Jury Service is an important part of the rights, privileges and freedoms all Americans enjoy. YOUR service as a juror is greatly appreciated by the Court.
In Maryland’s Circuit Courts, there are two types of jurors:
- Grand Jurors, who hear only the prosecutor’s evidence in criminal cases and decide whether there is enough evidence to charge a person with commission of a crime;
- Trial Jurors, who hear evidence from both parties in criminal and civil cases. In criminal cases Trial Jurors decide guilt or innocence, and in civil cases they decide personal and/or property rights of the parties involved.
In Washington County:
- Grand Jurors serve for a term of six months and will normally meet about six days during the term.
- Trial Jurors serve for a term of one week or one completed trial.
Received a “Summons and Juror Qualification Form"?
Complete and Return the Qualification Form Promptly
If you have received from this Court a SUMMONS AND JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM, read the form (both sides) in its entirety. The form tells you if you are being called as a Grand or Trial Juror. Within ten (10) days of receiving the form, you must complete items 1 through 24 of Part B – Juror Qualification Form, and return it, together with any relevant documentation (refer to the DOCUMENTATION CODE LEGEND shown below Part B), to the Court.
If you prefer, you may complete the JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM online at http://mdcourts.gov/juryservice/jurorqualificationform.html.
In addition to completing the form online, the website also allows you to update your juror profile or request (one time only) that your service be postponed to a later date. If any of your answers on the form disqualify or exempt you from serving, or if your request for a postponement of service is granted, you will be notified before the “SERVICE BEGINS ON” date, shown on your JUROR BADGE, and will not have to attend. This is one reason it is important that you return the form within ten (10) days as requested.
Requesting Postponement of Service to a Later Term
TRIAL JURORS who complete the JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM online have a one-time option to postpone their service to another week of their choosing. Otherwise, you may call (301-790-7991 #1) 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 no 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 date, you will receive another SUMMONS AND JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM to complete.
Reporting For Jury Service
Unless notified that you have been exempted, postponed or disqualified, all jurors are to report on the “SERVICE BEGINS ON” date indicated on the “Juror Badge” portion of your Summons.
Trial Jurors - Trial jurors can go online (use of a laptop or desktop is suggested) or use an automated call-in system to learn whether you are required to report for jury service. You will need to refer to your reporting number from the "Juror Badge" portion of your summons to determine whether you are required to report.
Check the Jury Announcement website or call 301-739-3440 after 4:30 p.m. the Friday before your reporting date. You will need to call 301-739-3440 or view Jury Announcement website EVERY night after 4:30 pm during your week of service to see if your service is still needed for the following day.
Grand Jurors - Will receive a summons through the mail each time an additional reporting date is scheduled.
Bring Your ‘Juror Badge’ and Photo ID With You to Court
Your SUMMONS AND JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM includes a block entitled “JUROR BADGE.” Please bring the Juror Badge and your photo ID with you when you report for service. This will allow us to take attendance and complete roll call more efficiently.
Each juror has a number. This is the “REPORTING NUMBER” shown on your JUROR BADGE, and will be referred to throughout your week of service for scheduling, selection for trials (Voir dire), and other purposes.
Proper Dress for Jury Service
Although dress may be casual, jurors are asked to please dress 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 with writing, such as logos, slogans, etc.
Under Maryland law, Washington County jurors are paid the sum of $30.00 for each day in attendance, plus mileage at $.30/mile from their home to the Courthouse and back. Payment is by check for the total days served during the week, mailed to the juror’s home within two weeks of the end of their week of service.
Jurors wishing to do so may donate all or part of their jury pay to the “Generous Jurors Program,” to help foster children in the area. This arrangement may provide a solution for those jurors whose employers do not permit them to keep their jury pay.
Verification of Service for Your Employer
Jurors can request, each day of service, a certification for their employer confirming that they were in attendance as a juror on the date(s) of service. Certifications can also be provided after the fact, if needed.
Tips for Coping with Stress
Please see the attached brochure should you need assistance dealing with stress as related to your service as a juror.
Grand and Trial Jurors: At this time, due to various construction projects in the vicinity of the Courthouse, there is no parking provided by the Court. You will need to secure street parking at your own expense, so please factor additional time into your travel so that you can appear timely for your service.
We have limited handicapped parking near the Courthouse. Should you need this accommodation, please call the Jury Clerk (301-790-7991 #1) prior to your scheduled service.