A juror is a very important person in our legal system. Our justice system is based on the belief that a just and fair result in court comes from having disputes settled by our fellow citizens. When you are called to serve on a jury, you have an obligation to your fellow citizens to honor the jury summons and to appear at court.
How are People Selected for Jury Service?
*If you fail to respond to the juror questionnaire, you may be punished with contempt of court or other sanctions. If you need an additional copy of the juror questionnaire, you may download an additional copy here.
Summoned to Serve as a Juror
The Evening Before
Contact the Court or consult with this website to determine whether or not the trial will go forward on the date set forth in your jury summons.
Usually, the parties involved in a case will try to settle their differences outside of court to avoid the time and expense of a trial; occasionally, the parties will come to an agreement, making a jury trial and your jury service unnecessary.
Please arrive at the time provided in the jury summons. You may park in our free, main parking lot, located in front of the Ashland Justice Facility. Upon entering the Court, you will watch a brief video explaining the system.
For a map of the Court’s location, please refer to the bottom of the “Contact” page on the Court’s website.
- You will be introduced to the parties and the attorneys in the case and given a list of probable witnesses.
- You will be told a little bit about the case so it can be determined if any past experiences or bias might make it hard for you to be fair.
- You will have an opportunity to tell the court about anything else that might impact your ability to serve as a juror, such as health problems, employment situations, or other obligations. If you wish, you may respond to these questions confidentially to the Judge and the attorneys.
Peremptory Challenge: Each side in a case has the right to ask that a certain limited number of jurors be excused without giving a reason.
Challenges for Cause: Each side may make an unlimited number of challenges for good reasons.
This selection process is designed to determine if it might be difficult for you to be fair and impartial in the case to be tried. (i.e. If you have a relationship with any of the individuals, you will likely be excused from jury service for that case.)
If you are selected to serve on the jury, you will stand and take an oath to:
- “Well and truly” try this case
- Wait until all evidence has been heard before making a decision
- Follow the Judge’s instructions about the law and procedures in arriving at a verdict
As a member of the jury, you must pay attention throughout the trial and decide the facts from the evidence presented.
After the attorneys have presented their evidence and made their closing arguments, the Judge will instruct you about the laws that apply to the case.
Following the Judge’s instructions, you will go to the jury room to deliberate the case until you reach a verdict with your fellow jurors.
You will elect a jury foreperson to ensure discussions are conducted in an orderly fashion, all issues are fully and fairly discussed, and all jurors have an opportunity to participate.
Once you and your fellow jurors reach a verdict, you will sign a verdict form and notify the bailiff that you have reached a decision.
Your verdict will be read in open court. This will conclude the trial and you will be dismissed from jury duty by the Judge and compensated for your time.
If you fail to report for jury duty, you may be punished with contempt of court or other sanctions. If an unexpected event will prevent you from reporting for jury duty, please contact the Court immediately.
During trial, you are not permitted to:
- Independently investigate the matters involved in the case
- Discuss the case with fellow jurors until all evidence has been presented, the attorneys have made their closing arguments, and the Judge has instructed you about the applicable law
- Discuss the case with anyone outside the courtroom until after you and the other jurors have deliberated in the jury room and have arrived at a verdict
- Use any electronic technology to obtain information about the case or its subject matter, or to communicate with anyone about the case
After the verdict, you may discuss the case with others if you so choose.
Benefits of Being a Juror
- Gain first-hand knowledge of the legal system
- Proudly contribute to Ashland County, Ohio’s system of justice
- Compensated for your time: you will be paid $30.00/day for each day you serve on a jury
- Bona fide resident of Ashland County, Ohio
- At least 18 years of age
- Must not have lost your right to serve on a jury by having been convicted of certain crimes (or you must have had those rights restored)
Being Excused from Jury Service
If any of the following conditions are applicable to you, you may be excused from jury service in the Ashland Municipal Court:
- You are a member of a cloistered religious order or of a recognized Amish sect
- You have a mental or physical condition that renders you incapable of performing jury service
- You have a spouse or a near relative that has recently passed away or is seriously ill
- Your service on a jury would cause you or someone in your care extreme physical or financial hardship
- Your service on a jury would cause you, someone in your care, or the general public harm
- You are older than 70 years of age
- You are a member of the armed forces currently on active duty
If you fall within one of the preceding categories, you are not automatically excused from jury service. You must fill out and return a juror questionnaire to the Court, providing an explanation for your excuse, and the Court must approve your excuse.
If you are excused by the Court, you will become eligible for jury selection again in the next random jury draw.
Postponing Jury Service
You may request that your jury service be postponed to a later date. If you’d like to postpone your jury service, you must fill out and return a juror questionnaire to the Court, providing an explanation for your postponement, and the Court must approve the postponement.
If you ask to be excused from jury service, or if you ask for your jury service to be postponed, you may need to provide additional information or verification to the Judge, the Clerk of Court, or the Jury Administrator beyond what you may have previously provided in your juror questionnaire.