4,000 people living in Ohio County have been summoned for jury duty. If you did receive that questionnaire and summons, you might be thinking-what do I do next?
You are required by law to fill it out and send it back within 10 days. On the back of this paperwork you can actually add notes about your schedule and other accommodations you might need.
4,000 sounds like a large number, but Ohio County Circuit Clerk Brenda Miller explained her office prepares for every trial on the calendar for the next 4 month period.
Miller said she usually summons about 3,200 people but Ohio County has some big cases coming up including several medical malpractice cases and 2 mass litigations for asbestos, requiring many more jurors.
In 2016, the office prepared for 247 jury trials, and only 8 actually went to trial. So, simply receiving a summons doesn’t mean you will serve.
The office is willing to work with you. If you have medical issues, your doctor can fax in an excuse.
Military and active duty is excused, and you’re a college student, you can attach your course schedule and they’ll try to work around it.
Miller said jury duty is not supposed to be a punishment.
“If I committed a crime, I would want the good people of the Ohio Valley on my jury. And, we have great people, that’s what this is for, it’s not a punishment, it’s a duty, it’s an honor, and everybody needs to do it at least once,” said Miller.
You may question how your name gets into the pool, and no it’s not just from your voter registration, it’s from your DMV records. Miller said jurors make $40 a day plus mileage. She added that people who serve usually enjoy the experience.
If you don’t show up for jury duty, you will find an Ohio County Sheriff’s deputy at your door with a summons to see the judge. You’ll have to meet with the judge and tell him why you weren’t there, and he will decide your repercussions.
You can be fined up to $1,000 for not showing up.