General Info
 
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FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is eligible to serve as a juror?

You are eligible to serve as a juror if you are 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the county or district where summoned. You must know enough English to understand the proceedings, and be physically and mentally capable of serving. In addition, you must not have served as any kind of juror in the past 12 months, must not be currently incarcerated in any prison or jail, and must not have been convicted of a malfeasance in office for which your civil rights have not been restored. Effective 1/1/2020, if you have been convicted of a felony, you are eligible to serve as a juror if you are not
1) On parole, postrelease community supervision, felony probation, or mandated supervision for the conviction of a felony; or,
2) Required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code Section 290.

How did my name get selected for jury duty?

The objective of the court is to provide an accurate cross-section of the county's population. The names of jurors are selected at random from everyone who is a registered voter and/or has a driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

When I am summoned as a juror, where should I go?

After 5 P.M. on the Friday before your summons date and every night during your summons week, check www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/jury or call (510) 729-8636 to receive reporting instructions. Please check reporting instructions as your reporting location may change. You may check reporting instructions using any of the following methods:
  1. Visit the Jury Reporting Instructions page on this website to see if your group is required to report on the subsequent business day
  2. Check EJuror at EJuror Website
  3. Call the Interactive Voice Response Line at (510) 729-8636

May I reschedule my jury service to a more convenient time?

If you have not already rescheduled your jury service, you may request that your service be rescheduled to a more convenient time by logging on to our E-juror website at https://ejuror.alameda.courts.ca.gov/, or by calling our IVR (Interactive Voice Response) service at (510) 729-8636. You may reschedule your jury service to a week three to nine months after your summons date.

May I be excused from jury service?

You may request to be excused for hardship by logging on to our E-juror website at https://ejuror.alameda.courts.ca.gov/. If your request is not allowed on E-juror, you may need to contact the jury services office for further assistance by emailing jury@alameda.courts.ca.gov or by calling the Jury Services Division at 510-891-6031. Only law enforcement officers as defined in Sec 830.1 & 830.2(a) of California Penal Code (CCP 219) are statutorily exempt from jury service by virtue of their occupation.

How can I be a juror if my boss won't let me take time off?

Section 230(a) of the California Labor Code reads: An employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trial jury, if the employee, prior to taking the time off, give reasonable notice to the employer that he or she is required to serve.

What should I wear to court?

Dress as you would to go to a business meeting or a social function. Do not wear shorts or tank tops. Check with the jury commissioner if you have any doubts.

Is there any special way I must act in court?

Be alert and courteous. You may bring a book or newspaper to read while you're waiting for court to begin, or during recesses, but not while court is in session. While in a courtroom all cell phones and pagers should be turned off.

How much of my day will jury service take?

You should plan to attend court as a juror all day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but the hours may vary depending on the court's schedule. 

Why are there such long breaks and lunch hours during a trial?

The judge may have to set the next day's calendar and dispose of other cases. Attorneys may also need time to prepare their witnesses and other aspects of the case.

What happens if I'm late?

Contact the jury commissioner's office as soon as you know that you are going to be late. If you are already assigned to a courtroom, contact the jury commissioner's office or the clerk of the court in order to explain your situation. Remember: The trial cannot proceed until everyone is present. If you don't have a good excuse, the judge may fine you for being late!

Is it true that I must not discuss the case with anyone while the trial is in progress?

Do not talk to anyone about the case until you are discharged from the jury. Not even the lawyers or the judge, except through the bailiff. Discussions with others can cause a mistrial because the juror gained evidence outside the record or was influenced. If any person persists in talking to you about the trial or attempts to influence your judgment as a juror, tell the bailiff. During deliberations at the end of the trial, you will naturally discuss the case with other jurors in order to reach a verdict.

May I investigate some parts of the case that aren't presented by the attorneys - on my own time?

No. Under no circumstances should you investigate the case on your own, either alone or with other jurors. You may not use the internet to investigate the case. You may not talk to witnesses, or do independent experiments. Your verdict must be based only on evidence produced in court. This rule ensures a fair trial based on evidence that all sides have seen and can challenge. If you violate this rule, you could cause a mistrial.

Why do attorneys talk with the judge out of the jurors' hearing?

Such conferences are held to discuss legal issues, or to agree upon what evidence may be submitted for you to consider. These conferences often help expedite the trial or to avoid the possibility of a mistrial.

Who can I write to with suggestions about my jury service?

The presiding judge or jury commissioner of the court

Can I transfer my service to a different court location?

No, you cannot.

What do I do if I received two summonses from your court?

Contact the court and let them know you have two summonses. You will have to report for jury duty for one of the summonses. This occurs when the DMV or Registrar of Voters has your name differently in their systems. It could be a middle initial missing or a maiden name not changed after marriage. Because our selection is random and doesn't contain information such as social security number or dates of birth, the system has no way of determining that you are one in the same person. This may happen more often unless you contact these agencies and correct your name. You may contact the Registrar of Voters office at (510) 272-6973 or your local DMV office.

Why am I always being summoned and others are not?

The selection and management of jurors is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure. By law, potential jurors are selected RANDOMLY from the Voter Registration list and the Department of Motor Vehicles' drivers and identification card holders. If the information you provide to these two sources is not identical you may receive two summonses or you may be summoned more often than others.

Can I send my spouse in my place?

You may not substitute someone else in your place for jury duty. The selection process is done randomly and must stay that way.

What should I do if I missed or forgot about my summons date?

Contact the court immediately to reschedule your jury service.

How does a juror make an ADA accommodation request?

You may contact the court to request an ADA accommodation at jury@alameda.courts.ca.gov or (510) 891-6031.
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