Length of Jury Service
If you ARE selected to serve on a jury for a trial, your service is complete at the conclusion of the trial. The average trial lasts for three to five days.
Some of the municipal courts and justice of the peace courts use a "pooling" system. This means you are on call by the court for a period of time (4 to 8 weeks). You may be called by the court several days in advance to appear on a specific date, or you may be required to call the court. You may also be required to appear several times during your period of service depending on the needs of the court. If you have conflicts that will prevent you from serving over a period of time, please contact the Jury Office to see if you are eligible for a postponement.
Delays in Jury Selection or Trial
The most common complaint of jurors is the unexplained time seemingly wasted during jury selection and trials. What might appear to be a waste of time to you is actually time being used by the judge and attorneys working on matters that must be done outside the presence of the jury. These events often arise unexpectedly and cannot be planned for in advance. A case may settle just before a trial was to start which eliminates the need for a jury to be assigned. This is unpredictable and unfortunately may negate the need for your services that day as a juror. Your presence may have accelerated this result and without your knowledge, you will have played a vital role in our legal system. Please be aware of these possibilities and bear with us as we all work to accomplish our goal of achieving justice for all.
Random Juror Selection Process
The list of names that is used to call people for jury service is created by combining the County's voter registration list and Arizona Department of Transportation records. Names are randomly selected from that master list by a computer program.
A computer program randomly selects names from the master jury file to summons potential jurors. Since that process is random, some people may be selected more than others.
The Jury Office adheres to the random selection process set out in the law. Because it is random, some people who are willing to serve may never be asked, and others who are not willing to serve may be asked frequently.
State law requires that Superior Court jurors be selected randomly. Although everyone would like to serve at a convenient court location, state law requires jurors to be randomly selected from the countywide population. Requests to be transferred to another court cannot be granted. You must appear at the court to which you were summonsed.
Sequence of a Jury Trial
- Selection of the jury
- Judge instructs jurors about their responsibilities during trial
- Opening statements by counsel
- Presentation of evidence through witness testimony, documents and exhibits
- Closing arguments by counsel
- Judge issues final instructions on the law
- Jury selects a presiding juror (foreperson) and discusses the evidence to reach a verdict
- The verdict
Coping with Jury Service
Thank you for serving your community. Being on a jury is a rewarding experience which in some cases may be quite demanding. You were asked to listen to testimony and to examine facts and evidence. Coming to decisions is often not easy, but your participation is appreciated.
Serving on a jury is not a common experience and may cause some jurors to have temporary symptoms of distress. Not everyone feels anxiety or increased stress after jury duty. However, it may be helpful to be aware of the symptoms if they arise. Some temporary signs of distress following jury duty include anxiety, sleep or appetite changes, moodiness, physical problems (e.g. headaches, stomach aches, no energy, and the like), second guessing your verdict, feeling guilty, fear, trouble dealing with issues or topics related to the case, a desire to be by yourself, or decreased concentration or memory problems.
Symptoms may come and go but will eventually go away. To help yourself, it is important to admit any symptoms you may have and deal with any unpleasant reactions.
Remember that you are having normal responses to an unusual experience. You can deal with signs of distress by cutting down on alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. These substances can increase anxiety, fatigue and make sleep problems worse. If you have continuing problems, please contact your medical provider or the Jury Office.
The Jury Office offers counseling services for jurors who have served on a trial. To set up counseling services, please contact the Jury Office.