete the information form within the time requested, please have them do so completing the name and address sections, making a specific note of their current county of residence, listing occupation as student, listing employer as the name of the college he/she attends, signing, and dating the form then returning it as instructed so that we may remove him/her from our jury list.  

If your child will not be available to complete the information form within the time requested, you may complete the form for him/her as instructed above.  Please sign your name to the form, print your name, and list your relationship (mother, father, etc.) next to your printed name, then return the form as instructed so that we may remove him/her from our jury list.  

If you have not opened the information form, you may return it as you would any other piece of mail that is received at your address but does not belong to an individual currently residing there.  Write “Not a Resident – Return to Sender”, or something of that nature, on the outside of the pocket envelope and return it through the mail.  Upon receipt, we will remove your child from our jury list.  

The form was mailed because your child is still a registered voter in this county and was randomly selected for jury service.  If they wish to be removed as a registered voter for this county, please have them contact the Williams County Board of Elections Office at 419-636-1854.

 

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Question:

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire for my spouse or relative who is no longer competent to serve as a juror due to Dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., what should I do?

Answer:

As their spouse or relative, you may complete the information form for them.  Please be sure to make note of their condition on the form and return it as instructed.  Per Ohio Revised Code Section 2313.16 (A)(4), documentation of the condition from a licensed physician must be provided.  Therefore, it is recommended that such a statement accompany the form to ensure your spouse or relative is excused from jury duty.  

The form was mailed because your spouse or relative is still a registered voter in this county and was randomly selected for jury service.  If you wish to have them removed as a registered voter for this county, please contact the Williams County Board of Elections Office at 419-636-1854.

 

Question:

I have received a prospective juror questionnaire at my parent’s address and no longer reside there but do still live in Williams County, what should I do?

Answer:

Complete the information form as requested being sure to note your current address and return it as instructed so that we may correct our jury list to reflect your current address.  Since you are still a resident of Williams County , you still qualify as a prospective juror.  

The form was mailed to your parent’s address because your voter registration file at that address is still active.  To correct your voter registration, you should contact the Williams County Board of Elections Office at 419-636-1854.

 

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Question:

My name has changed and I have received a prospective juror questionnaire addressing me as my old name, what should I do?

Answer:

Complete the information form as requested being sure to note your current name and return it as instructed so that we may correct our jury list to reflect your new name.  This does not disqualify you as a prospective juror as long as you still reside within Williams County .  

The form was mailed to you with your old name because your voter registration file under that name is still active.  To correct your voter registration, you should contact the Williams County Board of Elections Office at 419-636-1854.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Term Jury Summons

 

 

I have received a jury summons and have vacation or a business trip planned during the time of my jury term do I have to reschedule this planned event?

I have received a jury summons and feel that I am not up to serving on a jury do to health concerns, what should I do?

I have received a jury summons and feel that my employment may be jeopardized if I were to serve as a juror, what should I do?

I have received a jury summons and don’t feel that I can financially afford to be off work to serve as a juror, what should I do?

I have received a jury summons and am a convicted felon, am I still eligible to serve as a juror on a trial?

I have received a jury summons and I have a scheduled doctor appointment during the trial, do I need to reschedule this appointment?

 

None of these questions address my concern, who should I contact?

 

Question:

I have received a jury summons and have vacation or a business trip planned during the time of my jury term do I have to reschedule this planned event?

Answer:

Requests to be excused for travel should be made in writing and include your contact phone number and proof of travel (plane tickets, hotel reservations, etc.).  Please fax (419-636-9886) or deliver this documentation to the Court immediately.  Requests to be excused are reviewed by the Judge on a case by case basis.  You are still summoned to appear until you receive a call from the Court informing you otherwise.

 

Question:

I have received a jury summons and feel that I am not up to serving on a jury do to health concerns, what should I do?

Answer:

Requests to be excused from jury duty due to health concerns must be in writing and accompanied by documentation of your condition from a licensed physician must be provided to the Court per Ohio Revised Code Section 2313.16 (A)(4).  Please fax (419-636-9886) or deliver this documentation to the Court immediately.  Be sure to include your contact phone number in your request to be excused.  Upon receipt, your request will be forwarded to the Judge for consideration.  You are still summoned to appear until you receive a call from the Court informing you otherwise.

 

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Question:

I have received a jury summons and feel that my employment may be jeopardized if I were to serve as a juror, what should I do?

Answer:

Please be aware that you are protected by Ohio Revised Code 2313.18, which prohibits an employer from discharging or threatening to discharge any permanent employee summoned to serve as a juror if that employee gives reasonable notice of their summons prior to being absent from work for service as a juror.  It also states “Whoever violates…shall be punished as for a contempt of court”.  

You should speak with your employer about being selected for jury service.  Many of the organizations, companies and small businesses in this county are very supportive of their employees participating in this civic duty.

 

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Question:

I have received a jury summons and don’t feel that I can financially afford to be off work to serve as a juror, what should I do?

Answer:

If summoned as a petit juror, jury trials in the Williams County Court of Common Pleas can last from one to five days, and sometimes longer on very rare occasions.  In general, most trials are scheduled for two days.  You are compensated by the court $40 .00 per day ($20.00 per half day) for your services as a juror.  You can expect to receive your payment via mail in the form of a check no later than three weeks from the conclusion date of the trial.   

If summoned as a grand juror, you will meet once a month for four consecutive months.  You are compensated by the court $20.00 per half day for your services as a juror.  You can expect to receive your payment via mail in the form of a check no later than three weeks from the conclusion date of service.   

Please talk with your employer about being selected as a juror.  Many of the organizations, companies and small businesses in this county are very supportive of their employees participating in this civic duty and already have policies in place regarding their employees serving as jurors.  

If after speaking with your employer regarding their policies; taking into account the monetary compensation you will receive from the court; and keeping in mind the knowledge you will gain of our legal system as well as the feeling of having fulfilled a civic duty after having served as a juror, you feel that a severe financial hardship would result in serving as a juror, you must request to be excused from jury service in written form.  Please compose a letter addressed to Judge Stelzer stating fully the reasons you feel serving as a juror will result in a severe financial hardship.  Please fax (419-636-9886) or deliver this documentation to the Court immediately.  Upon receipt, your letter will be forwarded to the Judge for consideration.  You are still summoned to appear until you receive a call from the Court informing you otherwise.

 

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Question:

I have received a jury summons and am a convicted felon, am I still eligible to serve as a juror on a trial?

Answer:

If you have been released from your parole or probation with all of your rights restored, yes, you are eligible to serve as a juror.   

If you have not been released with rights restored, you are not eligible to serve as a juror.  Please contact the Court and your name will be removed from the eligible list of jurors from the term in which you were selected.

 

Question:

I have received a jury summons and I have a scheduled doctor appointment, do I need to reschedule this appointment?

Answer:

If the appointment is routine and easily rescheduled, please do so.  Otherwise, Please fax (419-636-9886) or deliver a written request to be excused to the Court immediately.  Upon receipt, your letter will be forwarded to the Judge for consideration.  You are still summoned to appear until you receive a call from the Court informing you otherwise

Question:

None of these questions address my concern, who should I contact?

Answer:

You may contact Amy Kimpel, Assignment/Jury Commissioner, Williams County Common Pleas Court, 419-636-2644 or akimpel@wmsco.org.  Office hours are Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. , excluding observed holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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