There is nothing necessarily glamorous about jury duty. Countless movie and television dramatizations aside, it is a simple, yet necessary component of our judicial system and process. It means nothing without your participation though.
Nobody really looks forward to receiving a summons in the mail that demands their time and full attention. A jury summons knows not of individual schedules or inconveniences that it might cause someone. Despite the demanding nature, you must address the summons if you receive one. DO NOT discard or ignore the jury summons. Failing to report, if you have not been granted and excusal or postponement, could result in contempt charges.
The court understands not everyone can perform their duty as requested. There is a list of circumstances that are cause for potential excusal. For the Florida judicial system, those include:
These exemptions are listed in the summons. If you need to request excusal, it can be done either by mail, email, or in person. This needs to be done by the time limit listed.
On the other hand, if you are willing and able to do your duty, just follow the directions on the summons. Reporting times and locations will be included, too.
The Office of the State Courts Administrator sums it up nicely: "Trial by jury is a concept central to American democracy. When you serve as a juror, you are making our democracy stronger."
Thank you for helping make our justice system work.
Live in Central Florida and have questions about the law? Contact Woodard & Ferguson, Attorneys at Law for a consultation.