Jury Duties - Rules for Service
- Listen carefully and observe. Weigh the credibility of witnesses and evaluate exhibits. You must base your decision on all the evidence presented to you.
- Keep an open mind. Do not form hasty opinions or conclusions. Wait until all the evidence is presented and closing arguments are made.
- Control your emotions. You may be confronted with exhibits or testimony that makes you feel uncomfortable. Be prepared! You should not give any visual or audible indication that you have been affected.
- Do not discuss the case. During the trial, you should not talk about the case to anyone, including other jurors. Such discussions could cause you to form conclusions before all the evidence has been presented.
- Do not read, view, or listen to media accounts. Newspaper, radio, or television reports might present a biased or unbalanced view of the case. You must make your decision based on the evidence presented in court.
- Do not talk with anyone related to the case. You should not speak to the attorneys, parties, witnesses, or anyone connected to the case. This might be perceived as an attempt to influence your verdict.
- Do not investigate the case on your own. Since the only evidence you can consider is that presented in court, you are not allowed to make an independent investigation or to inspect the places involved in the case on your own.
- Report problems to the court. If you become aware of anything that causes you concern, whether inside or outside the courtroom, the court should be made aware of it. Report your concern to the bailiff or court clerk outside of the hearing of other jurors. Do not discuss the matter with other jurors.
- Report emergencies to the court. If an emergency or illness affects your jury service during a trial, inform the bailiff or court clerk.
- Be on time for court. Since each juror must hear all the evidence, tardiness causes delay and wastes everyone's time.
THE CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT AND STAFF ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE