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Jury Duty - Frequently Asked Questions - Jury Selection - Justice Center Directions

Jury Duty

Frequently Asked Questions

Many answers to your questions can be answered by watching the Jury Information and Overview video (1 min, 35 sec) or the Juror Orientation video (15 min, 54 sec)

Where does the Jury Selection Commission obtain the name of prospective jurors?                                     Annually a master juror list is created.  Your name can come from various approved public lists such as licensed drivers lists, voter rolls, tax records and/or other public records that are inclusive of all citizens, old and young, rich and poor.

What can I expect if I am required to report?
An orientation will be provided advising you of the jury selection procedure. You may also view the orientation video by clicking on the link above.  If you go into a courtroom for jury selection you will be told about the length of the trial.  Any conflicts that you may have will be addressed during the jury selection.

How long does jury service usually last if I am selected?
If you are selected to sit on a jury, the average trial length is two to three days, although trials may be longer or shorter depending upon the facts of the case.  If you are not chosen to serve on a trial your jury service is complete for three years.

Is jury service mandatory?
The United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania State Constitution guarantee the right to a trial by jury.  Failure to attend as directed may subject you to penalties provided by law.  All Bucks County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they:

  • Are NOT a United States citizen
  • Are NOT a resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania
  • Are Under 18  years of age
  • Have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime

What time will I arrive and leave?
The normal working hours for the court are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  If you are seated on a trial you may serve later than 4:30 p.m.

What should I wear to jury service?
Jurors should dress comfortably, but properly for a courthouse.  Business casual attire is appropriate.   NO SHORTS OR TEE SHIRTS PERMITED.  Those who arrive inappropriately dressed will be required to return on a later occasion.

What can I bring with me to jury service?
The jury process can require a juror to wait a considerable amount of time.  For this reason, jurors are encouraged to bring a book or other form of reading material.  Laptop computers may also be used (wireless is available).  Cell phones must be turned off in the courtroom.  Please note all visitors to the courthouse are screened for security purposes.  Any articles which are deemed to be capable of being used as weapons will be confiscated, as will any other illegal items.

What happens if a person ignores a summons to jury service?
A jury summons is a court order.  Any juror who fails to appear when summoned may be fined and/or imprisoned for contempt of court.  It is in your best interest to appear if you are summoned to avoid any future action.

Is there an exemption due to my age?
Pennsylvania law does not exclude persons due to their age.  However, if you are 70 years of age or older you may be excused without a doctor’s note.

What about getting a postponement?
The Jury Selection Commission realizes prospective jurors may have been summoned at an inconvenient time and is willing to defer service to a more convenient time in most instances.  Jurors may request a first-time postponement in writing.  Jurors may select a new date of their choice, with limitations.  Subsequent postponements are not allowed unless it is an extreme emergency that was not anticipated when the first postponement was granted.

If I have a mental or physical infirmity what verification is required in order to be excused or postponed?
If you wish to be excused for the calendar year a note from your physician is required.  A doctor’s note may be mailed or faxed (215) 340-8836.  A note from the doctor’s office must include your name and juror number. If you have a mental or physical infirmity in which you will be able to serve at a later date in the year verification from your doctor is not required. 

If I have a mental or physical infirmity and require accommodations under the American with Disability Act.
If you are a person with a disability and require reasonable accommodations please contact the ADA Coordinator at (215)-348-6775 no later than 7 days prior to your report date. 

Can my service animal accompany me to jury duty? 
A service animal (dog) may accompany you to jury duty if that service animal is trained for a specific task due to your disability. Emotional support animals are not permitted. 

If I request an exemption, how will I know it was granted?
You will receive a notice in the mail stating your reporting status 4 weeks before your actual service date.

Does my employer have to pay me while I am serving?
Pennsylvania law does not require an employer to compensate an employee for jury service.  Check with your company’s human resources department for their policy.

Can my employer fire me for performing jury service?
No. Pennsylvania law prohibits an employer from terminating or otherwise penalizing an employee because the employee serves as a juror.

I am unable to judge anyone because of my moral or religious beliefs.  May I be excused?
Pennsylvania law does not provide for an excuse from jury service for moral or religious beliefs.  You are still required to appear for jury service when you get to a court room, the judge will make that decision.

I know that I will not be selected to be on a jury because of what I do for a living.  Why not excuse me now and save time?
Bucks County tries civil and criminal cases, both of which require jury trials.  The random selection process prevents you from knowing in advance what type of trial for which you’ll be selected.  The jury staff cannot excuse you as a potential juror because of what you do for a living.

How do I know if I am a regular juror or a standby juror?
The regular juror’s summons has a service date in which you must appear.  A standby juror has a service week in which you have to call for five business days beginning the Friday before your service week to see if you are needed.  If you have rescheduled your jury service you must report on the new assigned date.  YOU WILL NOT CALL IN (it does not matter what your status was previously).  If you have any questions regarding this please call the Jury Office at (215) 348-6702.

Where do I park when I report for jury service?
Free parking is available in the Bucks County Parking Garage located on Broad and Union streets. It is a 4 tier garage with entrances on Doyle, Broad and Union streets. The County runs a shuttle bus from the garage to the Justice Center between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. The shuttle bus stop is on Union Street, the top level of the garage. If you require handicap parking there are spots available in the parking garage on every level near the elevators. If you need further information regarding parking please call (215)-348-6711. Parking at a meter or other lot is not advised it may result in a parking ticket or your vehicle may be towed.  Information regarding the parking garage may also be found in the link at the top of this page Jury information and overview.   The short video will answer many of your questions regarding parking.

What if I have an emergency on the day I am to report?
Call the Jury office at (215) 348-6711 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We are often checking in jurors or away from our desks, if we do not answer please leave a message we will return your call at our earliest convenience. 

What happens if there is inclement weather on the day that I am required to report?
If there is inclement weather you may call the weather hotline at (215) 340-8208 after 6: 30 a.m.  If the court cancels or delays the reporting time for that day, the recorded message will indicate the updated status.  You may also check weather updates at www.facebook.com/Buckscountygovt or Twitter @BucksCountygovt.  If the message has not changed, then your status remains the same.

Who do I call to find out additional information?
24 Hour Juror Information Line (215) 345-5613
This tape recorded message answers many of the commonly asked questions.

Jury Office (215) 348-6702
Office Hours 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

I have appeared for jury service within the last 3 years but I have lost my documentation what should I do? 
If you have appeared for jury service within the last 3 years answer questions 8 and 9 on your juror questionnaire.  If you wish to be excused proof of service is required from the court that you appeared for jury service.   If you appeared in Bucks County, The Office of jury Selection can obtain your date of service.  For your convenience, below are phone numbers to local Pennsylvania Courts you can call to request proof of service.

Philadelphia (Federal)

267-299-7299

Philadelphia (County)

215-683-7177

Montgomery County 610-278-3215 Delaware County 610-891-4621
Chester County               

610-344-6170

Lancaster County

717-299-8041

Lehigh County 610-782-3014 Dauphin County

717-780-6300

York County      

717-771-9234

 



Bucks County Courthouse 
Jury Assembly Room Level B1
100 N Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Patricia Kloenne , Jury Manager
Phone: 215-348-6702
Fax: 215-340-8836
Email: jurymgmt@buckscounty.org