If you are selected to serve as a juror, we sincerely hope it will be an experience that you will enjoy, long remember, and view as a privilege. Jury duty is a great responsibility that you and all citizens have to one another. The following information is provided to help you understand the jury process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Clerk of Court’s Office.
**The Jury Trial (Panel #647) scheduled for Tuesday, July 11, 2017 HAS BEEN CANCELLED. JURORS: PLEASE DO NOT REPORT FOR JURY DUTY**
HOW JURORS ARE SELECTED
Jurors who are called for service are randomly selected. The Court’s Jury Commissioners select a starting and skipping number that is provided to the Wood County Board of Elections. Their computer randomly selects potential jurors. Through cooperative efforts between the Bowling Green Municipal Court and the Wood County Common Pleas Court, every effort is made to ensure that jurors are only selected to serve in one court during a calendar year. As a jury is needed, our court sends out a summons and questionnaire to 50 potential jurors. The remaining names (usually 25-30) constitute the panel of jurors that will be used for a trial.
TYPE OF CASES WE HANDLE
The municipal court handles misdemeanor criminal offenses, traffic offenses, and civil cases with lawsuits not exceeding $15,000. We do not handle felony cases at the trial stage. Information regarding the pending case cannot be given to the jurors before the hearing date.
WHAT TO DO UPON RECEIVING A SUMMONS
If you have received a summons, there is definitely a case pending to be heard on the date you are asked to appear. Whether the parties will change their minds before that date or even the morning of the jury trial, is something the court cannot predict or control. Also included with your summons will be a jury questionnaire. You should fill out the questionnaire and return it as soon as possible in the self-addressed, stamped envelope. This is the only notice you will receive from the court. You must contact the court the evening before to receive a message as to whether the trial is still scheduled and whether you need to appear as indicated on your summons.
CALL THE COURT TO CONFIRM THE TRIAL IS STILL SCHEDULED
In order to keep jurors updated on any status change of a scheduled jury trial, the jury messages are updated as soon as there is any change. For your convenience, you may call the court at anytime to confirm that your trial is still scheduled. Please refer to the PANEL # on your summons and call 352-5263, Opt. #1. If you have a rotary phone, you may call the jury clerk to receive the same information during regular office hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Because the status of jury trials may change as late as 4:30 p.m. the day before the scheduled date, you should call the court the day before (late afternoon or evening) to confirm that your appearance is necessary. You will NOT receive payment if the jury trial has been canceled.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU APPEAR AT COURT
Jurors should report to the Clerk of Court’s Office to be checked in and given a “JUROR” badge to wear. Jurors will then be given directions to the Jury Assembly Room. Thereafter, you will be escorted into one of the courtrooms. The judge may ask some preliminary questions of the prospective jurors, and the attorneys will interview each juror until both parties have selected the final panel (8 or 9) to hear the case. This initial process of selection usually takes an hour or so. The remaining jurors will be excused once the panel has been selected.
The trial will last until the jury has reached its verdict. Most jury trials last one day. A two-day jury trial is very unusual, but sometimes necessary. During the trial you will be given breaks. An hour is usually allowed for lunch and dinner. If the jury is in its final deliberations during the dinner hours (past 5:00 p.m.), dinner will be provided for the jurors at no cost to them.
Jurors who appear but are excused will receive $20.00. The jurors who are selected to serve will receive $40.00 per day. Your check will be mailed out within a week of the trial. If you need a letter for your employer, one will be provided upon request. Please do this before you leave the courthouse.
Coffee & Snacks: Coffee, soft drinks, and juices are available in the deliberation rooms. The court has vending machines on the first floor.
Parking: Parking is free and located on the north side of the courthouse.
Smoking: The Bowling Green Municipal Court is a smoke-free facility; however, you may go outside during breaks if you need to smoke.
Telephone: Phones are available for the jurors to use if necessary. Ask the bailiff or a deputy clerk if you need assistance.
Temperature: Bring a sweater or jacket, because the courtroom tends to be a bit cool.