Jury Service in Washington County
Frequently Asked Questions
- How was I selected for jury service?
- Can I submit the JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM online?
- What if I am unable to complete the JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM myself?
- Why does my SUMMONS give me a “REPORTING NUMBER” and a “JUROR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER?”
- Will I receive a separate notification of service?
- How long will I have to serve?
- Will I be expected to attend court every day during my term of service?
- What if I am unable to serve during the term of service for which I have been selected?
- What if I have a disability or special needs?
- What if I have appointments or other important events scheduled during my term of service?
- What if I have a medical or family emergency on a day I am scheduled to report?
- Will I be paid for my service?
- How should I dress?
- Will I have to go through Security to enter the Courthouse?
- Where do I report?
- Where should I park?
- How will I know which days, after the first day, to report?
- Can jury duty place my job in jeopardy?
- What is the inclement weather policy?
- Is child care available?
How Was I Selected for Jury Service?
Maryland’s jury selection law provides that jurors be selected at random from a fair cross section of citizens residing in the County where the Court convenes. This cross section is drawn from a consolidated list of Washington County residents who are registered voters, licensed drivers or MVA Identification Card holders aged 18 and over.
Can I Submit the JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM Online?
Yes. See Part A of the form - What To Do, Step 2b – and visit http://mdcourts.gov/juryservice/index.html. Follow the online instructions and wait for confirmation. You can, of course, complete the form by hand and return it to the Jury Office by U. S. Mail.
What if I Am Unable to Complete the JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM Myself?
A friend, relative or other person can complete the form on behalf of the prospective juror. The person completing the form for the prospective juror must sign the form where indicated.
Why Does My SUMMONS Give Me a “REPORTING NUMBER” and a “JUROR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER?”
The “REPORTING NUMBER” is the number that is important to you. It is your juror number within the small group, or “panel”, selected for your term of service. The “REPORTING NUMBER” is the number you will need to remember for scheduling and other purposes. The “JUROR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER” is for use only by the Jury Office. It is your number within the large pool of jurors pulled from the voter, drivers’ license and MVA ID lists. You can ignore the “JUROR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER.”
Will I Receive a Separate Notification of Service?
The SUMMONS AND JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM you have received is the official notice of the date and time to report for your first day of service. The front of the form (Part A) is your SUMMONS. It contains your JUROR BADGE and REPORTING NUMBER. The SERVICE BEGINS ON date shown on the JUROR BADGE is the first date you are to report. You may receive additional information by mail before your service begins, but the SUMMONS is the official notice.
How Long Will I Have to Serve?
TRIAL JURORS serve a one-month term (four or five weeks depending upon the calendar). The beginning and ending dates of the term are shown on the SUMMONS as “TERM OF SERVICE”. GRAND JURORS serve a six-month term.
Will I be Expected to Attend Court Every Day During My Term of Service?
No. The average TRIAL JUROR will attend court five days during the one-month term. On average, the GRAND JURY will be scheduled six days during the six month term.
What if I Am Unable to Serve During the Term of Service for Which I Have Been Selected?
We recognize that jurors may have issues that make it difficult to serve during the period for which they have been summoned. TRIAL JURORS who complete the JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM online have a one-time option to postpone their service to another month of their choosing. Otherwise, you may call (301-790-7991) or submit a written request for postponement to the Jury Office at Clerk of Circuit Court, 24 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740. A written request can be sent in with your JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM or separately, but not later than two weeks before the “SERVICE BEGINS ON” date indicated on your JUROR BADGE. We may not be able to reschedule you if your request is received later than that. Please include the “SERVICE BEGINS ON” date and REPORTING NUMBER from your JUROR BADGE on any correspondence. You will receive notification indicating whether or not your request has been granted. If your service is postponed to a later term you will receive, about four weeks before that term begins, another SUMMONS AND JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM to complete.
What if I Have a Disability or Special Needs?
Persons with disabilities should contact the Jury Office, 301-790-7991, at least two weeks prior to your SERVICE BEGINS ON date, shown on your JUROR BADGE. We will make every effort to accommodate your disability so that you can exercise your right to serve as a juror.
What if I Have Appointments or Other Important Events scheduled During my Term of Service?
We excuse jurors from service during their term for medical appointments, vacations, and other important events. Call the Jury Office at 301-790-7991 no later than Wednesday of the week before you need to be excused. This helps us plan more accurately the jury schedule for the following week. Please do not abuse this privilege. If you have plans to be away more than two weeks during the service period for which you are summoned, you may want to request that your service be postponed to a later term.
What if I Have a Medical or Family Emergency on a Day I Am Scheduled to Report?
We can excuse jurors for emergencies right up to the morning of service. The Jury Office is open for your call at 8:00 a.m. - 301-790-7991. We ask, however that these last minute excusals be used only for emergencies. For pre-scheduled events, please call to request excusal no later than Wednesday of the week before you need to be excused. This helps us plan more accurately the jury schedule for the following week.
Will I be Paid for my Service?
You will be paid the sum of $15 per day for attendance, plus mileage at $.30 per mile from your home to the Courthouse and back. Each day you attend court you will receive a voucher for your jury pay, which you cash at the office of the County Treasurer, 35 West Washington Street, Hagerstown. If you choose, you may consider participating in the “Generous Juror” program.
How Should I Dress?
You may dress casually, but conservatively. Shorts and cutoff jeans, hats (except for religious reasons), tank tops, halter tops, undershirts and flip-flops are considered inappropriate. Jurors should also avoid appearing in uniforms or clothing displaying writing, such as logos, slogans, etc.
Will I Have to go Through Security to Enter the Courthouse?
Yes. Everyone entering the Courthouse must go through the Security Checkpoint at the entrance. You will walk through a metal detector, and any packages you are carrying will be scanned through an X-Ray machine. No weapons of any kind, including small pocketknives, are permitted on the premises of the Courthouse. Cell phones and other electronic devices are permitted, but their use is limited or prohibited in designated areas of the courthouse. Jurors should not use cell phones or other electronic communication devices while in the courtroom or jury deliberation room, as this may result in a mistrial.
Where do I Report?
The Circuit Court is located in the historic Courthouse on the corner of West Washington Street and Summit Avenue/Jonathan Street, in Hagerstown. The entrance is in the attached building, known as the Courthouse Annex, at 24 Summit Avenue.
TRIAL JURORS on the first day of service, will ‘check in’ on the first floor of the historic Courthouse, in the hallway outside room 212, and will then go to Courtroom 1 on the top level of the historic Courthouse.
GRAND JURORS on their first day of service, will report directly to Courtroom 2, on the top level of the historic Courthouse. After the first day, Grand Jurors will report to the location indicated on each summons they receive.
Where Should I Park?
TRIAL AND GRAND JURORS: Parking is provided for all Jurors in the Market House Lot located on the corner of Jonathan Street and Church Street. Jurors may park at any metered space in the Market House Lot, without feeding the meter. A Parking Pass will be mailed to you before your first day of service, and must be displayed on the dashboard to avoid receiving a parking ticket. You will be informed at the orientation session of additional parking available to you.
How Will I Know Which Days, After the First Day, to Report?
TRIAL JURORS will call a recorded message (301-739-3440) after 4:30 p.m. each Thursday evening during their term of service to get their maximum potential schedule for the following week. They will then call again, after 4:30 p.m. the evening before they are to report to find out whether their service has been cancelled. An instruction sheet for the phone-in system will be mailed to you prior to the start of your term. The recorded message will be updated daily as necessary to inform you of cancellation of scheduled attendance due to cases being settled by the parties before the trial date.
GRAND JURORS will receive a summons by U.S. Mail each time they are scheduled to report.
Can Jury Duty Place My Job in Jeopardy?
An employer may not deprive an employee of his or her employment because of job time lost by the employee as a result of responding to a jury summons, or as result of attending court for service or prospective service as a TRIAL or GRAND JUROR.
What is the Inclement Weather Policy?
In the event of inclement weather on a morning you are to report for service, please call the recorded schedule at 301-739-3440, after 7:00 a.m., to find out if your service has been cancelled. If the information has not changed, report as scheduled.
Is Child Care Available?
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide child care. Children, therefore, cannot be brought to court with you.