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; and 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 month, and will normally attend court five to six days during the term.
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 term. 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 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.
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 - The schedule for Trial Jurors is set up weekly as the month-long term progresses. Trial jurors can go online 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. each Thursday evening to get the schedule for the following week.
Grand Jurors - Will receive a summons through the mail each time an additional reporting date is scheduled.
Bring Your ‘Juror Badge’ With You to Court
Your SUMMONS AND JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM includes a block entitled “JUROR BADGE.” Please bring the Juror Badge with you each time you report for service. This will allow us to complete roll call more quickly, helping us get court started on time. As with most everything else in life, each juror has a number. This is the “REPORTING NUMBER” shown on your JUROR BADGE, and will be referred to throughout your term of service for scheduling, selection for trials, 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 $15.00 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 term, mailed to the juror’s home within two weeks of the end of their term 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.
Grand and Trial Jurors: Parking is provided for all Jurors in the Market House Parking Lot located on the corner of Jonathan Street and Church Street. Jurors may park at any metered space in that lot, and need not feed 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.