The Superior Court of California, County of Imperial in its continuing effort to increase juror response rates has been holding citizens, who fail to appear for jury service, in contempt of court. In recent hearings, non-compliant persons have been fined up to $750.00.

If a person does not respond to the initial jury summons, the Court will send a second notice. If the summoned juror does not respond to that second summons, then the juror will be served with an order stating that the non-responsive juror must come to court to appear before a Judge at an Order to Show Cause hearing regarding why he or she should not be fined. Should a person fail to appear at the hearing, the Court will impose the penalties that California law allows for those refusing to serve. These penalties may include a monetary fine and/or incarceration.

When the first jury summons arrives, the Court urges recipients of the notice to respond. If the summoned juror has a valid reason for postponing service or a legal reason to be excused, the prospective juror is encouraged to contact the Jury Commissioner’s Office at (760) 482-2259 upon receipt of their summons.

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