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Jury Duty - GENERAL INFORMATION

juror instructions   GENERAL INFORMATION



  • Contacting the Jury Commissioner’s Office

      We are open Monday through Friday, excluding weekends and Court Holidays.

      Mailing Address:
      California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara
      Attn: Jury Commissioner’s Office
      191 N. First St.
      San Jose, CA 95113

      Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

      You may visit us in person during our office hours at one of the following locations:

      Phone hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
      You may call the Jury Commissioner's Office during our phone hours at (408) 808-6666 to speak to a jury clerk.

      Email jury services at ssjuryinfo@scscourt.org and provide the following information: juror badge number, full name, full address and date of birth so that we may properly identify you.
      Your email will be answered within 3 to 5 business days. Please Note: This email service is for informational purposes only. You will NOT be able to make a request for postponement, disqualification or excuse via email. You may only make a request by completing an online request through the prospective juror login website, or by submitting your request by mail or in person.

      For more about Jury Duty, including answers to questions about jury selection, length of service, and payment to jurors, see the Jury Duty home page.


  • Courthouse Security

  • Frequently Asked Questions about Jury Duty
      • Who are qualified to serve as a juror?
        • You are qualified to serve jury duty unless one of the following reasons apply to you:
          - You are not a citizen of the United States;
          - You do not have sufficient knowledge of the English language to act as a trial juror;
          - You are under 18 years of age;
          - You are not domiciled in the State of California due to employment or military service;
          - You are not a resident of Santa Clara County;
          - You have fulfilled your obligation as a Grand Juror or Trial Juror in the past 12 months or you are now or will be serving soon as a Grand Juror or Trial Juror on another case;
          - You have been convicted of malfeasance in office and your rights have not been restored;
          - You are incarcerated in prison or jail;
          - You have been convicted of a felony and are currently on parole, post-release community supervision, felony probation, or mandated supervision for the conviction of a felony;
          - You are currently required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code section 290 based on a felony conviction;
          - You are the subject of a conservatorship;
          - You are an active duty peace officer as defined in section 830.1, 830.2(a), 830.33(a) of the Penal Code.
      • How did my name get selected for jury duty?
        • Jurors' names are selected at random from lists of registered voters. In addition, the law provides that the courts may use the names of all persons who have driver's licenses or identification cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The courts may use other sources such as customer mailing lists, telephone directories, and utility company lists. So you may be called even if you allow your name to be dropped from the list of registered voters.
      • How long will my name be on the prospective juror's list?
        • Your name will remain on the court's jury list for at least one year, and you may be called for jury duty at any time during that year. If you are not called one year, your name may be placed on next year's list.
      • When I am summoned as a juror, what should I do?
        • REFER to the instructions found on the summons.

          If you are NOT qualified to serve, want to request an excuse, or want to request a postponement of your jury service, you can submit your request on the Prospective Juror Login website . If you are unable to go to our website, write a letter to our office regarding the details of your request. Include your juror badge number, name and address. Sign, date, and mail it within 10 days of receiving the summons.

          If you ARE qualified and are NOT requesting an excuse, follow the reporting instructions on your summons. When you are instructed to report for jury duty, bring the summons with you when you check in. But detach and retain small tab on the side for your records. If you are instructed to report to Palo Alto, this side tab also serves as your parking permit.

          During the week you are on standby, you will need to check your status using the Online Services Jury Duty page, or by phone, per the instructions on your summons. You may be instructed to report to any one of our four Santa Clara County trial court locations.
      • What happens if I do not respond to the jury summons?
        • For your information, California Code of Civil Procedure Section 196 {c} provides that "Any person who fails to respond to jury commissioner or court inquiry as instructed, may be summoned to appear before the jury commissioner or the court to answer such inquiry." California Code of Civil Procedure Section 209 provides that "Any prospective trial juror who has been summoned for service, and who fails to attend upon the court as directed or to respond to the court or jury commissioner and to be excused from attendance, may be attached and compelled to attend; and, following an order to show cause hearing, the court may find the prospective juror in contempt of court, punishable by a fine of up to $1,500, or 5 days in the county jail, or both." [CCP 1218(a)]
      • May I postpone my jury service to a more convenient week?
        • All jurors are allowed one postponement or reschedule of their jury service to a more convenient week. Usually it must be rescheduled during the same year and not exceed 90 days from the date of your origina summons week. You can update your information and request a postponement using the Prospective Juror Login website . If you are unable to go to our website, write a letter to our office regarding the details of your request and let us know which week you are requesting to be postponed to. Include your juror badge number, name, and address. Sign, date, and mail it within 10 days of receiving the summons.
      • Do I get paid for jury duty?
        • Payment to jurors begins on the second and subsequent days. You will not get paid on the first day of service. The minimum amount paid is set by the State Legislature. Counties may pay more but never less. Your court may also pay for some travel costs. This county pays $15.00 per day plus 34¢ per mile one-way from home.
      • Does the Court pay for meals?
        • No. Meals are not provided during a trial or during deliberations.
      • How can I be a juror if my employer won't let me off?
        • Employers must allow employees time off to serve on a jury. The California Labor Code Section 230 prohibits any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned to court for jury services as long as reasonable notice is given. If you are a teacher or student, you are protected by California Education Code Sections 44037 and 87306.

          If you are concerned that jury duty has negatively impacted your employment, the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) can provide assistance. A Senior Labor Commissioner will respond to questions at DLSE2@dir.ca.gov.

          Some employers may pay the difference between your jury allowance and salary. For example, if your salary for the day is $35.00 and the jury fee is $15.00, your employer may pay $20.00. However, this is not required by law, but many contracts require the pay differential.
      • What should I wear to court?
        • Dress as you would to go to a business meeting or social function. Do not wear shorts or tank tops. Check with the Jury Commissioner's Office if you have any doubts.
      • Is there any special way I must act in court?
        • Be alert and courteous. You may bring a book or newspaper to read while you're waiting for court to begin, or during recesses, but don't read while court is in session. Be sure to turn off all cell phones and audible pagers in the courtroom. Eating and chewing gum is not permitted.
      • How much of my day will jury service take?
        • You should plan to attend court as a juror all day from approximately 8:00 - 5:00 p.m., depending on the court's schedule. Civil cases will last from one to two weeks or sometimes longer. The average length is around five days. Criminal cases generally last from two to three weeks or sometimes longer.
      • Why are there such long breaks and lunch hours during a trial?
        • The judge may have to set the next day's calendar and dispose of other cases. Attorneys may need time to prepare their witnesses and other aspects of the case.  Court Committees that are involved in the decision making process of the Court meet during the noon hour.
      • What happens if I'm late?
        • Contact the Jury Commissioner's Office as soon as you know that you are going to be late. If you are already assigned to a courtroom, contact the courtroom directly. If you cant reach the courtroom, you may contact the Jury Commissioner's Office or the clerk of the court and explain your situation. Remember the trial cannot proceed until everyone is present. If you don't have a good excuse, the judge may fine you for being late.
      • Is it true that I must not discuss the case with anyone while it's in progress?
        • Do not talk to anyone about the case until you are discharged from the jury, not even the lawyers or the judge, except through the bailiff. Discussions with others can cause a mistrial because the juror gained evidence outside the record. If any person persists in talking to you about the trial or attempts to influence you as a juror, inform the bailiff. During deliberations at the end of the trial, of course, you will discuss the case with other jurors in order to reach a verdict.
      • May I investigate some parts of the case that aren't brought out by the attorneys on my own?
        • No. Under no circumstances should you investigate the case on your own, either alone or with other jurors. You may not talk to witnesses, nor do independent experiments. Your verdict must be based only on evidence produced in court. This prevents a trial based on secret evidence. If you violate this rule, you could cause a mistrial.
      • Why do attorneys talk with the judge out of the jurors' hearing?
        • If this happens, do not feel slighted or guess what is being said. Such conferences are held to discuss legal issues or to agree upon points of evidence. These conferences often help speed up the trial or avoid the possibility of a mistrial.
      • Who can I write with suggestions about my jury service?
        • The Presiding Judge or the Jury Commissioner, at mailing address 191 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

  • Court Locations & Parking Information

      Please be advised, depending on the needs of the Court, you may be required to report to any one of our four locations.

      Juror Parking: If you are driving, click the appropriate link of the location you were instructed to report for service. See the section on the courthouse page labeled ** JUROR PARKING **. (We strongly encourage the use of public transportation whenever possible.)



      * Parking options for Downtown Superior Courthouse

      picture of the jury parking map

      PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION: Juror parking is limited at all court locations. We encourage the use of public transportation. Please make every effort to use public transportation whenever possible. VTA Light Rail and Bus Service and CAL TRAIN Service contact information is detailed below:

      VTA Light Rail & Bus Service     1-800-894-9908     (408)321-2330(TDD)    www.vta.org

      CAL TRAIN Service    1-800-660-4287    www.caltrain.com

© 2020 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara