Jurors reporting to the Harbor Justice Center should arrive at the courthouse by 8:00 AM unless otherwise instructed by the voice/web call in message.
Juror hours are 8:00AM to 4:00PM unless otherwise informed by court personnel. On occasion, jurors may be required by the court to remain available in the jury assembly room after 5:00PM.
As the temperature in the courthouse varies with preferences and areas, dress in layers, comfortably but appropriately. Shorts and tank tops are not permissible attire.
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If you have additional questions, e-mail us at Jury Services.
Agenda for the day
Once at the justice center, your jury service day will most likely proceed as follows:
Full Security Facility
The Harbor Justice Center is a FULL SECURITY facility. All persons entering the building will be required to pass through a weapons screening device and have all hand-carried objects x-rayed. Weapons of any type will not be permitted into the Justice Center. Items such as: knives, including pocket knives, scissors, corkscrews, mace, pepper spray, knitting needles, etc., which may be deemed potentially offensive and dangerous by the Sheriff's Department will not be allowed in the building.
Term of Service
The Orange County Superior Court's term of service is one-day or one-trial. At the conclusion of the initial day of service, jurors not sworn to serve on a trial and not ordered to return for a second or subsequent days of jury selection will have completed their jury service for a minimum of one year. Trials typically last between four and six days.
Prospective jurors are assigned to the courtroom at random throughout the day. Jurors should listen carefully for their name when Jury staff announce assignments. Once in the courtroom, the judge will advise the panel of prospective jurors of the particulars of the case, including whether it is a civil or criminal case and how long the trial is estimated to last. Jurors dismissed from a courtroom are generally instructed to return to the Office of the Jury Commissioner. They must check in and will be made available for an assignment to other pending trials unless otherwise indicated by staff.
Matters requiring the judge’s and attorneys’ time before the trial can start often arise unexpectedly creating delays in assignments to the courtroom and causing jurors to have to wait in the jury assembly room. Although regrettable, these matters cannot be predicted and must be resolved.
Proof of Service
A Certificate of Jury Service form will be available in the jury assembly room at the end of the day. Sworn jurors serving on a trial will be provided a certificate by the courtroom attendant or Sheriff personnel.
Jurors are not compensated for the first day of service. Jurors will be paid a fee of $15.00 a day and reimbursement of 34 cents a mile from their home to the courthouse (one-way) beginning the second day of service, except when the juror is employed by a federal, state, or local government entity, or by any other public entity as defined by Section 241.200 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Effective August 2004, those jurors are no longer paid the juror fee.
Payments to jurors are processed bi-weekly and should reach jurors within three to five weeks after their service. Depending on the processing date, jurors may receive several checks in payment for their service.
Fee Waiver Program
The fee waiver program reduces court costs and saves tax dollars since the cost to produce the average check exceeds the check value. Please check with your employer before waiving your juror fees as we are aware that some employers who provide paid jury service leave require that their employees surrender fees paid by the court. For information regarding this program, please see a Jury staff member or click Here to waive your jury fees and mileage.
When a jury trial is ready to begin, a panel of prospective jurors is sent to the courtroom for jury selection. In the courtroom, they are administered the prospective jurors’ oath, which basically requires them to tell the truth when answering questions. The judge then informs prospective jurors of the particulars of the case.
Jury selection begins with 12 or more prospective jurors being called into the jury box. They are asked questions to determine if they are free of bias or whether there is any other reason why any of them cannot be fair and impartial. The judge and lawyers may excuse individual jurors from service for various reasons.
The process of questioning and excusing jurors, which may last more than one day, continues until 12 persons are accepted as jurors for the trial. Alternate jurors may also be selected. Unless otherwise ordered, any remaining prospective jurors on the panel are returned to the jury assembly room for another possible jury selection.
For more detailed information on the jury selection process as well as the trial and deliberation processes, please click Here.