Jury Summons Information
If you have received a jury summons and have been assigned to a juror group you may check your status (as to when you need to call or report for service) by telephone.
Phone (209) 966-5603 for reporting instructions and to confirm appearance. You can also view the jury service page for updated trial information online.
If qualified, your appearance as a prospective juror is confirmed or cancelled by a pre-recorded message. Call the telephone number after 4:30 p.m. the business day before you are scheduled to appear. Have your juror badge and pin number available. Your badge and pin number can be found on the front of your Summons under "TO CONFIRM APPEARANCE." A message will inform you if your juror group is required to report for service.
Once you report to the Courthouse, you and the other potential jurors will be escorted into the courtroom by a bailiff. The first twelve to eighteen names on a random list of jurors will be called. These people will take seats in a jury box. The rest of you will remain seated in the courtroom. The judge will explain what the case is about and introduce the lawyers and parties to you. All prospective jurors will be required to agree to truthfully answer all questions asked.
Next, the judge and/or the attorneys will question each one of you seated in the jury box to find out if you would be an appropriate juror in the particular case.
Voir dire questioning may take more than one day. Carefully follow the directions of the judge and courtroom staff regarding date and time to return. If you are going to be late, immediately contact the clerk of the courtroom to which you have been assigned and explain your situation. Remember, the trial cannot proceed until everyone is present. If you do not have a good excuse, the judge may fine you for being late.
Occasionally, issues arise in trial preparation or events occur during a trial which could not be anticipated. When this happens, the judge and the parties may need to address the matter outside of your presence. You should not speculate about what is going on. Rest assured that the judge respects your time and will make every effort not to waste it.
An attorney may "challenge you for cause." This means the attorney will ask the judge to excuse you from the jury for a specific legal reason. Each lawyer has an unlimited number of challenges for cause. Each attorney also has the right to a certain number of peremptory challenges. That is, the attorney may ask that you be excused without giving any reason at all. If this happens, do not take it personally. The lawyer is merely exercising a right given by law. If you are excused for any reason, return to the jury assembly room for further instruction.
After the required number of jurors has been chosen, the jury panel is sworn to try the case.