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Jury Service

Jury Duty – An Honored Service

The right to a trial by jury is a privilege that applies to both criminal and civil cases and is recognized as the foundation of the American court system, guaranteed by both the United States and California Constitutions.

Reporting for Service

Jury Service is mandatory and prospective jurors names are obtained from voter registration and DMV records. Service may be required as often as once per year and can be from one day to the length of one trial, starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m. Business casual attire is suggested. Shorts and tank tops are not appropriate courtroom attire.

Jury trials cannot be held unless people like you are willing to perform their civic duty. Jurors are essential to the administration of justice.

Instructions for On-Call Jurors

Watch Video: California's Juror Orientation Video

Alert!! Jury Scams!! 

More than a dozen states, including California, have issued public warnings about calls from people claiming to be court officials or law enforcement officers.

  • Do not provide any information having to do with your bank or credit card to anyone claiming to be an officer of the court or of the law.
  • Be advised that official court personnel may contact you by telephone, but they will never ask for your personal information.
  • Jury staff of the San Benito County Superior Court will not ask past or prospective jurors for information regarding cash cards, credit cards, bank account information and social security numbers. Please do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be associated with or representing the San Benito County Superior Court jury system.

Click here for information on Court Etiquette and Security.

Jury Service Information

All juror qualifications are enumerated in Cal. CCP § 203. All individuals are eligible and qualified for service unless they are:

  1. Persons who are not citizens of the United States.
  2. Persons who are less than 18 years of age.
  3. Persons who are not domiciliaries of the State of California, as determined pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with § 2020) of Chapter 1 of Division 2 of the Elections Code.
  4. Persons who are not residents of the jurisdiction wherein they are summoned to serve.
  5. Persons who have been convicted of malfeasance in office and whose civil rights have not been restored.
  6. Persons who are not possessed of sufficient knowledge of the English language, provided that no person shall be deemed incompetent solely because of the loss of sight or hearing in any degree or other disability which impedes the person’s ability to communicate or which impairs or interferes with the person’s mobility.
  7. Persons who are serving as grand or trial jurors in any court of this state.
  8. Persons who are the subject of conservatorship.
  9. Persons while they are incarcerated in any prison or jail.
  10. Persons who have been convicted of a felony and are currently on parole, post release community supervision, felony probation, or mandated supervision for the conviction of a felony.
  11. Persons who are currently required to register as a sex offender pursuant to § 290 of the Penal Code based on a felony conviction.
If you feel you do not qualify based on one of the reasons above please fill out the Jury Questionnaire and return it to the court. The questionnaire can be mailed, or emailed to jury@sanbenito.courts.ca.gov

Peace Officers:

Pursuant to California Rule of Court, rule 2.1004(b), if a prospective juror is a peace officer, as defined by Cal. PC § 830.5, staff must make scheduling accommodations upon receipt of a request from the peace officer stating the reason a scheduling accommodation is necessary. The request must be made and/or received no later than the day before the peace officer’s scheduled service. If a peace officer’s request for a scheduling accommodation is made under penalty of perjury in writing (e.g. U.S. mail, court’s local form), or through the court’s established electronic means, (e.g. court website, telephone), and in accordance with the court's local rules or procedure, staff cannot require the individual to appear at court to make their request in-person.

Furthermore, pursuant to Cal. CCP § 219(b)(1), no peace officer, as defined, in Cal. PC § 830.1(a), 830.2(a), and 830.33(a), shall be selected for voir dire in civil and/or criminal cases. Pursuant to Cal. CCP § 219(b)(2), no peace officer, as defined in Cal. PC § 830.2(b) and (c), shall be selected for voir dire in criminal matters. As such, staff shall excuse such individuals who are a peace officer under those statutes from jury service, excepting those who may serve in a civil case and when the court requires their service for a civil case, unless another reason for excusal applies. If the individual submits a statement made under penalty of perjury in writing (e.g. U.S. mail, court’s local form), or through the court’s established electronic means, (e.g. court website, telephone), and in accordance with the court's local rules or procedure, staff shall not require the individual to appear at court to request an excusal in-person. Officers can fill out the Jury Questionaire and return it to the court. The questionaire can be mailed, or emailed to jury@sanbenito.courts.ca.gov.

Postponement Information:

Individuals summoned for jury service who want to postpone their service, are entitled to a one-time deferral under California Rules of Court, rule 2.1004(a). Staff should attempt to accommodate a prospective juror’s schedule by granting the prospective juror’s request for a postponement. If the request is made in writing (e.g. U.S. mail, court’s local form or via the courts website) under the penalty of perjury, as well as in accordance with the court’s local rules and/or procedures, staff should grant it without requiring the prospective juror to appear at court to make the request in-person.

Requests for postponement by students and teachers may be extended until the next school break. Requests for postponements for those with a prepaid vacation may be extended until the individual returns, upon submission of proof of a travel itinerary. Requests for postponements for those who are currently outside of the State of California may be extended until their return unless they no longer meet the residency requirements, in which case they will be disqualified from jury service. Requests for postponements for any other reason may be extended for as long as the individual requires in order to serve, but not longer than twelve (12) months, subject to the court’s discretion and need for jurors.
Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 2.1006, any mother who is breastfeeding a child is entitled to have their service postponed for up to one (1) year, and may renew the request for as long as they are breastfeeding. If the request is made in writing (e.g. U.S. mail, court’s local form), or through the court’s established electronic means, (e.g. court website, telephone) under the penalty of perjury, as well as in accordance with the court’s local rules and/or procedures, staff should grant it without requiring the prospective juror to appear at court to make the request in-person. Individuals can fill out the Jury Questionaire and return it to the court. The questionaire can be mailed, or emailed to jury@sanbenito.courts.ca.gov.

Staff may grant a one-time postponements for periods up to 90 days from the original service date. If a request is made for more than 90 days, up to twelve (12) months from the original service date, the request must be reviewed by a supervisor.

All requests for postponements will receive a response if denied. However, the court may provide updated status for jurors regarding their requests for postponement using an electronic or other system at the court’s discretion.

Requests by prospective jurors to be excused from service shall be processed pursuant to the California Rules of Court, rule 2.1008 and/or rule 2.1009, as applicable, under their authority granted by Cal. CCP §§ 203 and 204. Inconvenience to a prospective juror and/or their employer is an insufficient basis to be excused from service. All requests for excusal and/or disqualification must be submitted in writing using the court’s processes and procedures, under penalty of perjury, and signed by the prospective juror or their appointed representative.

Additionally, all requests for a permanent medical excuse from jury service must include the above as well as a supporting letter, memo, or note from a treating health care provider as defined in rule 2.1009(a)(4). The supporting letter, memo, or note must be on the treating health care provider's letterhead, state that the person has a permanent disability as described in rule 2.1009(a)(6) that makes the person incapable of performing jury service as described in rule 2.1009(a)(3), and be signed by the provider. The request and supporting letter, memo, or note must be submitted to the court’s jury commissioner or their designee on or before the date the prospective juror is required to appear for jury service.

Staff shall review all requests for excusal and/or disqualification in order to determine which requests meet the criteria of the rules of court and statutes noted above. A response should be sent only when an individual’s request is denied. The court may provide updated status for jurors regarding their requests for excusal [using an electronic system] at the court’s discretion.

All requests for a permanent medical excuse under rule 2.1009 will receive a response determining whether an application was granted, denied, or deemed incomplete. If the request is granted, the individual shall be removed from the court’s jury rolls as soon as practicable. A person who has received a permanent medical excuse from jury service may be reinstated to the rolls of potential jurors at any time by filing a signed, written request with the court’s jury commissioner or their designee that the permanent medical excuse be withdrawn.

If the request is denied, the prospective juror has the right to reapply at any time subsequent to receiving notice from the court. If an application is deemed incomplete, the court may, at its discretion, assist the individual in submitting additional information and/or documentation to support their application.
All information concerning a request for permanent medical excuse must be kept confidential, including any accompanying request for disability-related accommodation(s) as well as auxiliary aids or services, unless the individual waives confidentiality in writing or the law requires disclosure. The individual’s identity and confidential information may not be disclosed to the public but may be disclosed to court officials and personnel involved in the permanent medical excuse process. Confidential information includes all medical information pertaining to the applicant, and all oral or written communication from the individual concerning the request for permanent medical excuse.

All requests for Juror Excusals must be accompanied by a Jury Questionaire and return it to the court. The questionaire can be mailed, or emailed to jury@sanbenito.courts.ca.gov

If you feel you do not qualify to be a juror, please see jury qualifications Here.

If you are called for jury duty, you will have many questions – from where you should report to what will happen during a trial if you are chosen to serve. Most of these steps are set by state law and a few court rules. What you read here should cover most of your questions when called to serve in the Superior Court of California, although each county may be slightly different.

For more information about California's Jury Service please visit the following website: http://www.courts.ca.gov/juryservice.htm

Time

Reporting jurors may be selected to serve on a case of any length. If selected, you will be here for the duration of the trial. If you are not selected, you have completed service and you will be excused.

Employer

Notify your employer the day you receive the summons.

Jury Service

We recognize that jury service may conflict with your personal schedule. We hope that you understand that jury service is essential to the preservation of the right to a trial by a jury of peers.

Exemption from Jury Service

California law reads in part: “No eligible person may be exempt from service as a trial juror by reason of occupation, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, or for any other reason.”

American with Disabilities Act

If you need accommodations due to disability, please advise the Jury Coordinator at (831) 636-4057 ext.245 prior to the date of your jury service.

School 

California law does not allow excuse from jury duty while attending classes. However, you may request a one time postponement.

I Need a Different Date 

You may request a one-time postponement. To postpone jury service visit our website, https://sanbenitocourts.jpjuroraccess.com/login or call 831-636-4057.

Dress Code 

No tank tops, shorts, strapless dresses or bare feet are permitted. Business attire is suggested.

Failure to Appear

Failure to appear as summoned could result in a $1,000.00 fine, a jail sentence or other legal consequences.

Parking 

Parking is available at the courthouse and surrounding areas. Parking is also available in the downtown parking Garage 1/2 block from the courthouse.  Please beware of short term parking areas.  We do not validate parking and you will be ticketed.

Jury Service FAQs

If you are called for jury duty, you will have many questions – from where you should report to what will happen during a trial if you are chosen to serve. Most of these steps are set by state law and a few court rules. What you read here should cover most of your questions when called to serve in the Superior Court of California, although each county may be slightly different.

For more information about California's Jury Service please visit the following website: http://www.courts.ca.gov/juryservice.htm

Yes. Jury Service is a right and a responsibility of citizenship.

We receive names annually from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the County Elections Department. The lists are combined and a computer program eliminates duplicate names.

A juror must provide a physician's verification note on a prescription pad or letterhead signed by a doctor, which details why you cannot serve and the length or duration of the illness or problem.

No. You no longer need a doctor’s note to be excused for nursing. Explain on your summons that you are a nursing mother and you can be excused for one year. However, if you are employed but nursing, you may still have to report for jury duty.

There are no provisions for people who do not have childcare. The jury clerk can not excuse you, only the trial judge can. Children are not allowed in the courtroom. In order to be excused, you must appear before the judge. If you need to be rescheduled in order to find childcare for a couple of hours, let the jury clerk know as soon as possible.

Pursuant to Cal. CCP § 204(b) and California Rules of Court, rule 2.1008, individuals may be excused from service if they qualify for an undue hardship. These requests are heard on a case by case basis, by the Judge, the same day you arrive for Jury Service.

" One Trial or One Day". We can have you call in up to 5 times to check your group number to see if you will be needed. You must call the juror recording after 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding the summons date or any time that weekend for your initial instructions.

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