Frequently Asked Questions
How long is my jury term?
The term of service is one month for trial jurors and the October Grand Jury Term is from October 1st through February 28th. The March Grand Jury Term is March 1st through September 30th.
How often do I call or check in?
Trial jurors should call or check the website each and every night during their service month after 5:00 p.m. Grand jurors call or check the website the evening before the reporting date on the letter.
What happens when I call the Juror Information Line?
Please listen for instructions for your reporting number. Your reporting number can be found on your juror badge. You do not report for jury duty unless the recording instructs you to do so (This includes your first day of jury service). Trial jurors are potentially scheduled for jury service Monday through Friday. However, you should call 410-228-9840 every evening after 5:00 P.M. to check your reporting status. If all the scheduled trials settle and/or jurors are not needed, you will not need to report. Please listen carefully to the reporting time as it varies.
How long will I be there?
Most jury trials last 1-2 days. If scheduled longer, the presiding judge will address this in the courtroom during jury selection. You may speak up if you have a conflict with your schedule. In general, prospective jurors will know by noon if they are selected to serve as a juror for a particular trial. However, you should make arrangements to be at the courthouse all day, and sometimes after 5:00 P.M., just in case you are selected. The Court usually gives an hour lunch break for jurors. The lunch break will be determined by the presiding judge.
Can I serve on more than one Trial?
Yes, it is possible jurors may serve on multiple trials as you are on call for the whole month.
Where do I report for jury duty?
The Dorchester County Circuit Courthouse is located at 206 High Street in Cambridge, MD.
What is the dress code for jury duty?
Out of respect for the Court please do not wear t-shirts with logos, gym clothes, tank tops or half shirts. If you have a job where uniforms are required, please do not wear the uniform for jury duty. You are here as a citizen for a court proceeding. Please do not wear employer badges or name tags from your place of employment. The temperature in the courthouse can fluctuate; please dress accordingly. Please also be mindful of others who may be sensitive to strong perfumes or colognes.
Where do I park?
Parking is available behind the County Administration Building. In addition, on-street parking is also available. Do not park in the library lot and do not park in front of, or on the side of, the post office. Jurors should allow time to find a parking place as spaces are limited.
Is there a special entrance to the Courthouse?
Yes, for security reasons everyone must enter the Courthouse through the handicapped entrance on the side of the courthouse. All visitors entering the building must pass through security and bags are subject to search. Electronic devices including computers, music players, cellular phones, recording devices, and cameras are not allowed on the premises of the Court House. No weapons of any kind are allowed, including pocket knives. Please leave them at home or in your vehicle. All such items will be subject to confiscation by security.
Can I bring my cell phone, laptop, or PDA into the courthouse?
No cell phones or electronic devices of any kind are permitted.
Are refreshments available?
Soda and snack machines are located on the first floor. The jury staff does not have provisions to provide change for the snack machines.
Is there a designated smoking area for jurors?
Yes, it is located outside of the security entrance. We must be able to locate you when jurors are called to a courtroom.
Can I get documentation for my employer proving my jury service?
Yes. Documentation is provided if needed.
How much does jury duty pay?
Jurors will receive $15.00 per day. You will be paid for reporting whether or not you are selected for a trial.
Can my employer fire me for appearing for jury duty?
An employer may not deprive an employee of his employment solely because of job time lost by the employee as a result of responding to a summons issued or as a result of attending Court for service or prospective service as a petit or grand juror under the provisions of the Annotated Code of Maryland, “Courts and Judicial Proceedings,” Section 8-105.
What do I do if I become ill on the day I am to report for jury duty?
Please call the jury commissioner’s office at 410-228-9840 and leave a message if there is no one in the office. You should ask your physician to fax a medical excuse to the jury office at 410-221-0315. We must have documentation to show the Judge why you are unable to report.
If I am selected for a jury do I still call-in or check-in at the jury assembly room?
Once you are selected for a jury you must follow the judge’s instructions. If you are returning for a second day of a jury you should report directly to the jury deliberation room for the courtroom where the case is being heard.
What is the inclement weather policy?
In the event of inclement weather, please call 410-228-9840 or go to the website the morning you are scheduled to appear for weather related updates. If the information has not changed, report as scheduled. You may also follow updates on local television news and radio stations.
Is child care available?
There is no child care available. Please do not bring children with you for jury service.
Can I be excused if I feel I am medically unable to serve?
A juror can be excused for medical reasons upon receipt of a physician’s note stating the length of time they are unable to serve. If you have a permanent disability the physician’s note must indicate “permanent” disability.
Can I be excused on some days of the month for doctor’s appointments, vacation, court dates, or other circumstances?
These excusals may be granted. Please include written explanation and documentation with your questionnaire. If you have already returned your questionnaire, your request MUST be submitted to the jury commissioner IN WRITING two (2) weeks prior to the start of your jury service. Please include your month of service and your reporting number.
You may mail your request to:
PO Box 416
Cambridge, MD 21613
You may fax your request to:
Attn: Jury Commissioner at 410-221-0315
Can I be excused because I am employed?
Employment is not a reason to be excused from jury duty. It is the duty of every citizen to participate in jury service. If you feel you have extenuating circumstances please submit a written request for excusal. All requests for excusal are to be submitted with your questionnaire within ten days of receipt.
Can I be excused because I am self-employed?
Self-Employment is not a reason to be excused from jury duty. It is the duty of every citizen to participate in jury service. If you feel you have extenuating circumstances please submit a written request for excusal. All requests for excusal are to be submitted with your questionnaire within ten days of receipt.
Can I be excused because of child care or family care issues?
If you feel you have extenuating circumstances please submit a written request for excusal. All requests for excusal are to be submitted with your questionnaire within ten days of receipt.
Can I be excused because I am student?
Full time students may be excused if they provide a copy of their current class schedule. Part time students may be excused on the days they have classes if they provide a copy of their class schedule.
Can I be excused because I am in the military?
Yes, only if jury service will conflict with your duties. Please complete an exemption form. It can be printed at: http://www.mdcourts.gov/juryservice/docs/militaryexemption.pdf
What if I have an emergency or my question is not answered on this page?
Please call 410-228-9840 between 8:30-4:30. You may leave a message (include your name, phone number, and reason for calling) and your call will be returned.