Juror Responsibilities

 
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Welcome to the Calhoun County jury system. We want to assure you that your participation is the basis of our democratic system. Under the Constitution a U.S. citizen is given certain rights; the right to a jury trial is one of those rights. We appreciate that you have made yourself available for possible selection as a juror.

Jurors are important and necessary participants in our justice system. Legal disputes (cases) often will not actually go to trial (to be heard by a judge or jury), because citizens are prepared to participate as jurors - sitting and waiting in the jury room. A jury panel that is ready to hear a case can motivate all parties involved in a dispute to reassess their risks and claims.

You are asked to perform one of the highest duties that can be imposed on any citizen, and that is to sit in judgment of facts on cases which will resolve civil disputes or determine the guilt or innocence of persons charged with crimes.

As a juror, your function is to listen to the evidence produced during the trial and decide the case on its merits by applying the judge's instructions, as opposed to deciding the case based on sympathy or prejudice.

Please understand although most lawyers, prosecutors and judges are friendly folks, you may not have any private contact or conversations with them during the course of the trial.

It is the Court's hope that these few introductory remarks will serve to put you at ease. We trust and hope that you are sufficiently impressed with the importance of jury duty and our democratic system.

Responsibilites as a Juror

  • Jurors must be prompt in arriving at the court.  A trial cannot begin unless all jurors are present.
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  • Jurors must give their undivided attention to the witnesses, attorneys, and proceedings.  Remember that the outcome of the case is very important to those concerned.
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  • Jurors must not let radio, television, newspaper articles or other publicity concerning a case effect their decision.  A verdict must be based on the evidence presented at trial.
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  • Jurors must not discuss the case with friends, relatives, or trial participants.  If you are approached about the case, report the incident to the judicial attorney immediately.
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  • Jurors must not become involved in independent investigations about the case.  When it becomes necessary to inspect a scene, the jury will do so as a group under the court's supervision only.
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  • Jurors must be impartial and avoid comments or expressions during the trial which convey feelings about the case.
 

Waiting

There is an old saying that "those also serve who sit and wait."  This is especially true for jury service.  There are many cases set for trial on the day you're called for jury duty.  While you are waiting in the assembly room, the judges, lawyers, and litigants are attempting to settle those cases without the expense and delay of a jury trial.  Often the mere presence of jurors encourages an agreement that avoids a prolonged trial.
 
During this wating time, however, we must prevent any interaction which could prejudice the pending trials.  To protect the integrity of the system and to prevent mistrials, you must stay in the assembly room unless excused by the jury clerk (you may not sit in or wander in the hallway).  Do not talk to anyone other than court staff or other jurors, as it may be an attorney, witnesses or litigants who are present in the courthouse for a trial.
 
We will try to make your waiting as comfortable as possible.  Coffee, water and reading material are provided.  If you have a medical necessity that requires you to eat or drink at certain times during the day, please notify the jury clerk.  Food/beverages are not allowed in the courtrooms proper.
 
An approximate one hour lunch break will be provided.  Lunch will be at your own expense unless you are told otherwise.
 
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS WITH YOU.
Contact Info.
Phone:
(269) 969-6533
 
Check Status (after 5 PM):
Toll Free: (855) 509-5879
 
Fax:
(269) 969-6531
 
Email:
 
 
Hours:
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday - Friday
 
Calhoun County, 315 West Green Street, Marshall, MI 49068 | Phone: (269) 781-0700 | Employees Only Contact Webmaster Translate this page:
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