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Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Customer Service – Jury
3315 Tamiami Trail East, Ste. 102
Naples, FL 34112-5324
Phone: (239) 252-2646
Email: Jury Service

 

 

Jury Service

The right to a jury trial is one of the fundamental American rights guaranteed by the State and Federal constitutions. As an American citizen, it is your privilege and duty to serve as a juror.

The goal of the jury selection process is to summons a cross section of the community in order to constitute a legal jury for the civil and criminal courts of Collier County. Your service is essential to the functioning of our judicial system and to the operation of our entire system of government. Jurors perform the crucial task of deciding the case upon the evidence, which the lawyers present and by applying to that evidence the law upon which the Judge instructs them. The community is selected at random for jury service from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles database of licensed drivers and holders of FL ID cards of Collier County residents.

Failure to respond to your summons may result in the Court issuing an Order to Show Cause as to why you should not be held in contempt of court and/or pay a fine not to exceed $100.

Length Of Service

Your jury service will last the length of one trial and does not end at a specific time of day. Plan to spend the entire day each day of service.

A person who is summoned and has reported as a prospective juror is exempt from jury service for a minimum period of one year.

The Summons

Potential jurors receive a perforated 3-part JUROR SUMMONS via US Mail. The summons identifies the time and location for your jury service.

To open the summons, fold the perforated ends one way, then fold the opposite way and tear off. Now slide your finger under the top edge to separate and open.

Prior to reporting for service, remove the middle section of the summons, fill out the back and bring it with you.

Proper Attire

We ask you to dress appropriately, casual attire is not suitable. Jurors should wear business or business-casual attire and we recommend you bring a sweater as courtrooms may be cold. Some courtrooms are fragrance-free so you should refrain from wearing fragrances.

Reporting For Jury Service

If you were instructed to report to the Collier County Courthouse, after advancing through security, take the elevators to the 5th floor and follow the signs to Jury Assembly. Check in with the deputy clerk and you will be given a Juror Qualification Questionnaire to complete. The jury clerk will write your Juror number on your questionnaire. All potential jurors will watch a 15 minute video in the juror assembly room.

When the courtroom is ready to begin jury selection, a deputy clerk will take you from the assembly room to the courtroom entrance where a bailiff will be waiting for you. You will line up outside the courtroom doors in proper order and the courtroom process will begin.

Questioning of Jurors

First, you will be sworn to answer truthfully all questions asked of you regarding your qualifications to serve. Then, the judge and the lawyers will ask additional questions of you regarding your background. This questioning is called “voir dire” examination.

There may be many reasons why you might not be considered a wholly fair and impartial juror in the particular case about to be tried. You may be excused “for cause” when the judge is of the opinion that you cannot render a fair and impartial verdict. The attorneys also can exercise a limited number of “peremptory challenges,” by which they may excuse a juror without stating any reason. If you are challenged or excused, it is not a reflection on you in any way. Selected jurors will remain and excused jurors will be either dismissed or will return to the jury assembly room on reserve.

When the required number of jurors has been met, a deputy clerk will swear the jury in and the trial will begin accordingly.

The Trial

The plaintiff’s lawyer outlines the nature of the case and the evidence that will be offered to support the plaintiff’s case which is called an “opening statement.” The lawyer for the defendant will follow with an opening statement as well. When all of the evidence is presented, the lawyer for the plaintiff usually makes an argument intended to help the jury analyze the evidence. The argument is also an attempt to convince the jury that, based upon the evidence presented, the plaintiff is entitled to win. The lawyer for the defendant makes an argument for the defendant for the same purpose. Finally, the lawyer for the plaintiff makes a concluding argument in reply. After these arguments have been made, the judge instructs the jury on the law.

Determining The Verdict (Deliberation)

The jury’s first duty when it begins deliberations is to select a foreperson. The foreperson acts as the spokesperson and sees that discussion is carried on in an orderly fashion. The foreperson will sign the verdict once the jury has reached a unanimous decision. Until a verdict is announced, no outsider should know what goes on in the jury room.

You are not released from jury service until you have completed one of the following:

  • You have served as a juror on a trial
  • You have appeared for service and were not selected as a juror
  • The automated phone system/web instructions notified you service is not needed

Juror Tips

  • Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Liquids are not permitted in the Courthouse
  • Remain calm and relaxed throughout the process and remember YOU are not on trial
  • Control your emotions, facial contortion or any other expression
  • Bring any medications you might need
  • Arrange for family, business, and/or school matters before you report for jury service
  • An emergency number will be provided to you to share with anyone who may need to reach you in the event of an emergency
  • Do not do any research about the trial or the parties involved
  • Do not post anything to social media
  • Do not watch the news during the trial as it may be televised
  • Bring a sweater as courtrooms tend to be cold
  • Water and coffee are supplied and there are drink & snack vending machines on the 1st floor of the courthouse
  • Feel free to bring reading material for down times (newspapers not permitted)
  • Electronic devices are removed during deliberation
  • Some courtrooms are fragrance-free so you should refrain from wearing fragrances

Persons With Disabilities

If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact Charles Rice, Administrative Court Services Manager, whose office is located at 3315 East Tamiami Trail, Suite 501, Naples, Florida 34112, and whose telephone number is (239) 252-8800, at least 7 days before your scheduled court appearance, or immediately upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than 7 days; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711.

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