Ultimately, our entire system of justice comes down to one person: you, the juror.
Taking the time to serve as a juror, to listen to all the evidence and to decide honestly and fairly, is perhaps the most important duty you, as a private citizen, can perform.
And the decisions you make will never, ever be routine.
You could be asked to decide the fate of someone accused of murder, or to settle a multi-million dollar lawsuit. You could be asked to decide what does or does not amount to negligence in a complicated civil suit, or to recommend the appropriate punishment in a capital crime.
In 2006, over 29,900 citizens were called as jurors in Seminole County; more than 9,000 served. Together, they tried 299 criminal cases.
I realize that your time is valuable, and that taking the time to serve as a juror might seem awkward or inconvenient. But it is time well spent. The judges, court personnel, my staff and I are committed to doing everything we can to make your time here in the courthouse as positive and productive as possible.
You must be a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age, a resident of the State of Florida and Seminole County, and possess a license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you do not possess a driverM-^Rs license and would like to serve as a juror, please contact the Jury Manager at (407) 665-4392, or visit the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court located in the Seminole County Courthouse at 301 N. Park Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771..
Names are randomly selected from the list of names supplied annually by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you are chosen as a juror, you will be notified by mail. The jury summons you receive will include the time, date and place of your appearance, an excusal form, a Code-a-Phone number, and a group letter. (This is used in assigning you to a specific courtroom, later in the selection process).
If you can't serve, fill out the form and return it to my office as soon as possible. We will notify you by mail whether or not your request is approved. Remember, if you do not receive notification of being excused, you must come to court. You will also be given a chance to explain your circumstances directly to the judge.
You can ask for a postponement - for up to six months. First requests are granted automatically. Second requests, however, must be approved by the court. Requests for postponement can be made in writing by checking the appropriate box on the summons form, or in person.
Jurors who are regularly employed and receive regular wages during jury duty are not entitled to compensation for the first three days of jury service. Jurors who are not regularly employed or who do not receive regular wages during jury duty are entitled to $15.00 per day for the first three days of jury service. Jurors who serve more than three days will be paid by the state for the fourth and subsequent days of service at the rate of $30.00 per day, regardless of employment status. You will not receive compensation for mileage.
When prospective jurors are called to a panel for a particular case, the judge and the attorneys will ask questions regarding jurors' backgrounds. This process is called "voir dire," which means "to speak the truth." These questions are not meant to embarrass. Instead, they are designed to ensure that members of the jury have no opinions or past experiences that might prevent them from making an impartial decision.
The first day of service is normally limited to jury selection for trials scheduled during the week. Prospective jurors selected to serve on a jury will be asked to return and serve on the dates of that trial. Most trials last one week or less, and we try to give you at least six weeks notice.