Frequently Asked Questions About Jury Service

Q. How did I get picked for jury service?
A: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.

Q. How often must I serve?
A: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.

Q. I lost my Summons how do I get a new one?
A: 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.

Q. Why have some people never been called for jury service and I've been called more than once?
A: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.

Q. How long will I be required to serve?
A: 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.

Q. Will I get paid for serving as a juror?
A: 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.

Q. Does my employer have to pay me for time missed from work due to jury service?
A: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.

Q.What if the date I'm called to serve is not convenient?
A: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.

Q. What is considered an extreme hardship?
A. 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

Q. What form of ID is needed when inquiry about the status of a questionnaire/summons? A. Full name, mailing address, date of birth and questionnaire/summons Participant # if known.
NEVER IS A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER REQUESTED.

Q.If I am excused by the voice response system, when will I have to report again?
A: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.

Q.Why am I told to call the night before I report for jury duty?
A: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.

Q.What should I bring when I report?
A:You should bring the summons portion of the questionnaire with you. Also, you may bring something to read during waiting periods.

Q.What if I fail to return the questionnaire or report for service?
A: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.

Q.What should I wear?
A: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.

Q. Can I bring my cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device into the courthouse?
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.

Q.Where can I park?
A: The court encourages citizens to take advantage of public transportation.
Visit the SEPTA website for information on how to arrive at the 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 The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice.

Q.Who do I talk to about my jury check?
A:Contact the Jury Commission, Payroll Department, 215-683-7193.

REPORTING FOR JURY DUTY

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 Criminal Justice Center. 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.