About Jury Service
Ultimately, our entire system of justice comes down to one person; you, the juror.
Taking the time to serve as a juror, to listen to all the evidence and to decide honestly and fairly, is perhaps the most important duty you, as a private citizen, can perform.
The decisions you make will never, ever be routine.
You could be asked to decide the fate of someone accused of murder, or to settle a multi-million-dollar lawsuit. You could be asked to decide what does or does not amount to negligence in a complicated civil suit, or to recommend the appropriate punishment in a capital crime.
I realize that your time is valuable, and that taking the time to serve as a juror might seem awkward or inconvenient. But it is time well spent. The Judges, court personnel, my staff and I are committed to doing everything we can to make your time here in the courthouse as positive and productive as possible.
As we are always looking for ways to improve our service to you, we have implemented an online jury registration system. With this system, you will be able to register online from the convenience of your home and check your reporting status at any time. You will also be able to request a one-time postponement up to six months and change your reporting date to another week.
When you report for jury service, you will simply scan your summons and have a seat. You will no longer have to stand in line or wait to fill out any information for your jury service as long as you have registered prior to your report date.
To qualify as a juror, you must be a United States Citizen at least 18 years of age, a legal resident of the State of Florida and of Seminole County, possess a valid driver license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or have executed and submitted the application for your desire to serve as a juror.
Names are randomly selected from the list of names supplied annually by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you are chosen as a juror, you will be notified by mail. The jury summons you receive will include the time, date, place of your appearance, a phone number to call for automated messages, an excusal form, your jury ID number, and your group number as well as additional instructions and information. It is important to keep your summons until your service has ended.
Exemptions and Disqualifications
You will be excused for the following reasons: Please note that the court requires supporting documentation to be submitted with your excusal requests.
- Persons under prosecution for any crime
- Convicted Felon (Civil rights not restored)
- No longer possess a valid driver license or identification card (unless an affidavit pursuant to F.S. 40.011 has been signed)
- Served as a juror in Seminole County within the year immediately preceding REPORT DATE of this summons
- Not a resident of Seminole County
- Not a citizen of the United States
You may be excused for the following reasons: Please note that the court requires supporting documentation to be submitted with your excusal requests.
- 70 or older, wish to be temporarily or permanently excused
- Expectant mother or Parent, not employed full time, with custody of child under the age of 6
- Person who is physically infirm
- Person who, because of mental illness, intellectual disability, senility, or other physical or mental incapacity, is permanently incapable of caring for him/herself may be permanently excused (provide physician’s statement)
- Responsible for the care of someone who is mentally impaired or incapable for caring for him/herself. (provide explanation)
- Active full time federal, state or local law enforcement officer or such entities’ investigative personnel.
Additional requests for excusal or postponements are listed on your summons.
Please note; the Clerk of Court is authorized to allow you a one-time postponement up to six months upon request. A second request must be approved by the court.
If you do not have access to a computer, you may fill out the form and return it to my office as soon as possible. You will be notified by mail or we will call you as to whether or not your request is approved. Remember, if you do not receive notification of being excused, you must report for your jury service. You will also be given a chance to explain your circumstances directly to a judge.
Payment for Jury Service
Jurors who are regularly employed and receive regular wages during jury service are not entitled to compensation for the first three days of jury service. Jurors who are not regularly employed or who do not receive regular wages during jury service are entitled to $15.00 per day for the first three days of jury service. Jurors who serve more than three days will be paid for the fourth and subsequent days of service at the rate of $30.00 per day, regardless of employment status. You will not receive compensation for mileage.
Picking a Jury
When prospective 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.
Length of Service
Your jury service is for one day or one trial unless the court orders otherwise. On the first day, jury selection will be made for the trials going forward that week. If you are selected to serve on a jury panel, the trial will start on the first day or you will be given instructions by the court when to report back for the scheduled trial. Most trials last one week or less and we try to give you at least a month's notice.