Jury Duty - Frequently Asked Questions

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By Lindsay Strong

Chief Deputy Clerk
Marion County Circuit Clerk’s Office

It’s that time of the year again. Many of you have received a jury summons for Marion County for 2018 and have tons of questions or concerns. Below you will find some answers to many common questions regarding your service as a juror.
Getting a jury duty letter in the mail can be stressful and there are a lot of people who don’t want to serve. But, it is very important that everyone called to serve complies with their civic duty. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial by jury and it is very important that the Circuit Clerk’s office have enough available jurors to serve.
We hope that the following information will help answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding service as a juror. But, as always, the staff at the Circuit Clerk’s office will be available to address further questions.
If you have received a jury summons and qualification form in the mail, you MUST return the completed form (front and back) to the Marion County Circuit Clerk’s Office as soon as possible. The forms need to be returned to the Circuit Clerk’s Office in a timely manner to divide the eligible jurors and the jurors asking to be excused. All jurors failing to return their form to the Circuit Clerk’s Office will be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office to attempt to locate you.

How was I selected as a juror?
Names are randomly selected from a computer in Frankfort when the Circuit Clerk’s Office notifies the Administrative Office of the Courts of how many jurors are needed for their county. The master list includes all people filing a Kentucky resident individual tax return, in addition to registered voters and licensed drivers.

How long will I have to serve?
In Marion County, you will be required to serve for a full 12 months, in this case, it will be January – December 2018.

Do I need to appear on Jan. 5? My summons says to appear on Jan. 5, 2018.
NO. Do not appear on Friday, Jan. 5, unless you receive another letter telling you to do so. This is the date that your jury service starts for the year, not the date you will need to appear.

What are the qualifications to be a juror?
You must be 18 years of age or older, a U.S. citizen, be a resident of Marion County, be able to speak and understand the English language, not have served  on a jury within the past 24 months (federal or local), not be presently under indictment, and not have been convicted of a felony unless pardoned or had his/her civil rights restored by the governor. You may ask to be excused for 2018 if you are disqualified for these reasons.

What if I need to be excused for hardships?
If you believe you need to be excused for an inconvenience you may have such as self-employment or you are a student away at college, you may request to be excused. If you have a medical issue, you will need to contact your doctor to get a statement as to why you should be excused from jury service. If you mark to be excused but do not list a reason why, your form will NOT be considered to be excused. All requests will be forwarded to the Circuit Judge to make a decision as to whether or not you shall be excused as a juror for 2018. The Circuit Clerk’s office cannot excuse you. Please list any pertinent information on the qualification form for the judge to review.
What are some reasons I may not be excused?
Occasionally, some requests to be excused are denied. You will not be excused from jury duty because you are employed, even if you do not get paid by your employer for missing work for jury duty, and you will not be excused for working second or third shifts while serving as a juror. You will not be excused during  pregnancy unless you have a written statement from your doctor that you are not able to serve, however you will be excused during your maternity leave. If you have a medical issue, you will need a doctor’s statement with a noted condition in order to be excused.

My doctor submitted a statement for me to be excused, do I still need to turn my qualification form in?
Yes! All qualification forms, whether asking to be excused or not, need to be filled out and turned back into the Circuit Clerk’s as soon as possible.

I received a summons for someone who is deceased. What do I need to do?
Occasionally, names do not get marked off the master list in Frankfort and deceased names appear on the jury list. If you received a letter for someone who is now deceased, fill out the front of the form with their name and flip to the back to mark that the person is deceased. Sign and fill out your relationship to the juror and return it to the Circuit Clerk. The Circuit Judge will permanently excuse them so they should not appear on future lists.

How do I get permanently excused for jury duty?
The only way you may get permanently excused as a juror is if you have a permanent medical condition and supply a doctor’s statement to that effect.

How much do I get paid for my service as a juror?
The state of Kentucky pays jurors $12.50 per day of jury service. ($5 pay and $7.50 is reimbursement for expenses.) The Circuit Clerk issues payment for service every six months.

What is my employer required to do?
The law states that an employer shall not deprive an employee of employment, threaten, or coerce an employee regarding jury service. They are required to allow you to appear for jury duty. However, they are not required to pay you. You will need to refer to your employer for their specific procedures for employees and jury service.

How do I know when I will need to appear?
The Circuit Clerk’s office will send out notice when jurors are needed for a trial. The letter will include the date and time you will need to appear along  with a phone number to the jury phone line. You will need to call the night  before the date you are required to appear and a message on the phone line will let you know if you need to appear. More often than not, the trials will be resolved or cancelled after the letters are mailed and you will not have to appear.

What if I already have a vacation planned?
If you get a letter to appear on a specific date and you already have vacation planned, doctor’s visits scheduled or anything else that requires your attention on that date, call the Circuit Clerk’s office and let the staff know that you will not be available. The Clerk’s office may take your name off the list on a case by case basis. If you have vacation planned, you may contact the clerk’s office and advise them of the dates you will be out and your name will not appear on the list during that time.

What is the dress code?
Jurors should wear clothing that is comfortable and that properly suits the seriousness and dignity of the courtroom. Please do not wear shorts, sleeveless tops, hats, or any attire that may be considered inappropriate or be offensive  to others.

Do I need to do anything if I move?
It is very important to contact the Circuit Clerk and advise the office of your new address if you move to be sure that you get payment for jury service and that you receive all notices for jury duty. If you move out of the county, you will be excused for the remainder of the year as one of the requirements is that  you reside in the county you were summoned.

What if I have a hard time hearing?
The courtroom is equipped with special headphones that amplify the voices of the judge, witnesses and attorneys so that you can better hear during a trial. Let the bailiff know if you think they may be helpful to you.

Juror information for Marion County
If you have any questions please call: 270-692-2147
Report to: Marion County Judicial Center, 121 N. Spalding Avenue, Lebanon, KY 40033
Other information: Parking accommodations are located in parking lot behind the building. Public entrance is located in the front of the building. Please dress appropriately. No shorts or tank tops are allowed.