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Jury Service

NOTICE REGARDING CELLPHONES AND AUDIO DEVICES

On April 3rd 2017, a new policy was implemented, where cell phones are collected and stored in a lock pouch upon entering The Stout Center for Criminal Justice. ALL JURORS WILL BE EXEMPT FROM SUBMITTING THEIR PHONES, AS LONG AS THEY HAVE PROOF OF THEIR SERVICE (IE. Summons, Postcard, letter from the jury staff). Your phone does not have to be secured while you are in the Stout Center. However, restrictions will apply once you are assigned to a courtroom. PLEASE BRING YOUR PROOF WITH YOU.

Jury Service is one of the highest duties of citizenship and it is an essential element of our democratic society. Citizens selected as jurors participate in a decision-making process in order to reach a verdict or decision of guilt or innocence in both civil and criminal cases. Service as a juror provides an interesting opportunity for citizens to learn more about our system of justice and how it works. Nearly 100,000 citizens are called to duty in Philadelphia each year.

Each year, summonses are mailed to Philadelphia residents using a combined list of all registered voters and adult licensed drivers. If you receive a summons, you are required by law to complete the questionnaire portion (by mail or online), with all questions truthfully answered, and return it the Jury Commission within five days. If you fail to respond to your Jury Summons, the law provides for the imposition of a fine not to exceed $500 and imprisonment not to exceed 10 days. The completed questionnaire should be returned to the Jury Selection Commission, The Stout Center for Criminal Justice, 1301 Filbert Street, Room 204, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

In order to qualify for jury service, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • You must not have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.
  • You must be physically and mentally able to perform the functions of a juror.
  • You must be a United States citizen at the time you are summoned.
  • You must be a Philadelphia resident and at least 18 years of age.

If you are not mentally or physically able to serve as a juror, provide medical certification in the remarks section of the questionnaire. If you are requesting to be excused for a job related reason, your employer should certify the hardship in the remarks section.

If you are no longer a resident of the City and County of Philadelphia, please indicate your new address in the remarks section. You are not be required to report.

If you wish to request a postponement or need to be excused from jury service for an extreme hardship, you must indicate the reason for your request in the remarks section of your summons. You should also indicate a date within the next 4-5 months you will be available to serve. If you are 75 years or older, you are invited to serve, but not required. To be excused, please put your request in the "Remarks" section and return.

Postponements can be done online after completing the questionnaire. Jurors may select a new date of their choice, with some limitations. Hardship request cannot be done online and must be done by mail.

Remember, the completed questionnaire with this information in the remarks section should be returned within five days of receipt to the Jury Selection Commission, 1301 Filbert Street, Room 204, Philadelphia, PA 19107. You may also fax the document to 215-683-7183.

If you have already completed and returned your questionnaire and find you need to request a postponement, call the Commission at 215-683-7170, and use the interactive voice response system, Option 4, to request your postponement. You will receive step by step instructions.

When you call the Commission, you should have your nine-digit ID number available. That number appears in a yellow highlighted box on your summons.

You may check the status of a postponement or hardship request by calling the Commission at 215-683-7170 and choosing Option 4.

The number of jurors needed for jury duty changes daily. Between 5 PM and 12 midnight the night before you are scheduled to report, you should call the Jury Commission at 215-683-7170 for special reporting instructions. When you call, select Option 2, Juror Call-In. Remember, you should have your nine-digit Participant# available. Your Participant# appears in a yellow highlighted box on your summons.

You will be told whether you should or should not report for service. If you are told you are not required to appear, your name will be removed from the mailing list for another year. If you are told not to report for jury duty but you have made special arrangements to appear, please feel free to come in.

Read your summons carefully. On the day you report, your summons instructs you to report at 8:15 AM to either City Hall or The The Stout Center for Criminal Justice. You must bring your original summons with you when you report for service. Do not give your original summons to your employer. Proof of service will be attached to your jury fee check and given to you at the end of the day. Please remember, weapons, including pen knives, cutting instruments, pepper gas and mace are not permitted in the building. These items will be confiscated and not returned. Cellular phones are permitted in the Criminal Justice Center. Aluminum cans and glass bottles are NOT allowed.

The Court encourages citizens to take advantage of public transportation.

Visit the SEPTA website for information on how to arrive at The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice via public transportation.

Visit Philadelphia Parking Authority Parking Locator website to search for the location of the closest parking lots in the area of The The Stout Center for Criminal Justice.

  • In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person with a disability needing special help to serve on jury duty should contact the Jury Information Line at 215 683-7170 and speak to a jury representative.

Jury panels are assembled throughout the day in the Jury Assembly Rooms in City Hall and the The Stout Center for Criminal Justice. Before you are assembled into panels, you will view an orientation video, complete a questionnaire and be assigned a badge and juror number.

After you are placed on a panel, you will be escorted to a courtroom for questioning by the judge, attorneys, and/or court staff. This is called the voir dire process. Questions are asked to determine if you are well suited to sit as a juror for the case in question. Jurors not selected will be directed back to the Jury Assembly Room for possible reassignment to another courtroom.

For jurors in the Assembly Room, a lunch period is given between 12 Noon and 1:30 PM. For those jurors who are in a courtroom, a lunch break is determined by the presiding judge.

By 4:30, jurors in the Assembly Room who have not been assigned to a case and those who have not been instructed to report back for a second day of questioning, are given a jury fee check and dismissed. Currently, the fee paid to jurors is $9.00 for each of the first three days and $25.00 for each following day. Proof of completed service is attached to the jury fee check. Those who are selected to serve on a panel are paid when their service is completed.

Juror Attendance Fees are Reportable Income

Juror attendance fees are considered to be income and should be reported to the Internal Revenue Service on your tax form. The Court will report all jurors who have earned $600.00 or more annually in jury service fees on IRS Form 1099-MISC. If you receive at least $600.00 in jury service fees annually, the Court must send you a copy of the IRS Form 1099-MISC which reflects the total amount of compensation paid (not travel or parking reimbursements). However, even if you have earned less than $600.00 in jury attendance fees, this income should be reported on your tax form and the Court is not required to provide a statement of juror attendance or W-2 Form at the end of the calendar year; therefore you should keep a record of the days your report for jury service.

Answer: From a combined list of registered Philadelphia voters and adult licensed drivers, the required number of jurors for a particular day are randomly selected by computer and summoned to appear for jury duty.

Answer: If a person serves for one or two days, they need not serve again for a period of one year. If service is for three or more days, the exemption period is three years.

Answer: For a lost summons, call 215 683-7170 and either follow the prompts to request a new summons or press "4" and then "0" to speak to a customer representative. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Answer: As mentioned earlier, selection is a random process. As such, there is always the chance that a person may never be called while another may be called several times. It is truly the "luck of the draw". However, if your name appears one way on the voter list and another way on your driver's license, your chances of being called increase. The court is not permitted to make changes to these lists.

Answer: You will be required to serve as a juror for one day or if selected to sit on a trial, you will be required to serve for the length of that trial.

Answer: Yes. Jurors are paid $9.00 per day for the first three days of jury service and $25.00 per day for every day thereafter. You will receive a check at the end of your jury service.

Answer: Under Pennsylvania law, an employer is not required to pay persons during their period of jury service. However, an employer may not fire you or otherwise harm you for responding to a summons.

Answer: If you have not already completed and returned your questionnaire by mail or online, you must do so. In the REMARKS section, you may state the reason you are unable to attend on your appointed date and then give us a date when you can. Only if your questionnaire has been completed and returned, can you request a postponement by using Option #2 of the automated phone system.

Postponements can be done online after completing the questionnaire. Jurors may select a new date of their choice, with some limitations. Hardship request cannot be done online and must be done by mail.

Answer: If not medical and/or physical, it would be lost of job wages, childcare issues and care giver for an ill parent(s). If any of the above is present, some form of verification must accompany the questionnaire. Additional questions may be directed to a Jury Selection Representative at (215) 683-7170

Answer: Full name, mailing address, date of birth and questionnaire/summons Participant # if known.
NEVER IS A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER REQUESTED.

Answer: If you are excused through the juror call in voice response system, you will be handled as though you reported for duty, which means you will not be required to serve again for at least 12 months.

Answer: The number of jurors needed by the court changes daily. The Jury Commission installed an interactive voice response system in May, 2002 that allows the Commission to excuse jurors that are not needed. You call in the night before to learn if you will be needed for duty the next day. The selection is random.

Answer: You should bring the summons portion of the questionnaire with you. Also, you may bring something to read during waiting periods.

Answer: You may be required to appear in court and you could be held in contempt and fined. However, by making jury service as flexible as possible, we hope to avoid using this power.

Answer: Casual attire should be worn as long as it is in keeping with the dignity of court proceedings. Ties are not required. Slacks, sport shirts, and casual dresses are all appropriate.

A: You may bring your laptop, I-Pod, tablet computer, and your cellular telephone to the Jury Assembly Room on the day of your service. However, all electronic devices are to be turned off in the courtrooms unless otherwise instructed by court staff.

Answer: The court encourages citizens to take advantage of public transportation.
Visit the SEPTA website for information on how to arrive at The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice via public transportation.
Or
Visit the Philadelphia Parking Authority Parking Locator website to search for the location of the closest parking lots in the area of The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice.

Answer: Contact the Jury Commission, Payroll Department, 215-683-7193.

For general Court information, contact (215) 686-7000.

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