The trial court judge requests a panel of prospective jurors from the larger group of potential jurors to begin the selection process in his/her courtroom. The jurors answer questions for the purpose of determining their ability to be fair and impartial. Usually a panel of 14 jurors is selected for a particular trial. The remaining jurors, who were not selected, return to the "Jury Pool" where their names may be selected for another trial.
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The Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts provides each county with a county-specific list of potential jurors. The AOPC has received information from the Departments of Human Services, Transportation, Revenue, and State. Names are then chosen randomly from the list provided. Once you are selected for jury duty, your summons card is mailed to you. It is required that you respond to the summons within 7 days. The questionnaire establishes your eligibility to serve as a juror.
Free parking is provided in the County Parkade located at 5 Water St., behind the Bernard C. Brominski Building on North St., just before the Veteran's Memorial Bridge (Old Pierce Street Bridge). Juror parking behind the courthouse and next to the Annex Building on N. River St. is strictly prohibited. These areas are permit parking only. The only exception is for disabled individuals who have a placard and are parked in the designated areas. A fine of $25.00 or more will be imposed for parking in these areas.
Jurors will be dismissed for a lunch break, typically lasting one hour. There is a Cafe located in the basement of the courthouse. You are also permitted to leave the courthouse during your lunch hour.
Citizens 75 years or older, upon receipt of a juror summons, may request an age related excusal that will remove them from the current list of prospective jurors. A physician's note is not necessary in this situation. However, you are still eligible to participate in the juror process if you so choose.
The law prohibits any employer from preventing an employee to serve as a juror. The law also prohibits an employer from depriving a juror of benefits because of jury service, such as requiring you to use vacation time to serve.
Employers are not required by law to compensate you while serving on jury duty. Please check to see if your employer has a policy regarding juror compensation.
Pennsylvania law allows persons who have served as a juror a one-year exemption. If you are selected and serve on a jury for three days or more, you may be excused for a period of three years from the date of service.
Please enter through the rear of the courthouse, which is accessible from the underpass connecting the courthouse to Water St. Once you arrive, please report to the Jury Assembly area on the second floor of the courthouse. When exiting the elevator, you will see the entrance on your right. Please have your summons and a form of identification.
If you are selected as a trial juror, your service will generally be the length of that trial, which may take between 1 and 5 days, or in some cases longer to complete. If you are not selected as a trial juror, your length of service may also vary between 1 and 5 days. There may be circumstances where your jury selection may be for a future trial date. The normal working hours of the courts are 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. However, if you are selected on a trial you may stay later than 4:30 PM.
Pennsylvania law provides the fee payment of $9.00 per day and $.17 per mile for the first three days of your service. After the third day of service, you will receive $25.00 per day in addition to your mileage. This rate is determined by the Pennsylvania State Legislature and is not determined by the court. On the Friday following the conclusion of your service, a check with your days of service and mileage reimbursement will be mailed to your residence.
A Jury Summons is a court order. Any juror who fails to appear when summoned may be subject to fines and/or other penalties.
Any request for postponement should be described in the remarks section of the questionnaire. If your request for postponement is approved, you will be transferred to a new service date and you will receive a follow-up notice from the Jury Board Personnel.
There are circumstances that would allow a juror to be excused from service. Any request for excusal must be provided in the remarks section of the questionnaire.
If there is a sudden emergency or illness that would prevent you from reporting on your scheduled date, please call the Jury Board Room at (570) 825-1696 so that we may accommodate you. Please do not email the Jury Board Room in this circumstance as your email may not be returned immediately.