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 jury pool, the court took action on November 4, 2015, to sanction no show jurors.
Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 209, individuals who fail to respond to a jury summons may be held in contempt of court, incarcerated or sanctioned up to $1,500. The Court held its second Order to Show Cause hearing for this calendar year for 128 individuals that have failed to respond to their jury summons notice. Of the individuals that responded to the Order to Show Cause, fifteen agreed to perform jury duty within the next thirty days; fourteen were excused from jury duty for qualifying reasons exempting them from jury service – such as no longer being a resident of Solano County, not being a U.S. citizen or having a disability with a letter from a treating physician. Those that did not respond were sanctioned $250.00.
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 E. Bradley Nelson, “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.” Unlike the voting in general elections, each trial juror’s vote on a possible verdict has a direct and immediate influence on the outcome of a case.
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.
Categorized in: Legal Procedure
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