When you are called to be a juror, you become a very important person in our legal system. In the United States, our justice system is based on the belief that a just and fair result in court comes from having disputes settled by our fellow citizens. Very few of us ever have to go to court as plaintiffs or defendants, but when we do, we want good, honest people to listen to the evidence and decide our cases fairly.
Therefore, when we are called to serve on a jury, we have an obligation to our fellow citizens to honor the summons and appear at court. Some cases may be more important than others, but to the parties involved, their case is very important, and they deserve to have it decided by honest and impartial jurors.
If you have been selected as a prospective juror, you will be asked to report to the court at 8:45 a.m. on the date of trial. The court is located at 150 West Mason Road, Milan, Ohio.
Please bring your jury summons with you when you appear for jury service, and be sure the address on the summons is correct for the payment of jury service.
As a prospective and/or seated juror, you must reside in the territorial jurisdiction of this court. The jury pool is taken from the Erie County Board of Elections list of registered electors who reside in the court's jurisdiction, which consists of Berlin Township, Berlin Heights Village, Milan Township, Milan Village (Erie County side), Oxford Township, Groton Township, Margaretta Township (but NOT the villages of Castalia or Bay View) and Kelleys Island.
Please come dressed appropriately for juror service. As the temperature in the courtroom may vary, you may want to bring a sweater or jacket with you.
Do not bring children or anyone else with you. You may spend some time waiting. You may want to bring some reading material with you.
If you need proof that you have served as a prospective and/or seated juror for your employer, you will be given a letter of attendance by one of the clerks.
Eight jurors and one alternate will be selected as the panel of jurors. At the end of the trial, the alternate juror will be dismissed. The remaining jurors will be sequestered for deliberations.
- What time do I need to report for jury duty?
- You will be required to report for jury service at the court location of 150 West Mason Road, Milan, Ohio, promptly at 8:45 a.m. on the designated date.
- Do the cases ever get resolved before trial?
- Yes. The parties involved in a case usually try to settle their differences and avoid the time and expense of a trial. Sometimes a case is settled only minutes before the trial begins. Therefore, even though many trials are scheduled each day, some of them will not actually go to trial, so those cases will not need juries. But your time spent waiting to serve is not wasted; your presence encourages settlement. Many of the cases, both civil and criminal, are settled a day or two before the day of trial, therefore eliminating the need for jurors to report for jury service. In an effort to avoid having jurors make unnecessary trips to the court, you should contact the Erie County Municipal Court at 419-499-4689 the day before your scheduled jury service to make sure your presence will still be necessary the next day.
- Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
- Your employer is not required to pay you while on jury duty. However, employers are prohibited by law from punishing an employee for serving as a juror.
- What do I do in case of sudden illness or emergency?
- If you should become ill, or, if there is a death or a grave illness in your family or if a similarly serious problem should arise, you or some responsible person on your behalf must submit a written excuse to the court jury commissioner in order to secure an excuse from reporting on the designated date for jury service. Only the judge is authorized to grant this type of excuse from jury service. Please direct all calls to Julie Hoover, Jury Commissioner. The telephone number is 419-499-4689.
- I'm going to be out of town the day of the trial – what should I do?
- If you know of days during your scheduled term of service when you cannot be present for jury service, as, for example, a business trip or a vacation, you must notify the jury commissioner in writing and secure a temporary excuse from reporting on the designated date. As indicated above, only Judge Lux is authorized to grant this type of temporary excuse from jury service. Please direct all correspondence to Julie Hoover, Jury Commissioner, 150 West Mason Road, Milan, Ohio 44846.
- What do I do with my children when I come in for jury service?
- Unfortunately, there are no facilities at the court to keep children occupied, so please make arrangements for your children to be taken care of on your day of jury service. If you are in need of child care, you can contact a child care provider listed in the yellow pages.
- Do I get paid for jury service?
- Jurors will receive $30.00 for each day they are scheduled for jury duty at the Erie County Municipal Court, regardless of whether or not they are selected to serve as a juror. This amount is the maximum provided by the Ohio legislature. Further, no provision has been made by the Ohio legislature for the payment of mileage. Jury fees are paid by the Erie County Auditor and will be mailed to you by the Auditor following the completion of jury service.
- Does the court provide lunch?
- No, but there will be a break for lunch and you may leave the court building to get something to eat if you would like. There are several places within walking distance of the courthouse.