Jury Duty - Frequently Asked Questions - Jury Selection - Jury Video - Courthouse Directions
Frequently Asked Questions
Who may be called as a juror?
You may be called to serve if you are at least 18 years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of Bucks County.
Where does the Jury Selection Commission obtain the name of prospective jurors?
Beginning 2010 instead of using PennDOT and voter’s registration records we will be using a list created by the state. The statewide jury list will include the names of residents who vote, pay taxes, drive a car, receive welfare or food stamps. The statewide list was created to identify more potential jurors into the jury pool.
I am not a citizen of the United States but I would like to serve as a juror. Why can’t I?
The law automatically disqualifies non-citizens, convicted felons whose civil rights have not been restored, and people less than 18 years of age from jury service.
What can I expect if I am required to report?
An orientation will be provided advising you of the jury selection procedure. 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 completed for three years.
Is jury service mandatory?
The United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania State Constitution guarantees 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 with them to the jury lounge. Laptop computers may also be used (wireless is available). Cellular phones and pagers 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 further 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 some 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 request an exemption, how will I know it was granted?
You will receive a postcard 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?
The parking garage is located on Broad and Union Streets. Across the street from the new Justice Center. There are entrances on Union Street, Broad Street and Doyle Street. During inclement weather the top level of the parking garage may be closed you may enter off of Broad Street or Doyle Street.
What if I have an emergency on the day I am to report?
Call the Jury office at (215) 348-6702 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
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) || |
|Philadelphia (County) || |
|Montgomery County ||610-278-3215 ||Delaware County ||610-891-4621 |
|Chester County || |
|Lancaster County || |
|Lehigh County ||610-782-3014 ||Dauphin County || |
|York County || |
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Bucks County Courthouse
Jury Assembly Room Level B1
100 N Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Patricia Kloenne , Jury Manager