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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Jury Services: Jury FAQs
   

Jury Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I do if I receive a jury summons in the mail?
  2. Do I have to respond to the jury summons?
  3. Who may be called to serve as a juror?
  4. How long will I be required to serve as a juror?
  5. May I postpone my jury service to a more convenient time?
  6. May I transfer my jury service to a different location?
  7. May I request an excuse from my jury service?
  8. I am a student. What about school?
  9. What if I don't hear from the court about my request for excuse, disqualification, or postponement?
10. Am I still required to perform my jury service if my employer won't pay me?
11. What if my employer won't give me time off to complete my jury service?
12. Does the court provide proof of service for an employer?
13. Are there accommodations for jurors with special needs?
14. Will I be paid for jury service?
15. Where do I park my vehicle?
16. Are jurors subject to search when entering a court facility?
17. Is there a specific dress code when reporting for jury duty?
18. Why are there such long breaks and waiting times?
19. I served on a jury less than three years ago. Why am I getting another summons so soon?
20. I'm over 70. Am I still required to serve?
21. Why do I always get summoned but other people don't?
22. How did you get my name?


1. What should I do if I receive a jury summons in the mail?

You MUST complete and return the summons if you are requesting an excuse or you are not qualified to serve. You may telephone (619) 450-5757 or click here to request a postponement to a more convenient date. To request a transfer to a more convenient location, call (619) 450-5757 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Otherwise you MUST follow the reporting instructions on the summons.

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2. Do I have to respond to the jury summons?

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 209, any prospective juror who has been summoned for jury service and who fails to appear as directed, or who fails to respond to the Court, may be found in contempt of Court and may be placed in custody and/or fined.

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

California law says you are qualified to be a juror if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are living in the State of California
  • Are a resident of the county that sent you the jury summons
  • Have had your civil rights restored if you were convicted of a felony or malfeasance while holding public office
  • Can understand English enough to understand and discuss the case
  • Are not currently on a grand jury or on another trial jury
  • Are not under a conservatorship

If you do not meet all of the qualifications listed above, please complete the Disqualification Section on the back of your Summons for Jury Service. Mark the appropriate box and fill in any information you are asked for. Then mail it to the court using the enclosed return envelope. You will only be notified if your excuse is not granted.

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 204(a), no one is exempt because of his or her occupation, economic status, race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, disability, or for any other reason.

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4. How long will I be required to serve as a juror?

You have been summoned for one day or one trial. Most jury trials last 3 - 7 days, but some may go longer. The trial judge will advise you of the length of the trial. If you are assigned to a case, you will be required to serve until the trial is completed.

Generally, if you are not selected for a trial, your jury service will be completed in one day. The day that you report for jury service, you may be assigned to more than one courtroom to go through the selection process. Upon completion of your jury duty, you will be exempt from jury service for one year. If you were a sworn juror on a trial, and receive a Summons for Jury Service within 3 years, you may request to be excused.

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

Yes. If you are seeking a postponement, click here to Request a Postponement or call (619) 450-5757 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may postpone your service for up to six months from your reporting date. You must have your juror ID number in order to access your records.

If it is more convenient for you to serve by appearing up to two weeks before or even up to two weeks after the reporting date on your Summons for Jury Service, just bring your summons to the Jury Lounge on any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (excluding court holidays) at the time indicated on your summons. For those on Telephone Standby at the South County Location, the provision allowing you to appear two weeks before or after your reporting date does not apply.

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6. May I transfer my jury service to a different location?

Yes. Call (619) 450-5757 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to speak with a Deputy Jury Commissioner.

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7. May I request an excuse from my jury service?

If you are seeking to be excused, you must complete the appropriate sections of the Summons for Jury Service, sign, date and then return it to the Jury Commissioner in the enclosed envelope as soon as possible. If you do not have the return envelope, please mail to: Office of the Jury Commissioner, P.O. Box 121531, San Diego, CA 92112. You will only be notified if your excuse is not granted.

Excuse requests are considered on an individual basis. The request must explain why a postponement of jury service will not solve the problem.

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8. I am a student. What about school?

Students are not exempt from jury duty. You may request a postponement of your service to the next school break. We strongly recommend that you consult your school calendar before postponing your service.

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9. What if I don't hear from the court about my request for excuse, disqualification, or postponement?

The court does not notify those who are excused or disqualified. The court only notifies those whose excuse is not acceptable under law. If you do not hear from the court, consider yourself excused, or you may call (619) 450-5757 approximately two weeks after you mailed in your request. Put in your Juror ID number when asked and you will be informed if you have been excused. You may also check your status on the web by clicking here.

If you request a postponement, you will choose a date convenient for you to serve and the court will mail you a new summons approximately one month prior to the new date. For a postponement click here.

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10. Am I still required to perform my jury service if my employer won't pay me?

Employers are not required by law to compensate employees on jury duty. However, many employers do pay their employees for jury service. It is advisable to check with your employer regarding the company's jury duty policy. Minor hardships or inconveniences to an employer are not legal reasons to be excused from jury service. However, you may request to be postponed to a more convenient time.

If serving on jury duty will create an extreme financial hardship, fill in item #10 in the Request for Excuse section on the back of the Summons for Jury Service. You must provide your employer's name, phone number, number of days you are paid while on jury duty, and describe in detail how jury service will cause an extreme financial hardship.

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11. What if my employer won't give me time off to complete my jury service?

Labor Code section 230(a) provides that an employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trial jury, if the employee, prior to taking the time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer that he or she is required to serve.

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12. Does the court provide proof of service for an employer?

Time sheets will be provided to clock in and out to give your employer an exact accounting of your time at court. Time sheets cannot be recreated, so we strongly suggest you use one, even if you're not sure if your employer requires it. You may also request a Work Certificate, which shows the dates you served but not the times, by clicking here.

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13. Are there accommodations for jurors with special needs?

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 1.100, persons with disabilities may request accommodations. This includes but is not limited to assistive listening devices or sign language interpreters. To request an accommodation, please contact the Jury Commissioner's Office at (619) 450-5757 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please click here for further information on Accommodations For Persons With Disabilities.

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14. Will I be paid for jury service?

State law provides payment of $15.00 per day and 34 cents per mile one way from your home to the court beginning on the second day of service. Payment will be computed on the last day of your jury service and a check will be mailed to your home address within two or three weeks of your jury service. Jurors also have the option to waive the mileage reimbursement and instead receive transit passes for each day they serve.

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15. Where do I park my vehicle?

Free parking is available at the East, North and South County Court locations.

There is no free parking at the Hall of Justice. You cannot easily use parking meters because they have a 2 hour limit, and parking tickets for expired meters are expensive. We encourage you to use the trolley, bus or Coaster.

For transit information call (619) 233-3004. People with hearing impairments may call TTY/TDD (619) 234-5005. For 24 hour information from a touch tone phone call InfoExpress at (619) 685-4900.

Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) - The following link is for trolley, bus and Coaster transit service information, transit.511sd.com.

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16. Are jurors subject to search when entering a court facility?

All jurors entering the courthouse are required to go through a weapons screening process conducted by the Sheriff's Department. Please do not bring into the courthouse any objects that could be used as a weapon; including but not limited to pocket knives, wallet chains, pepper spray or tear gas, cutting instruments, handcuff keys, needles, firearms, scissors, torch lighters, metal eating utensils, or knitting needles. If you have items that are not allowed, you may be asked to leave the courthouse and return without them.

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17. Is there a specific dress code when reporting for jury duty?

Business casual dress is recommended.

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18. Why are there such long breaks and waiting times?

Due to the nature of the court process itself, there are often periods of waiting before jurors are seated in the courtroom. Each day, the trial judge usually handles more than one case. Sometimes he or she will handle a calendar involving dozens of cases. During the trial, attorneys need time to organize evidence, interview witnesses, and prepare answers to legal questions raised during the proceedings.

We suggest you bring something to read. There are brief recesses throughout the day, and you will have at least one hour for lunch. Restaurants are located within walking distance at most court locations.

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19. I served on a jury less than three years ago. Why am I getting another summons so soon?

If you were a sworn juror on a trial, and receive a Summons for Jury Service within 3 years, you may request to be excused.

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20. I'm over 70. Am I still required to serve?

Yes, unless your health prevents you from doing so. If so, you may be permanently excused without a doctor's letter. For more information, call the court at (619) 450-5757 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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21. Why do I always get summoned but other people don't?

The process of summoning jurors is random. If you have already responded to a summons or have served in the past 12 months, call the court at (619) 450-5757 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.. Explain to the staff person that you have been summoned twice in 12 months.

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22. How did you get my name?

Our list of names comes from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Registrar of Voters.

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