Jury Duty

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Reporting for Jury Duty

Check Your Jury Duty Status

A number of cases settle out of court, requiring fewer jurors than originally summonsed.  As such, your service may no longer be required. Check your jury status and history through our Jury Application System (JAS). Updated juror information for the coming week is posted each Friday after 5 p.m. by clicking the following link or you may call (863) 534-4582 to see if your number has been called and you need to report.  If you requested an excusal or postponement, you can also check the status of the request through JAS.

CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO CHECK YOUR JURY DUTY STATUS AND/OR REQUEST AN EXCUSAL/POSTPONEMENT:

Juror Application System

*Please note, popup blockers may keep you from viewing your report.

If you are called to report for jury duty, refer to the map on page 2 of your summons for directions or check Jury Directions & Parking below. Park your car in the blue parking lot. This lot opens at 7:00 a.m., and there will be an attendant at the gate to assist you.

Enter the courthouse through the North entrance, and go to the second floor to the jury assembly room. When you enter the building, you will have to go through a security area. Please do not bring anything in your pocket or purse such as a gun, pocket knife, scissors, knitting needles, etc., which will set off an alarm. Security personnel will take these items from you. Also, newspapers are not allowed. You may, however; bring a book, magazine, or something to occupy your time while you are waiting for jury selection to begin.

 

Additional Information

JURY DIRECTIONS & PARKING
Juror parking is located in the BLUE parking lot, directly west of the courthouse on West Davidson Street. All parking lots near the courthouse provide free parking. A paid parking garage is also available in the area. However, parking garage fees will NOT be reimbursed.

Jury Map
Click map to enlarge. (Opens in popup window.)

ATTIRE 
DRESS CODE:  Casual business attire is required.  DO NOT WEAR shorts, jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, flip flops, sandals or shirts that reveal printed material that alludes to offensive or illegal activities.  Tattoos should be covered by clothing, if possible.  Courtrooms are generally very cool, and you may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket for your comfort.


EXCUSALS 
If you are not available on the date scheduled, you may request ONE postponement of your service. All requests for excusal from service must be made in writing 5 days prior to your reporting date and requests are considered on an individual basis.  Minor hardships or inconveniences to a prospective juror or an employer are not legal reasons to be excused from jury service.  However, you may request to be postponed for this reason.  To request an excuse from jury service or a postponement, please complete the section on the bottom of the front page of your summons.  You must sign the Request and provide any required supporting documents.  The summons and the supporting documents must be mailed to:   Jury Manager P.O. Box 9000, Drawer CC-6, Bartow, FL 33831-9000. Jury's Fax number is (863) 534-4513. If you need additional information, or have an emergency situation that will prevent you from jury service, please contact the Jury department at (863) 534-4569.


LENGTH OF SERVICE 
Your first day of service is normally limited to jury selection for trials held during that week. Jury selection is usually an all day process so please be prepared to stay until 5:00pm or later.


PAYMENT FOR JURY SERVICE 
Effective July 1, 1998, jurors who are regularly employed and receive regular wages while serving as a juror are not entitled to receive compensation for the first three days of jury service. Jurors who are not regularly employed or who do not receive regular wages while serving as a juror 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 by the State for the fourth and subsequent days of service at the rate of $30.00 per day.


SECURITY                   
The following list of items are not allowed in the courthouse:

  • Guns
  • Pocket Knives   
  • Chains
  • Tools
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pepper Spray
  • Expandable Batons
  • Glass Bottles
  • Any item that can be used as a weapon

You will be required to take any items back to your vehicle or discard them. Signs reflecting these prohibited items are posted on the entrance doors.

JUROR QUALIFICATIONS
You must be a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age, a resident of the State of Florida and Polk County, and possess a driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

JURY SUMMONS
Names are randomly selected from the list of names supplied by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

EXEMPTIONS FROM JURY DUTY
You may be excused for any of the following reasons:

  • You have served as a juror in Polk County within the past 12 months.
  • You are an expectant mother or a parent who is not employed full-time and have custody of a child under six years of age.
  • You are 70 years of age or older.
  • You are a Law Enforcement Officer with arrest powers.
  • PERMANENTLY incapable of caring for self because of mental illness, intellectual disability, senility, or other physical or mental incapacity – permanently remove (Doctor’s statement required) 
  • You are not a U.S. citizen.
  • You are a convicted felon and have not had your civil rights restored.
  • You are under prosecution for any crime. 
  • You no longer reside in Polk County.
  • Expectant Mother
  • Practicing Attorney or Physician
  • Serving in the Military

"VOIR DIRE" OR EXAMINATION OF JURORS
Once prospective jurors are impaneled in a case, the judge and the lawyers will ask about jurors' backgrounds. These questions are not intended to embarrass jurors, but are designed to assist the lawyers in deciding which jurors to select. Jurors may have strong feelings about the type of case to be tried. If jurors feel they cannot be impartial and this has not been expressed during questioning, these jurors should bring this to the attention of the judge. Excusals from jury service should not be taken personally. When jurors are excused, it means only that there are proper and lawful reasons for the excusal.

LENGTH OF SERVICE
The first day of service is normally limited to jury selection for trials held during the week of selection. Jurors selected to serve on a case will be asked to return and serve on the dates of that trial.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING THE TRIAL
After you are sworn as a juror in a case, there are some rules of conduct 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 clerk, judge, and lawyers 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, you should ask the judge to explain.
  • Do not talk about the case. You should not talk with anyone about the case. This includes the clerk, lawyers, judge, bailiff, and other jurors, 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.
In Accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in jury service should contact the Court Administration Office no later than seven days prior to the date shown on the summons. Please call (863) 534-4690 to make arrangements.

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