Why is jury
States Constitution guarantees all people, regardless of
race, religion, sex, national origin or economic status
the right to trial by an impartial jury of one's peers.
In order to uphold this guarantee, we need those
summoned to participate in the jury process to ensure
every citizen's right to have their case decided by an
impartial jury selected from a representative pool of
Who is entitled to a
Any person charged with a
criminal offense or any party in a civil case has the
right to a trial by jury. All parties are equal before
the law and each is given the same fair and impartial
What are my duties
as a juror?
Your duty as a juror is to
weigh all of the evidence and testimony presented to you
and to decide the outcome of the case based upon the law
and the evidence. Your decision must be fair, impartial
and free of any bias or prejudice. Jury service is the
basis of our judicial system and is essential to the
administration of justice.
How are jurors
selected for a trial?
After your panel is selected
and reports to a courtroom, a process known as voir
dire begins. During voir dire, the judge and
possibly the attorneys will ask you questions to see if
you can keep an open mind and be fair. After you have
been questioned, you will either be selected or excused
for that particular case. If you are selected, you and
the other selected jurors will receive instructions from
the judge as to what is expected of you. If you are not
selected, you will return to the jury room and may be
sent to another courtroom with another panel.
How long does jury
service usually last if I am selected?
you are selected to sit on a jury, the average trial
length is two to three days, although trials may be
longer or shorter depending upon the facts of the
What are the
different types of cases I might be selected
two basic types of cases, criminal and
civil. In a CRIMINAL case, the jury
decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant beyond a
reasonable doubt. In a CIVIL case, the jury
decides whether or not money damages should be given
and, if given, how much those damages will
What should I wear
to jury service?
Jurors should dress comfortably, but
properly for a courthouse. Shorts, mini-skirts, tank
tops and halters are NOT permitted. If you report
wearing any of these items, you may be asked to return
home, at your own expense, to change into more suitable
Is jury service
The United States
Constitution and the California State Constitution
guarantees the right to trial by jury. Failure to attend
as directed may subject you to penalties provided by
law. All Imperial
residents are obligated by
state law to serve as a juror unless they:
- Are NOT a
- Are NOT a resident of
- Are UNDER 18 years of age;
- Have been convicted of a
felony or theft offense;
What can I bring
with me to jury service?
The jury process can require a juror to
wait a considerable amount of time. For this reason,
jurors are encouraged to bring a book or other form of
reading material with them to the jury assembly room.
Jurors may NOT bring cameras, walkmans
or radios. Cellular phones and pagers MUST be
Can I bring
someone to jury service with me?
No. Only those summoned for jury service
are allowed in the jury assembly room. You may have
someone escort you to and from jury service, but that
person is not allowed to enter the jury assembly room.
The jury assembly room is for prospective jurors
What happens if I
do not show up for jury service?
Failure to appear for
jury service when summoned is a serious matter. You may
be held in contempt of court and could be fined and/or
imprisoned. It is in your best interest to appear
if you are summoned to avoid any further
Are there phones
and vending machines in the jury room?
Yes. Pay phones and vending machines
are located near the jury assembly room. If you plan to
make calls or purchase vending items, please bring
enough change. Jury assembly room staff will not be able
to provide change.