March 13, 2020:
Today the Florida Supreme Court issued Administrative Order No. AOSC20-13 that suspends all grand jury proceedings, jury selection proceedings, and criminal and civil jury trials for two weeks starting March 16 and ending March 27.
There are NO new criminal or civil jury trials in Polk County during this time period. Jurors summoned to report on March 16 and March 23 SHOULD NOT report for duty.
The Clerk’s office will continue to mail out summons to avoid delay to future court processes once the suspension of all jury trials is lifted. Jurors summoned to report for future dates beyond March 23 should still proceed as directed. If additional cancelations occur, updates will be shared on www.polkcountyclerk.net, the Juror Hotline 863-534-4582, the Polk County Clerk Facebook page, and through notifications to the media.
“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis asked that all mass gatherings in Florida be canceled due to the effects of the coronavirus in the United States,” said Clerk Stacy Butterfield, Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. “In Polk County in 2019, approximately 14,000 individuals served on a jury. Each week, there are roughly 250 to 400+ jurors called to report for service. I believe we all have the responsibility to help lower the impact of this virus and to take preventative action to impede the spread of illness and disease. With so many people gathering in one place, this was a prudent decision by the courts to help protect residents.”
Residents over 70 may opt-out of jury service if they receive a summons. These opt-out requests as well as all request for excusals and postponements by individuals of any age can be made via the Clerk’s website or by calling the Jury Department at 863-5345-4569 or 863-534-4568.
Jurors should continue to check the jury phone line or website for updates about their service at www.polkcountyclerk.net and 863-534-4582. Updates will also be posted to the Clerk’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/polkcountyclerk.
While jury trials are canceled for two weeks and jurors should not report, the courthouse is OPEN and all Clerk departments and services are available during normal business hours.
For all other Clerk-related issues, many services are available remotely online or by phone. Remote services available at polkcountyclerk.net or 863-534-4000 include:
- Pay a traffic ticket online or by phone;
- Electronically record mortgages, deeds, and other official records;
- File court documents electronically;
- View court records, official records, and request certified copies online;
- Postpone jury service online or by phone
Online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Clerk’s Call Center is available during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Supreme Court Administrative Order can be viewed on www.floridasupremecourt.org/.