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#190 Jury Duty

mp3 #190 Jury Service in Los Angeles County (mp3 file)

This message discusses jury service in the Superior Courts of Los Angeles County.

You may receive in the mail a Juror Affidavit from the court, stating that you have been randomly selected as a prospective juror. This means that your name was drawn, from a list of licensed drivers and identification card holders supplied by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or from the current list of registered voters in the county. Mailing lists, telephone directories, and utility company lists are not used to obtain names of potential jurors. You should carefully follow the instructions provided on your notice.

All names are drawn at random from the combined lists, which provide the court with a fair cross-section of the communities that it represents.

The California Code of Civil Procedure spells out the minimum requirements for a person competent to act as a juror. A qualified juror must be able to read and understand English, be a citizen of the United States, age 18 or older, and reside in Los Angeles County. You may not be a trial juror if you are serving as a Grand Juror in a court of this state, if you have been convicted of a malfeasance in office or any felony, unless your civil rights have been restored by a pardon, or if you are under a court-appointed conservatorship.

No eligible person is exempt from jury service by reason of occupation, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, or any other reason, including loss of sight or loss of hearing. The only exception relates to peace officers. Section 219 of the California Code of Civil Procedure exempts peace officers, as defined by Penal Code 830.1 and 830.2(A), from jury service.

In California, employers cannot discharge you or discriminate against you for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trial jury. But this only applies if you give your employer reasonable notice, before you take the time off, that you are required to serve.

You may request to be excused, if serving would create an extreme financial burden, if you have a physical or mental incapacity, if service would jeopardize protection of public health or safety, if you have a personal obligation to provide actual care for dependents, or if you have served as a trial or Grand Juror during the past 12 months, if you believe there is a medical reason why you should not serve as a juror, you will need to submit a written statement from your doctor.

If you fail to complete and return your Juror Affidavit, you may be deemed qualified and summoned for jury service.

For information on being excused from jury service, read message number 191.

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