Received A Summons?
Serving As a Juror
Jury staff of the superior courts do not ask past or prospective jurors for information regarding credit card, bank account information and Social Security numbers. Please do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be associated with Jury Services. Please contact our office if you receive this type of request.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR JURY SERVICE DAY AT THE HARBOR JUSTICE CENTER
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.
Select a link to find out the answer to your question:
- What will happen on my jury service day?
- How long will I serve jury service?
- How will I be sent to a courtroom?
- What will happen in the courtroom?
- What facilities are in the jury assembly room and at the courthouse?
- How will my employer know I served jury service?
- Will I get paid for jury service?
If you have additional questions, e-mail us at Jury Services.
Once at the justice center, your jury service day will most likely proceed as follows:
- Check-in begins at 8:30 AM. Jury staff collect the top part of your summons for input purposes and answer any questions you may have. It is important to check in so you will receive credit for the day.
- A plastic holder will be provided for your badge, which you need to wear at all times during your jury service period.
- If you lost your summons, present your driver’s license to Jury staff to check in. A new badge will be issued to you.
- If you have not returned your juror affidavit questionnaire, you will be asked to complete a duplicate one at this time.
- A brochure is provided in the jury assembly room to help you familiarize yourself with the requirements of jury service and to find out what will happen today. Click Here for an online preview of the brochure.
- Free wireless internet access is available.
- Magazines are available in the jury assembly room. They are donated items so may not be your preferred materials. Bring your favorite book or jigsaw puzzle to work on if you like.
- Restroom facilities are located outside the jury assembly room.
- At approximately 8:45 AM, a jury staff member will welcome all jurors and provide a brief orientation followed by a video. Click Here for a preview of the orientation video.
- Assignments to Courtrooms
- Courtroom assignments begin after orientation, on most days at 9:00AM. Prospective jurors are randomly selected and sent to courtrooms for jury selection. Jury staff will call the jurors’ names and direct them to the courtroom they are assigned to.
- The judge presiding on the trial will advise jurors of the particulars of the case, including whether it is a civil or criminal case and how long the trial will last. For general information on jury selection, see below or click Here.
- Once you have been dismissed from a courtroom, you must check in again with Jury staff in the jury assembly room.
- Courtroom assignments will continue as needed throughout the day.
- A morning break will be announced as time permits.
- A lunch break is generally announced at 12:00PM and will last until 1:30PM.
- Maps to nearby restaurants are available in the jury assembly room. A microwave is available for your use in the jury assembly room.
- A afternoon break will be announced as time permits.
- Upon ensuring that no more jury selections are scheduled for the day, prospective jurors not assigned to a courtroom will be released for the day, generally at 4:00PM. This is not a definite time as jurors may be required by the court to remain available in the jury assembly room until after 5:00PM. On light days, jurors may be released earlier than 4:00PM.
- Proof of Service
- A Certificate of Jury Service form will be available in the jury assembly room at the end of the day. If you are on a trial, the courtroom Sheriff personnel or courtroom attendant will provide you with a certificate.
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.
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.
- The courthouse is a non-smoking facility.
- Free wireless internet access is available. Jurors only need a laptop equipped with Wi-Fi to access the Internet. They will receive instructions from Jury staff, connect to the wireless network and launch their browser.
- Users of the service are able to send and receive emails, conduct web research, and retrieve documents from online repositories.
- TV and magazines are available in the jury assembly room. They are donated items so may not be current.
- In the event of an emergency (fire, earthquake, etc.) Jury staff will instruct jurors on what to do and whether it is necessary to evacuate. Jurors assigned to a courtroom will receive instructions from the courtroom attendant or Sheriff personnel.
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 .