Jury

For information or assistance email:
Tammy Hale 
thale@gilchrist.fl.us

WHAT QUALIFIES YOU TO BE A JUROR?

F.S. 40.01 – Jurors shall be taken from the male and female persons at least 18 years of age who are citizens of the United States and legal residents of this state and their respective counties and who possess a driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles pursuant to chapter 322 or who have executed the affidavit prescribed in s. 40.011.

HOW ARE JURORS SUMMONED FOR JURY DUTY?

Juror’s names are randomly selected from the list provided by D.H.S.M.V. for Gilchrist County.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS FROM SERVING AS A JUROR?

Yes, jurors may be excused from serving for one of the following reasons:

  • Served as a juror in Gilchrist County within the past 12 months.
  • An expectant mother or a parent that is not employed full-time and has custody of a child under six years of age.
  • Are 70 years of age or older and do not wish to serve.
  • A Law Enforcement Officer that does not wish to serve.
  • Responsible for the care of a person who, because of mental illness, mental retardation, senility, or physical or mental incapacity, is incapable of caring for their self.
  • Serving as a juror will cause a hardship or extreme inconvenience, or public necessity.
  • All requests to be excused must be approved by the appropriate judge.  Please download and fill out the juror excusal request form.  You can bring the form in person, mail it, or e-mail it to thale@gilchrist.fl.us.

PAYMENT FOR JURY DUTY

Jurors who are not regularly employed and who do not continue to receive regular wages while serving as a juror are entitled to receive $15.00 per day for the first three days of juror service.

Each juror who serves more than three days will be paid by the state for the fourth day of service and each day thereafter at the rate of $30.00 per day of service.

A juror excused from jury service at his/her request is not entitled to receive compensation.

LENGTH OF SERVICE

The first day of service is normally limited to jury selection for trials held during the following trial week. Jurors selected to serve on a case will be asked to return and serve as a juror on the date(s) of that trial

TYPES OF TRIALS

Cases, which come before a petit jury, are divided into two general classes: Civil and Criminal.

In a civil trial, parties in dispute come into court to determine and settle their respective rights. The person who brings an action against another if the “plaintiff”. The person against whom the action is brought is the “defendant”.

In a criminal trial, the persons bringing the action are the people of the State of Florida, represented by the “prosecutor”. The “defendant” is a person or corporation accused of a violation of law.

“VOIR DIRE” OR EXAMINATION OF JURORS

Once a prospective juror has been impaneled in a case, the judge and the attorneys will ask some questions regarding his/her background. These questions are not intended to embarrass a juror in any way. The questions are to assist the attorneys in deciding which jurors to select. A juror may have a prejudice regarding the type of case to be tried that would make him or her a less desirable juror for the case. If the juror feels that they cannot be an impartial juror and this is not brought out by the questioning, the juror should bring this to the attention of the judge.

If a juror is excused for any reason, it is in no way a reflection on the juror. When a juror is excused it means only that in the particular case it is proper and lawful to excuse him or her.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING THE TRIAL

After you are sworn as a juror in a case, there are some rules of conduct which you should observe:

  • Be on time for court.
    The trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present
  • Sit in the same seat in the jury box
    This allows the judge and attorneys to identify you more easily.
  • Listen carefully.
    It is important that you hear every question asked and every answer given since your verdict will be based on the evidence given. If you do not understand any portion of the trial, ask the judge to have it explained.
  • Do not talk about the case.
    You should not talk to anyone about the case. This includes the clerk, attorneys, judge, bailiff or even another juror unless you have retired to the jury room for deliberations. If anyone tries to talk to you about the case or attempts to influence you as a juror, you should report it to the judge immediately.

AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)

In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in jury service should contact the Juror Coordinator no later than seven days prior to the date shown on the summons. Telephone: 352-463-3170, 1-800-955-8771 (TDD) or 1-800-955-8770 (Voice), via Florida Relay Service.