How are prospective jurors selected for jury service?
Jury service is not voluntary, but is a civic duty imposed upon all citizens by statute. You do not need any special skills or legal knowledge to be a juror. The list of names that is used to call people for jury duty is created from the County’s voter registration list and Arizona Department of Transportation records. Names are randomly selected from the countywide population by a computer program.
The Jury Office does not pick and choose people to summon for jury duty. Twice a year a new file is created, using voter registration and drivers license files. A computer program randomly selects names from that file to summons potential jurors.
Who is qualified to serve as a juror?
In Gila County, jurors must be at least eighteen (18) years of age; be a United States citizen; be a Gila County resident; never have been convicted of a felony, unless the juror's civil rights have been restored; not be currently adjudicated mentally incompetent or insane.
Who can be excused from jury service?
In Arizona, a person summoned for jury service shall, upon their timely application (in writing) to the court, be excused from service as a juror if that person's absence from their regular place of employment would, in the judgment of the court, tend materially and adversely to affect the public safety, health, welfare or interest; or if, service as a juror would, in the judgment of the court, impose an undue hardship upon that person.
Requests to be excused from jury service are rarely granted and, in particular, excuses are not granted on the basis of religious beliefs, moral beliefs, or professional or business status.
How long does jury service last?
Gila County uses a "pooling" system. This means you are on call by the court for a period of time (usually 8-12 weeks). You may be called by the court several days in advance to appear on a specific date, or you may be required to call the court. You may also be required to appear several times during your period of service depending on the needs of the court.
If a prospective juror is impaneled as a regular trial juror on their first day of service, then they must return to the courthouse each day until that case is completed and they are excused by the judge. The average length of most trials is 2 days.
If a prospective juror is impaneled as a County Grand Juror, then they must serve one day per week over a period of 120 days.
I served on a jury before. Do I have to serve again?
Yes. If you served on a jury panel, you are exempt from serving for two years. If it has been more than two years since your last service, you are required to appear for jury duty again, regardless of how many times you have served in the past.
Will I be compensated for jury duty?
Yes. Jurors are compensated for mileage if they appear the first day but do not serve for a trial. Mileage is currently calculated round-trip from the center of your zip code to the court building. If selected to serve as a juror for a trial, you will receive $12 dollars for every day the trial lasts, plus mileage. The rate is set by the State of Arizona. The current rate is 34.5 cents per mile.
Must employers pay their employees while they are on jury service?
No. Employers are not required to pay employees while they are on jury service.
Employers may not, however, refuse to permit their employees to take a leave of absence from their employment to serve as a juror. State law (A.R.S. § 21-236) prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating against an employee for taking time off to serve as a juror if the employee, prior to taking time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer of the requirement to serve as a juror.
What are my chances of being called for jury service?
In 2001, Gila County called 2200 jurors for service; there are approximately 35,000 persons between the ages of 18 and 70; therefore, your chances of being called as a juror are about 1 in 7.