The United States Constitution guarantees all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, the right to trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends in large, upon the quality of the jurors who serve in our courts.
As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. Your actions and decisions are the foundation of our judicial system.
Jurors are selected at random by computer, from the voter registration list. A juror must be a United States Citizen, a resident of Warren County, and at least 18 years of age.
A civil case is heard by a jury of eight. A criminal case is heard by a jury of twelve. Alternate jurors may be chosen to replace jurors who become ill or otherwise unable to finish the trial.
A larger group, called a panel, will be sent to the courtroom where the jurors will be questioned under the supervision of the judge. A juror may be excused from the panel if it is shown that the juror cannot act impartially concerning the case to be heard.
In addition, each side is allowed to remove a given number of jurors from the panel without having to show any reason, called peremptory challenge. A panel member may challenge for cause if the questioning indicates that he or she might be biased.
To be eligible to serve as a juror, you must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the county in which you are called to serve. You must also be able to understand and speak the English language. In Warren County, jurors are randomly selected from the list of registered voters. A group of prospective jurors will be sent into the courtroom where they will questioned under the judge's supervision. A juror may be excused if it appears that he/she will be unable to act impartially concerning the case at hand. The plantiff and defendant are permitted to remove a certain number of jurors without cause, which is called peremptory challenge. Please note: There are no longer any statutory exemptions from jury duty. Physicians, Dentists, Attorneys, Police Officers, Firefighters, and Elected Officials may be called to serve.
Juror Dress Code
Please wear comfortable clothing that also reflects the seriousness of your responsibility. Shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops, shirts with suggestive language or logos, and hats are all considered to be inappropriate attire for the courtroom. The temperatures from the jury room and the courtroom may vary, so you may bring a sweater or jacket with you.
In Warren County Common Pleas Court, you will receive $12.00 per day if you appear and are not selected for the jury. You will receive $25.00 per day if you are selected for the jury.
Term of Service
In Warren County Common Pleas Court, jurors are selected for a 4-month term service. You may be called to serve at any time during that term. You may also be called more than once during your term. It is also possible that your services will not be needed at all during your term. You will be notified approximately 2 weeks in advance, by a separate yellow notice from this court, of the time and dates your service will be required. If you are called to serve on a jury and appear on the date scheduled, the parties may settle prior to the trial beginning. At that time, the judge will instruct you that you are free to leave the courthouse. Our jury trials typically last one or two days, although they may be longer.
Information for Employers
It is essential that the court and employers work together to ensure that all Warren County residents are available to serve jury duty when called in order to maintain a strong jury system. We are grateful to all employers in the community for supporting our jury system. As the employer, you are required to allow an employee time off to serve jury duty. It is against federal law to threaten or terminate an employee who is summoned for jury service.
All persons and their belongings will be screened for weapons. Please do not bring guns, knives, or any other dangerous items into the courthouse. If you have any health issues which may affect the metal detector, please bring this to the attention of the Sheriff's Deputy monitoring the machine. This may include wearing a brace, having a pacemaker, having prosthetics, or surgically implanted rods or pins.
Criminal Cases vs Civil Cases
A criminal case results when a person is accused of committing a crime. Jurors must decide whether the person charged is guilty or not guilty. The accused person is presumed innocent, and the State, represented by the prosecuting attorney of Warren County, must prove that the person is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
A civil case results from a disagreement or dispute between two or more parties. In a civil case a juror must answer questions of disputed facts based upon the testimony and evidence admitted by the the judge. The answers to these questions are called a verdict.
Most requests for excusal from jury duty must be reviewed and approved by a Judge. If you would like to request excusal, please submit a letter along with any supporting documentation to the Jury Commissioner explaining the reason you need excused. If you will be traveling on business or vacation during a time you are summoned, please submit verification of travel ie: hotel confirmation, airline tickets, etc. This information can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (513) 695-2315.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, if you still have questions please contact the Jury Commissioner:
- Jennifer Yeazel, Jury Commissioner
- 500 Justice Drive
- Lebanon, Ohio 45036
- (Phone) 513-695-1151
- (Fax) 513-695-2315