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Jury Duty

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Jury SelectionIf you have received a jury summons:

To find out whether to report on the summons date, please call the Jury Line (480) 635-7990.

To request an excusal or postponement from jury service, please contact the Jury Commissioner by following the instructions on your summons.

To request accommodation for a disability, impairment or handicap, or to request a foreign language or hearing-impaired interpreter for a court proceeding, please contact the Gilbert Court Administrator by mail no later than thirty days before your summons date at:

Court Administrator
Gilbert Municipal Court
55 E. Civic Center Blvd.
Gilbert, AZ 85296
FAX (480) 635-7820

Jury Trials in the Gilbert Municipal Court

Certain types of misdemeanor criminal offenses are eligible for a trial by jury. In Arizona misdemeanor cases, a trial jury consist of six Gilbert residents who meet the legal requirements for jury service and who are determined by the trial judge to be fair and impartial with regard to the specific case on trial.

All Town of Gilbert residents are obligated by state law to respond to a summons for jury service, unless they do not meet these basic legal requirements:

  • You are not a United States citizen; or
  • You are not a resident of the Town of Gilbert, for at least 50 days; or
  • You are under 18 years of age; or
  • You have been convicted of a felony in any court and your civil rights have not been restored since then; or
  • You are specifically excused from jury service by the Jury Commissioner or by the trial judge, for other legal reasons.

Gilbert residents who fail to respond to a Gilbert Municipal Court jury summons may face contempt of court charges and warrants for their arrest.

The Jury Selection Process

Jury SelectionIn the Gilbert Municipal Court, jurors are summoned to report on Tuesday mornings at 8:30 am. The selection process can last up to several hours. Any urgent medical or emergency concerns should be brought to the jury bailiff’s attention right away during this time.

During the initial waiting period, the court cases are being prepared in the courtrooms and the jurors are assembled in the Jury Assembly Room. The Jury Assembly Room provides jurors with a coin-operated beverage vending machine, free coffee and free snacks, magazines, free wireless internet in the Quiet Room, several televisions, and a telephone for urgent matters.

When the trial judge is ready to receive a group of jurors in the courtroom, the jury bailiff will escort a small number of jurors into the courtroom, as needed, on a randomly-selected basis.

Once the jurors are escorted into the courtroom, the trial judge and attorneys ask the jurors a series of questions about their ability to make a fair and impartial decision about the case on trial that day. Jurors will be permitted to answer some questions outside the hearing of the other jurors, if desired.

After the questioning period, the jurors will return to the Jury Assembly Room to wait for the selection process to conclude. Once the final selections have been made, the selected jurors will return to the courtroom to hear the case on trial and the jurors not selected will be released from further jury service at that time. Jurors not selected may be summoned back to the Gilbert Municipal Court for future cases, on a random basis.

Jurors who are selected to serve on a jury panel will generally serve until 5:00 pm on that Tuesday and then will return to hear the conclusion of the case the following day Wednesday between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. It is extremely rare that trials in the Gilbert Municipal Court last more than two full days. Recesses and lunch breaks shall be provided throughout the course of the trial. Once the trial is over and the jury reaches its verdict, the jurors are excused from jury service. Written proof of jury service is available for all jurors.

How Are Trial Jurors Selected?

Courtroom JurorsLists of potential jurors are drawn by the Maricopa County Jury Commissioner from voter registration records and the drivers license/state ID records. Names are randomly selected from the Gilbert population by a computer and summonses are sent to the listed addresses.

Jurors who appear on their summons date are questioned by the trial judge and attorneys to determine their availability and impartiality. Any jurors who do not meet the basic legal requirements for jury duty will be excused by the trial judge. After that, each litigant is permitted to ‘strike’ two jurors from the panel, without explanation.

At the end of the selection process, six jurors, plus one or two alternate jurors, will hear the case on trial.

 


Jury Excusals and Postponements

Jury ExcusalsAll requests to be excused must be submitted to the Maricopa County Jury Commissioner's Office in writing prior to your summons date, as explained on your summons. You may contact the Jury Commissioner's office by fax or mail at:

 

Office of the Jury Commissioner
Superior Court of Arizona
111 South 3rd Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85003
FAX (602) 372-5879

Effective January 1, 2004, the Arizona State Supreme Court enacted specific requirements for jury excusals and postponements in the state of Arizona. Under the new legislation, fewer requests to be excused can be granted than in the past, and jurors are required to provide more documentation to support their requests. 

A temporary excusal from jury service may be granted by the Jury Commissioner only for the reasons listed below:

  • Medical: The juror is incapable of performing jury service due to a mental and/or physical condition and the Court cannot reasonably accommodate the disability. Documentation is generally required from the juror’s physician stating that the juror is unfit for jury service due to the mental and/or physical condition listed.
  • Public Interest/Welfare: Jury service by the juror would substantially and materially affect the public interest or welfare in an adverse manner. Documentation is required from the juror’s employer, or the juror if self-employed, explaining how public interest or welfare is adversely affected.
  • Physical Hardship: 

(A) It is impossible for the juror to get appropriate substitute care for someone under the juror’s care or supervision. Documentation is required from the juror stating why substitute care cannot be found. Proof of dependency, guardianship, or similar documents may also be required.

(B) The juror would suffer physical hardship that would cause an illness or disease if the juror had to serve and the Court cannot reasonably accommodate this concern. All requests for accommodation must be filed in advance of the summons date. Documentation may be required from the juror’s physician stating that the juror would suffer physical hardship that would cause an illness or disease if the juror had to serve. Failure to notify the Court of the need for accommodation may significantly delay the court proceedings on the summons date.

(C) The juror is not currently capable of understanding English to the degree necessary in a criminal jury trial setting, and the Court cannot reasonably provide an interpreter. All requests for interpreters must be filed in advance of the summons date. Failure to notify the Court of the need for an interpreter may significantly delay the court proceedings on the summons date.

  • Financial Hardship:

(A) The juror cannot pay necessary daily living expenses if required to serve. Documentation is required from the juror showing why daily living expenses cannot be paid if required to serve. This may include a statement from the juror’s employer explaining that the juror will not be paid regular wages if forced to serve. The Jury Commissioner may require the juror to submit federal and state tax returns, payroll records, or other documentation to support the request.

(B) Employees of the juror cannot pay their necessary daily living expenses if the juror is required to serve. Documentation may be required from the juror stating the specific financial circumstances that cause the juror to make this request. 

  • Peace Officer: A juror shall be excused under this section if ALL the following apply:
    (a) The juror is certified by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AzPOST), and 
    (b) The juror is employed as a peace officer by Arizona or a political subdivision; and
    (c) In advance of the summons date, the juror submits to the Jury Commissioner written documentation on the letterhead of the juror’s employer, signed by one of the juror’s superiors, stating that the law enforcement agency for which the juror is employed verifies that the juror qualifies to be excused based on A.R.S. § 21-202(B)(4). 
  • Military Personnel: Military personnel who are Arizona residents and who request to be excused from jury service may be excused only if proof is provided that the juror is one of the following:

(1) A member of the National Guard and on active duty; or
(2) A member of the US Armed Forces on active duty and deployed out of state. 
Sailors and Soldiers Civil Relief Act of 1940, 51 U.S.C. 501. If the juror is not a resident of Arizona, he/she shall be excused from jury service.


Jury Compensation

All persons who appear for the jury selection process on their summons date will be reimbursed for mileage to and from their listed address to the court building.

If you are selected to serve on a jury panel, you will be compensated at a rate of $12.00 per day, plus mileage.


Requests for Interpreters or Disability Accommodations

All Gilbert residents who meet the basic legal requirements for jury service are eligible to serve as jurors, regardless of disabilities, physical impairments, or language barriers. The Court is required to provide reasonable accommodations for all of our jurors. Please note that jurors may not use their own friends and family as court interpreters; an official court interpreter must be appointed by the Court.

If you need any physical accommodations to serve on your summons date, such as a hearing-impairment interpreter or access to medications or medical devices while at the courthouse, or if you will need an interpreter on your summons date for any non-English language, please put your concerns in writing and fax or mail them to:

Court Administrator
Gilbert Municipal Court
55 E. Civic Center Blvd.
Gilbert, AZ 85296
FAX (480) 635-7820

Unless you receive a written excusal from the Court before your summons date, you should assume that the accommodation can be met and you must appear as directed on the summons.