Harford County, Maryland
 
Harford County Maryland

LOCATED AT:
Harford County
Jury Commissioner
20 West Courtland Street
Bel Air, Maryland 21014

EMAIL ADDRESS :
OFFICE PHONE:
410.638.3251 or
410.838.3172 or
410.879.2000 Ext.3251
JUROR INSTRUCTIONS:
410.838.3172
After 5pm Prior to Reporting Date
Jury Commissioner
Jury Instructions Where to Report Downloadable Documents Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How was I chosen for jury duty?
  • Will jury service place my job in jeopardy?
  • Does my employer pay me for work-time lost while serving jury duty?
  • How much does jury duty pay?
  • Where do I report?
  • Where do I park?
  • How long will I serve?
  • Can I bring my cell phone or another electronic device into the courthouse?
  • What can/cannot be brought in?
  • What is the dress code for jury duty?
  • What is the difference between a grand jury and a trial (petit) jury?
  • What types of cases will I hear?
  • What happens if I don’t report to jury duty or I fail to respond to the Court’s questionnaire?
  • What if I need to postpone/reschedule my date for jury duty?
  • What if I need to be excused for work or financial hardship?
  • What if I need to be excused for medical reasons?
  • What if I am not a US citizen?
  • What if I am no longer a resident of Harford County?
  • What if I am Active Duty Military?
  • What if I am a full time student?
  • What if I have been convicted of a crime or I have a criminal charge pending?
  • What if I received a summons but I recently served jury duty?
  • What if I am a nursing mother?
  • What if I still have questions?
  • HOW WAS I CHOSEN FOR JURY DUTY?

    Jurors are selected at random from a cross section of the adult residents of HarfordCounty.  The cross section is drawn from Voter Registration as well as Motor Vehicle Administration lists.  No one can volunteer for jury duty.  The bottom half of each summons is a two sided questionnaire which must be completed and returned to the jury office within 10 days.  If you do not qualify for jury service, you will receive a notice that you do not have to report.  Otherwise follow the call-in procedure on your jury summons.

    WILL JURY SERVICE PLACE MY JOB IN JEOPARDY?

    An employer may not deprive an employee of his/her employment solely because of job time lost by the employee as a result of responding to a jury summons or as a result of attending court for service or prospective service as a trial or grand juror as stated by Maryland law (Annotated Code of Maryland, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, Section 8-105). Jury duty is a civic obligation. Harford County jury service is for one day/one trial therefore no excuses are permitted due to employment hardship.  If sufficient justification is given, you may be able to reschedule your reporting date to another time. 

    DOES MY EMPLOYER PAY ME FOR WORK-TIME LOST WHILE SERVING JURY DUTY?

    Employers are not obligated to pay their employees while serving jury duty.  It is at the discretion of the employer.

    HOW MUCH DOES JURY DUTY PAY?

    Harford County jurors are paid $20, in the form of an expense voucher, for each day of service. Vouchers are valid for 60 days and can only be cashed at the Treasury Office located on the 1st floor of the Harford County Government Administrative Building, 220 S. Main Street. Vouchers cannot be reissued for any reason. Jurors have the option to donate their expense voucher to the Generous Juror Program, which benefits children in the Harford County Foster Care Program. The tax deductible donation can be made in the Jury Office, by signing the front top portion of your voucher.

    WHERE DO I REPORT?

    You report to the Harford County Circuit Court building on the corner of Main and Courtland Streets.  The address is 20 W. Courtland Street Bel Air, MD21014.  The Jury Assembly Room is on the 3rd floor, #3-03.  Please report on time at the time indicated on your summons.  There are occasions when a larger group is reporting and you may be asked to report to the ceremonial courtroom on the 2nd floor, #2-50.  Final reporting instructions will be detailed for you on the recording, which you call the night before your report date. Follow the instructions on your summons for calling and please listen to the recording carefully.  Instructions will also be available on the web site after 5pm as well.

    WHERE DO I PARK?

    Juror parking is provided on the roof top level of the parking garage which is on the corner of Courtland and Hickory Streets.  As a parking permit, you will need to place the top portion of your summons (map side up) on your dashboard, visible through the windshield. If you have lost the top half of your summons, simply write a note stating Jury Duty and the date, and place it on your dashboard. If you require handicap or oversized vehicle parking, please contact the Jury Office for additional information.

    HOW LONG WILL I SERVE?

    Harford County jury duty is for one day OR one trial. The average length of jury trials are 2 to 3 days; however some trials may last longer. Once you go to the courtroom, you will be informed of the expected length of trial.

    CAN I BRING MY CELL PHONE OR ANOTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE INTO THE COURTHOUSE?

    Yes. Cell phones, laptops, tablets, MP3 players, etc are allowed; however use of electronic devices will be limited to the Jury Assembly Room. To elimiate disruption, we ask that before orientation begins, you place your cell phone or other electronic device on silent. At some point, you may be instructed to power off your cell phone/device. Electronic devices may not be permitted in jury deliberations. You are not permitted to use electronics to capture photographs or  record any other audio/video images in a court facility. Please follow all instructions carefully. Any persons found in violation of electronic device restrictions will be subject to confiscation of the device, fine or incarceration at the discretion of the Court.  

    WHAT CAN/CANNOT BE BROUGHT IN?

    You may bring food, drinks and reading material such as books, magazines, etc. No weapons, knives or sharp objects of any kind are permitted. Food and drinks are allowed in the Jury Assembly room; however they are not permitted in the courtroom. You will receive a lunch break and other breaks throughout the day. You may go out for your lunch break or bring your own lunch which can be eaten in the Jury Assembly Room. There are many restaurants/delis within walking distance of the courthouse and vending machines are available on Level A of the courthouse.

    WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE FOR JURY DUTY?

    Proper attire is required. Out of respect for the Court, do not wear offensive or revealing clothing. Uniforms are not permitted. Business casual clothing is acceptable.

    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GRAND JURY AND A TRIAL (PETIT) JURY?

    A grand jury consists of 23 people, who are responsible for reviewing the testimony and evidence presented in the case to determine if there is sufficient information to indict (or charge) the accused individual. A criminal trial jury contains 12 persons, and perhaps a few alternates, who are responsible for listening to the evidence in a courtroom and determining guilt or innocence.  A civil trial jury is made up of 6 people, and possible alternates, who listen to a case generally involving a dispute between two or more parties that does not involve a criminal matter.

    WHAT TYPES OF CASES WILL I HEAR?

    Jury trials are either civil or criminal.  Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, governments, government agencies or other organizations.  Criminal cases are when the state has charged someone with a crime.  The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime he/she is accused of committing.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T REPORT TO JURY DUTY OR I FAIL TO RESPOND TO THE COURT’S QUESTIONNAIRE?

    Failure to appear for jury duty or to return your completed qualification form is a serious matter and is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. You will be issued an order to report and you will be required to “Show Cause” as to why you did not respond to the summons or appear for jury duty. 

    WHAT IF I NEED TO POSTPONE/RESCHEDULE MY DATE FOR JURY DUTY?

    You must return your completed juror qualification form along with your written request for a postponement. Postponement requests MUST be in writing and will NOT be considered unless your completed juror qualification form has been returned. If you already submitted your form, please mail, fax, or email your written request which includes your name and panel number. Please include a phone number and email address. The Jury Commissioner's Office will contact you with regard to your postponement. If your request is granted, your panel number will not change and you will not receive further notice of your new date in the mail.

    Note: If you require an emergency, last minute postponement you still need to submit your request in writing. Last minute requests will only be granted for extreme, unforeseen emergencies.

    WHAT IF I NEED TO BE EXCUSED FOR WORK OR FINANCIAL HARDSHIP?

    Please be advised that excusal requests are granted rarely and only for undue hardships or extreme circumstances, as determined by the Court. Maryland law does not allow exemption based on occupation. There are many people with similar work and financial situations and we cannot excuse everyone. You may submit a written request for excusal if possible due to work or financial hardship. If we are able to excuse you, you will receive a phone call from the Jury Commissioner’s Office the afternoon before your scheduled date. If you do not receive a call notifying you of excusal, you will be required to follow your summons for final reporting instructions.

    WHAT IF I NEED TO BE EXCUSED FOR MEDICAL REASONS?

    Jurors requesting to be excused for a medical reason or disability must provide a doctor’s note written within the last 30 days. The doctor’s note must specifically say to excuse you from jury duty based on the medical reason or disability and it must be signed by a licensed physician. The note can be written on a prescription pad or letterhead and it should contain your name, panel number, and whether the excusal is temporary or permanent. You do not always have to visit the doctor if you seem him/her routinely.  They can often fax the note directly to the jury office.  The fax number is on the top portion of your summons.

    WHAT IF I AM NOT A US CITIZEN?

    If you are not a citizen of the United States, you are ineligible for jury duty. You must complete and return the qualification form and provide a copy of your passport, green card, or residency card.

    WHAT IF I AM NO LONGER A RESIDENT OF HARFORD COUNTY?

    If you are no longer a resident, you are ineligible to serve jury duty in Harford County. You must complete and return the qualification form and provide a copy of your driver’s license, a bill, or lease agreement, etc, which verifies that you are no longer living in Harford County.

    WHAT IF I AM ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY?

    If you are an active duty member of the military and you request exemption, you must complete the juror qualification form and return it with a copy of your orders or a letter from your Commanding Officer.

    WHAT IF I AM A FULL TIME STUDENT?

    If you are a student and you request exemption, you must complete the juror qualification form and return it with a copy of your tuition bill or class schedule which contains your name and the name of your school.

    WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME OR I HAVE A CRIMINAL CHARGE PENDING?

    You must complete the juror qualification form and return it along with any verification.

    If you were convicted of a crime where you were sentenced, without pardon, to more than 6 months of imprisonment (suspended time included), you are ineligible for jury duty. Please provide verification of your conviction/sentence such as a copy of court commitment order or probation order. If you are unable to provide court documentation, please write a letter detailing the crime, sentence, etc. Please advise if conviction/sentence was under a different name such as an alias or maiden name.

    If you have a charge pending for a crime punishable by a sentence exceeding 6 months, you must provide verification of the charge and upcoming trial date. Your jury duty service will likely be postponed until after your trial date and you will be advised to notify the Jury Office of the outcome of the case.

    WHAT IF I RECEIVED A SUMMONS BUT I RECENTLY SERVED JURY DUTY?

    If you have served jury duty within the last 3 years, you have to option to request to be excused for recent service. Recent service means you reported for jury duty and received a pay voucher within the last 3 years. If you served in Harford County, please note the year of service on your summons. Please indicate if your service was under a different name. If you served in another county/state, you must provide your own verification of service.

    WHAT IF I AM A NURSING MOTHER?

    Please contact the Jury Commissioner's Office by email or phone, at your earliest convenience, for further instructions. Any questions or requests regarding this matter must be addressedBEFORE your report date.

    WHAT IF I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

    Contact the Jury Commissioner’s Office by phone or email between the hours of 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. If you call the Jury Office during the morning orientation, between 9:00 A.M. to approximately 10:30 A.M., you will not be able to speak to a member of the office. You can wait to call until after 10:30 A.M. or leave a message and wait for someone to return your call. Please be patient. Calls/messages are returned in the order they are received. Due to the high volume of calls, you may receive a quicker response by emailing your questions to JuryCommissioner@harfordcountymd.gov.

    Questions or comments webmaster@harfordcountymd.gov
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