PHOENIX (Aug. 24, 2023) - Juries form the bedrock of the American system of justice. That foundation erodes when citizens fail to participate.  

To reinforce the importance of responding appropriately to a summons for jury service, the Maricopa County Superior Court will hold a series of hearings on Oct. 20 to seek answers from community members who have ignored or failed to respond to their summons for jury service. These “order to show cause” hearings will ask as many as 20 citizens why they have failed to report.  

Those appearing have, for this required court hearing, been served summons by the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office. That summons, served in-person by uniformed deputies, requires attendance at the hearing but only a judge can issue sanctions to someone who fails to appear pursuant to a summons. Citizens without legitimate excuses may be fined and ordered to report for jury service. 

The role of a juror is critical to the justice system, allowing individuals who have been accused of crimes to be judged by a jury of their peers and those who have been injured by another to seek relief. While many citizens do respond when summoned for jury service, it’s critical to reinforce the importance of all citizens responding when they receive the summons notice. 

“The right to a jury trial is what makes our system of justice unique,” said Judge Joseph Kreamer, who leads the court’s Jury Advisory Committee. “But the only way our jury system works is when jurors respond to jury summons and appear for service.” 

In the Maricopa County Superior Court, efforts continue to make responding appropriately to a jury summons an easy process and to reduce the barriers to participation, including implementing the state’s new program to compensate seated jurors for lost wages, up to $300 per day. Additionally, judges and court administrators review feedback from jurors each month in an effort to identify – and solve – any issues that emerge. 

“We understand the burdens jury duty may cause in the daily lives of Maricopa County citizens,” said Ray Billotte, Judicial Branch Administrator and Jury Commissioner in Maricopa County. “Our actions to increase juror pay, expand the use of technology to allow jurors the ability to address many responsibilities remotely, and improve our juror operations and facilities are helping to alleviate many of these burdens.” 

The Oct. 20 hearings will be open to the public and media. Those who fail to appear for their “order to show cause” hearing could be fined up to $500 – and still be compelled to appear for jury service.  


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