JURY SERVICES

We are experiencing technical difficulties receiving e-mails and faxes at this time. During business hours you may reach the Jury Coordinator at (850)606-4007. Please call (850)606-4204 after 5:00 pm.

You have just received a summons to report for jury duty and probably have questions. The court realizes that jury service may impose a hardship on citizens. However, the right to trial by jury is one of the principles guaranteed by the Constitution, and it is the duty of every citizen to serve when called. Every effort is made to assure that each juror has a positive experience. Thanks in advance for serving. To help you find answers to many of your common questions, we have provided the following topics:

Click here for an informative video about jury service in Florida.
Click here for the Florida Bar "Handbook for Jurors".

Jury Process - Chapter 40, Florida Statutes

Jury Summons

Juror names are randomly selected from the list of names supplied annually by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Juror Qualifications

A Leon County juror must be US citizens at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of Florida and Leon County, and must possess a driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you wish to serve as a juror but do not possess a driver's license, you may complete an affidavit, which may be obtained by calling the Jury Coordination Office at (850) 606-4007, or via e-mail at Clerk_Jury@leoncountyfl.gov.

Disqualifications and Excusals
You will be disqualified or excused for the following reasons:

  • You are currently under prosecution for any crime.
  • You are a convicted felon and have not had your civil rights restored.
  • You serve as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, clerk of court, or judge.

You may be disqualified or excused for the following reasons:

  • You were summoned and reported as a prospective juror in any court in your county of residence, within 1 year before the 1st day for which you were considered for jury service (exemption for 1 year from the last day of service).
  • You are an expectant mother or a parent who is not employed full-time and have custody of a child under the age of 6.
  • You are 70 years of age or older.
  • You are a fulltime federal, state, or local law enforcement officer or investigative personnel for these entities.
  • You care for persons who, because of mental illness, physical or mental incapacity, are incapable of caring for themselves.
  • You are a practicing attorney or physician.
  • You show hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity.



Jury Service

Attire

The dress code of the court is general business attire. Casual attire is acceptable, but tank tops, shorts, and flip flops are not.

Parking

  • Free parking is provided at the Leon County Public Library lot, located to the west of the library, directly across from the library's delivery bay doors at 121 N. Bronough St. Shuttle service is provided from this parking lot. The shuttle will begin transporting to and from the County Courthouse starting at 7:15 a.m. Shuttle service for afternoon selections begin at 11:45 am. Please wait outside the gate at the designated area off of Bronough Street. Also, you can text "PICKUP" to (850) 544-1828.
  • You may pay $7 per day for parking in the Kleman Plaza parking lot, 306 S. Duval St., or Republic Parking, 215 S. Calhoun St.
  • Please be aware that our office cannot reimburse you for parking expenses.

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    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    If you are a person with a disability who needs an accommodation to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the Jury Coordination Office, 301 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301, (850) 606-4007, or via e-mail at Clerk_Jury@leoncountyfl.gov, within two (2) working days of your receipt of your jury summons; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711, via the Florida Relay Service.

    Reporting for Jury Service

    Please visit the Juror E-Response system. to update your information, including your mobile phone number and/or e-mail address to receive up-to-date reporting information.

    If your reporting time is 8:00 am, after 5:30 pm on the evening before you are scheduled to report for jury selection or report for a trial, you should do one of the following:

    • Call the Juror Information phone line at (850) 606-4204.
    • Visit the Juror E-Response system. You will need your candidate ID #, located above your reporting date on the juror check-in form at the bottom of your summons.
    If your jury selection reporting time is 12:15 pm, after 10:00 am on the morning you are scheduled to report for jury selection, you should do one of the following:
    • Call the Juror Information phone line at (850) 606-4204.
    • Visit the Juror E-Response system. You will need your candidate ID #, located above your reporting date on the juror check-in form at the bottom of your summons.
    Remember, trials may be continued or canceled, and your service may not be needed. Jurors that are scheduled to report for service at 12:15 PM must check the Juror Information phone line at (850) 606-4204 between 10:00 AM and 10:30AM the day of service to see if you are still scheduled to report.

    What to Expect on the First Day

    The first day of service is normally limited to jury selection. On occasion, jury selection will be made and the judge will immediately begin the trial. Generally, if selected for a trial, jurors will be released and told when to report back for trial and how many days the trial will last. If not selected, the first day of service will be the only service required. Wi-Fi is available in the courthouse.

    It is very common for a judge to have multiple trials in a week and to be involved in selecting multiple juries. Generally, the juries are selected one at a time. If not called for the initial jury selection, jurors will remain in the jury assembly room until called. This wait can be significant and jurors are encouraged to bring something to read while waiting. A limited number of Internet connections are available for those citizens who bring a laptop with them.

    Those citizens remaining through the lunch hour will be given a lunch break. Judges will look for a convenient break in the proceedings and therefore the time for lunch may vary. Generally, the break is sometime between noon and 1 p.m. and will last 30 minutes to an hour. Lunch is not provided. Those summoned to appear in the morning should bring a snack or sack lunch. Jurors summoned to appear in the afternoon should eat lunch prior to reporting. Jurors are strongly encouraged not to move their vehicles during lunch. Parking in the downtown area is limited and finding parking spaces upon returning from lunch can be a problem.

    Depending upon the number of trials and the complexity of the cases, the jury selection process can last all day. Judges are well aware that citizens have other responsibilities and make every effort to conclude before the end of the normal business day. However, from time to time we may have complicated and/or high profile cases that may cause the jury selection process to last several days. This is an extremely rare occurrence and we will make every effort to make this as smooth as possible.

    Payment for Jury Service

    If you will receive regular pay from your employer during jury service, you are not entitled to compensation for the first three days of jury service. If you will not receive regular pay, you are entitled to receive $15.00 per day for the first three days of service. All jurors will receive $30.00 on the fourth day and each day thereafter. If you are excused from service by your own request, you are not entitled to compensation. To insure proper payment, the Juror Check-In Form included with your jury summons must be completed before reporting on the scheduled date, and must be turned in to the Jury Coordination Office when you report.



    Trials

    Examination of Jurors

    • When jurors are called to a panel for a particular case, the judge and the attorneys will ask questions regarding jurors' backgrounds. This process is called "voir dire," which means "to speak the truth." These questions are not meant to embarrass. Instead, they are designed to ensure that members of the jury have no opinions or past experiences that might prevent them from making an impartial decision.
    • Excusals are based on Florida law and should not be taken personally

    Types of Trials

    Civil Trials
    • Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, governments, government agencies, or other organizations. Usually, the party who brings the suit is seeking money damages for an alleged wrong that has been done. The party who brings the suit is called the plaintiff, and the one being sued is called the defendant. Civil trials can involve small claims, personal injury, and medical malpractice cases.
    • After the jury has been sworn in, the plaintiff's lawyer may make an opening statement that outlines the nature of the case and the evidence that will be offered to support the plaintiff's case. The defense lawyer may make an opening statement for the defendant, or the lawyer may wait until the plaintiff's case has been completed.
    • The first evidence is received from witnesses for the plaintiff who are called to the witness stand and sworn to tell the truth before giving their testimony. Every witness is examined by the lawyer for one side and may be cross-examined by the lawyer for the other side (or questioned by the judge) as the trial progresses.
    • After the plaintiff has put in evidence, the lawyer for the defendant may make an opening statement. The defense attorney may call witnesses for the defendant, who are subject to examination and cross-examination. The plaintiff's lawyer may put witnesses on the stand in rebuttal, or reply, and they are likewise subject to examination and cross-examination.
    • When all of the evidence has been presented, the lawyer for the plaintiff may make a closing argument, intended to help the jury analyze the evidence. The lawyer for the defendant may make an argument for the defendant for the same purpose. Finally, the lawyer for the plaintiff may make a concluding argument in reply.
    • During the trial, the judge decides all disputes about the law and provides the rules for trying the case. The judge may rule upon many questions that are submitted by the attorneys and may hear arguments of counsel in the absence of the jury.
    • At the close of the trial, the judge instructs the jury on the law and tells the jury the principal questions it must decide. When the judge turns the case over to the jury, the jury will retire to the jury room to consider the evidence and the instructions given by the court.
    • During a trial, jurors are permitted to go their separate ways when the court is not in session. Only in rare instances are jurors "sequestered" or kept together to prevent outside influence.
    Criminal Trials
    • Criminal cases are brought by the state against persons accused of committing a crime. In these cases, the state is the plaintiff, and the accused person is the defendant. Criminal trials can involve traffic, misdemeanor, felony, and capital (death penalty) cases.
    • The procedure in a criminal trial is basically the same as in a civil trial, except that, in a criminal case, the state accuses an individual or corporation with violation of a law.
    • If there is a conviction, the judge determines the appropriate treatment or punishment.

    Important Things to Remember During the Trial

    Jurors should observe the following general rules of conduct:

    • 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 clerk, judge, and lawyers to identify jurors easily.
    • Listen carefully. It is important that jurors hear every question asked and every answer given since the verdict will be based on the evidence given. If a juror does not understand any portion of the trial, he or she should ask the judge to explain.
    • Do not talk about the case. Jurors should not talk with anyone about the case. This includes the clerk, lawyers, judge, bailiff, and other jurors, unless the jury has retired to the jury room for deliberations. If anyone tries to talk to a juror about the case or attempts to influence a juror, it should be reported to the judge immediately.



    Juror Electronic Response System



    You have just received a summons to report for jury duty and for some reason you cannot comply.

    The court realizes that jury service may impose a hardship on citizens and although the expectation is that all citizens will serve when required, the court has provisions in place for both temporary and permanent excusals.

    Before being transferred to the e-response excusal page we ask you to please read the following instructions to assure that the information requested can be filled in correctly.

    If you need assistance, contact the Jury Coordinator's Office at (850) 606-4007, or via e-mail at Clerk_Jury@leoncountyfl.gov.