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General Information—Jury Summons

Jury Summons Information

The right to a trial by jury is the privilege of every person in the United States, whether a citizen or not. This cherished right is guaranteed by both the United States and California Constitutions.

You may be summoned to render an important service as a juror. You have enjoyed the privileges of citizenship and the protection of your liberties and property through our system of self-government. Therefore, for a short time, you may be summoned to serve as a juror, an officer of the court, along with the attorneys and the judge. As a juror, you will be an important member of the judicial system of Mono County and California.

General Information—Jury Summons

The selection and management of jurors is governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure. Jurors' names are selected at random from lists of Mono County registered voters and persons who have valid California drivers licenses or identification cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles with a Mono County address. The two lists are combined to create one Master Jury List. For each jury trial, approximately 200 prospective jurors are randomly selected from the master list to receive a summons. The summonses are mailed approximately two weeks prior to the service date. The summons contains information and instructions on how to have jury service postponed; how to request to be excused from jury service; or how to notify the court of disqualification from jury service.

If you have been summoned for jury duty, read the summons carefully and follow its instructions, as it contains important information along with the name and address of the court and the date and time of your jury service.

The Mono County Superior Court operates on a One Trial/One Day system.

In order to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the juror, a call-in process is used. This means a juror is instructed to telephone the court at (800) 451-3585 the day before he/she is summoned to appear for reporting instructions. The juror may be instructed to report as summoned, to report on another day, or may be released from service because the trial to which he/she has been summoned was settled or canceled.

Once instructed to report, a juror may or may not be selected to serve as a juror in a trial court. The Deputy Jury Commissioner is required to have a sufficient number of jurors for all anticipated trials. The jury staff tries to carefully estimate the number of jurors needed, but there are many variables outside their control.

If a prospective juror is selected to serve on a trial as a sworn juror, the term of service will be the length of that trial. Trials vary in length, but generally last 2-5 days.

Once the jury for the trial to which you have been summoned is selected, the judge will excuse all remaining prospective jurors, and your jury service is complete. Approximately 80% of our prospective jurors complete their service in one day.

State law does not currently require employers to continue paying the salary of employees while they are serving as jurors. However, many employers including state, federal, and local government agencies, have a policy that compensates employees for at least part, if not all the time spent for jury service. Before coming to court, the juror should talk with their employer.

Jurors are paid the amount mandated by the State Legislature: $15.00 per day and 34 cents per mile for each day of service after the first day. There is no pay or mileage for the first day of service. "Service" is defined as physically reporting to the court. Juror payroll is processed following the conclusion of each trial.

Every resident of Mono County who is qualified to serve and who does not have a legal hardship or excuse must appear for jury service when summoned. Willful failure to appear is contempt of court. Contempt of court is punished by a fine of up to $1,000.00 and/or five days in the county jail.

Employers cannot discriminate against employees serving on jury duty. Employers must allow employees time off to serve on a jury. The California Labor Code, section 230, prohibits any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned to court for jury service as long as reasonable notice is given. The California Education Code, sections 44037 and 87036 protect teachers and students as well. Employers can also be prosecuted criminally and face a misdemeanor charge if found guilty.