All United States Citizens age 18 and over will at some point in their life be called for jury duty. Many will be called more than once. It is an obligation and your duty to serve on a jury when so requested by the court. There are all types of jury trials, and not all involve making judgment against your fellow man/woman.
The following will explain the jury process for Owyhee County.
The Jury Commissioner sends out Juror Qualification Forms approximately one month before the four-month term begins. Qualification Forms must be filled out completely and accurately and returned to the court within ten (10) days. It is also very important that you write down on the back of your Qualification Form, all dates that you will be on vacation, out of town, or of any scheduled surgeries or doctor appointments, so that we do not schedule you for any jury trials during that time. When the forms are returned to the court they are reviewed and entered into the juror system
Your jury terms lasts for four months in Owyhee County. What this means is that you can be called for jury duty anytime within this four-month period. If you get called for jury duty you will receive a Summons in the mail. This Summons will give you information as to which day you need to appear, your reporting number and when to call in. Once you receive the summons, you cannot be excused. The reason we have you call in the evening before the scheduled jury trial is because many jury trials cancel or settle at the last minute. If the jury trial is cancelled, occasionally, there will be information on the recording moving you to a new date, usually the next scheduled jury trial. Make sure you write this information down so you don’t forget to call at your next scheduled time. No other notice will be sent to you.
But, if you call in and the recording states that the jury trial is going forward, you need to plan to attend the next day usually at 8:30 a.m. You should arrive timely the day of the jury trial without any children. You will need to obtain a babysitter before arriving at the courthouse. You should also bring a sack lunch unless you have been told differently. Fifteen minutes (15) after you scheduled arrival time we will play a video for you explaining further, the process of being a juror. After the video is completed, court will shortly thereafter begin along with the selection of the six to thirteen jurors who will sit on the jury panel for that day’s trial.
Between fourteen and twenty-four jurors will be randomly selected and the judge will begin voir dire followed by the prosecutor, and the defense attorney. Voir dire means “The preliminary examination made in court of a witness or juror to determine his competency or interest in a matter. Literally, to speak the truth”. Once the voir dire process is complete the attorneys will pick the jurors until there are six or more agreed upon. The rest of the summoned jurors will then be excused to go home. The remaining six to fourteen jurors will sit on the jury panel for the duration of the trial.
All jurors who attend court will be paid for their mileage and time spent in court. The checks will be mailed out usually within a week or two of completion of the trial.
If you are summoned to court, and have not previously been excused and you do not show up, you will be served an Order to Show Cause. This means you will be ordered to attend court on a specified day to explain to the judge why you did not appear when summoned. A fine and/or jail sentence may be imposed, so it is very important that you come to court when summoned.
Once you complete your four-month term, you will not have to serve on a jury panel for at least two years. If you do receive another questionnaire within 24 months of your serving, please mark the appropriate box, and return your questionnaire. You will be exempt after the Jury Commissioner confirms your service. You must return your questionnaire to be exempt.
P.O. Box 128
Murphy, ID 83650
20381 State Highway 78
Murphy, ID 83650
Monday thru Friday
31 West Wyoming
Homedale, ID 83628
Monday thru Friday