The Superior Court of California, County of Solano urges all citizens to perform their civic duty and report for jury service when summoned. Unfortunately, not everyone takes this responsibility seriously. Because the court must protect the integrity of the county master juror pool and ensure a fair trial for all those before the Court, the court took action on 997 no show jurors this month.
Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, section 209, individuals who fail to respond to a jury summons may be held in contempt of court and sanctioned up to $1,500. The Court has been holding hearings for no show jurors since November 2015. At the hearing, jurors either agree to perform jury service, are excused from service based upon a valid qualifying reason exempting them from jury service, or sanctioned a penalty for failing to appear.
On May 11, 2017, the Court moved on the collection of sanctions issued to 997 people for failure to perform jury duty with a total collection value of $248,700. If you have failed to perform jury duty and were provided with a sanction, the amount has been provided to a collection agency and will be subsequently provided to the Franchise Tax Board for tax intercept.
Before disregarding a jury summons, people should consider the beneficial aspects of jury service. The very heart of our democratic process relies on every citizen to play his or her part to ensure equal access to justice. As stated by Presiding Judge Robert C. Fracchia, “one of the most important components of our judicial system is the right to a trial by jury. Jurors provide fair and just results for those who come before the court.”
As stated by Sabra Forbes, Jury Services Operations Manager, “after serving jury duty, many jurors describe their service as interesting and enlightening. Most jurors find they enjoy being part of something so important.”
Citizens need to understand that failure to appear not only impacts the timely administration of justice, but those who fail to appear for jury duty without a valid reason could face serious consequences. If you receive a jury summons and you are ineligible, it is your responsibility to complete the jury summons checking the reason you are ineligible, signing it under penalty of perjury and returning it to the court.
For more information about jury duty, visit the court website at www.solano.courts.ca.gov.