JUROR INFORMATION
 

Please Note

If you received a summons to appear, you are to report to the Court, located at 166 East High Avenue, New Philadelphia, Ohio in the Memorial Municipal Building (do not go to the Tuscarawas County Courthouse). Although you have been summoned for two dates within a one-week period, you may not be required to serve as a juror on both dates. Whether the parties involved in the trial will change their minds about proceeding to trial is something the Court cannot control.

To find out if you are needed to appear, refer to the Jury Trial Status section below, the Jury Trial Status page, or call 330-343-6797 and press #3, on the evening or night before the scheduled trial. Jurors are reminded to check this website frequently as case status may change.

Failure to comply with your summons can result in sanctions provided for under Ohio law.

Jury Trial Status

The Jury Trial scheduled for Monday, November 27, 2017, and Tuesday November 28, 2017 will not be going forward and jurors do not need to report. Thank you

Parking

Jurors are to report no later than 9:00 a.m. to the New Philadelphia Municipal Court, located in the Memorial Municipal Building at 166 East High Avenue, New Philadelphia, Ohio. Parking is permitted on Second Street.

Where To Go Upon Arriving

All jurors should enter through the front door of the Memorial Municipal Building on East High Avenue. You will then pass through security and be directed to a waiting area, coffee will be provided for you.

Exemptions

Currently, Ohio law only allows excusal for the following reasons:

  • Physical or mental condition of yourself, or another person under your care, that causes extreme hardship or otherwise renders you incapable of performing jury service. (Provide written documentation signed by a health care provider verifying the condition(s), and dates of requested excusal.)
  • Spouse or a near relative has recently died or is seriously ill.
  • Cloistered member of a religious organization or recognized Amish sect.
  • Seventy-five years of age or older.
  • Active duty military
  • Full time high school or college student. (Provide copy of your class schedule)
  • Not a citizen of the United States.
  • Extreme financial hardship to you or a person under your care. (Provide a detailed written explanation.)
  • No longer lives within the jurisdiction of this court and is not eligible to serve.

If you believe that one of the above exemptions applies to you, you may request to be excused from jury duty by filing an excusal request in writing. That form is sent to each juror along with the summons for jury service.

The request should include as many details as possible, with applicable documentation. If you are seeking a medical excuse, a note from your physician is required. The Court must follow the law in considering all requests for excusal. You will be notified in writing of the decision. All requests to be excused from jury duty must be approved in writing before you can consider yourself "released" from jury service.

To Be Rescheduled

Our clerk can reschedule you for jury duty at a later date. This later date must be within six months after the original date but within the jury year.

If you have a conflict with the week that you have been summoned, you may write to Chief Deputy Clerk Amy Septer at:

New Philadelphia Municipal Court Clerk's Office
Jury Selection Division
166 East High Ave.
New Philadelphia, OH 44663

A letter is fine for this type of request. It would be helpful if you tell Ms. Septer when jury service would be more convenient for you.

Jurors With Disabilities

All reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate prospective physically handicapped jurors who have special needs. If you need any special arrangements relative to a disability, please contact the Court as soon as you receive your summons.

Types of Cases

The municipal court handles misdemeanor criminal or traffic offenses, and civil lawsuits not exceeding $15,000. You will not be seated on a felony case.

Upon Entering the Courtroom

All prospective jurors take an oath that they will answer truthfully to the questions posed to them by the judge and the attorneys during the selection process. The purpose of the questions is to find out if there is some reason why it might be difficult for you to be fair and impartial in the case to be tried. You will be told a little bit about the facts of the case, so the Court can determine if any past experience or prejudice might make it hard for you to be fair. You also have an opportunity to tell the Court about anything else that might impact your ability to sit as a juror including health problems, employment situations, and other obligations in your life.

How Long Will Service Take?

The case will begin with the parties selecting 8 and one alternate juror to hear the case. This initial process usually takes one to two hours. The jurors not selected are excused at this point. Also, the judge will give those jurors selected a recess at this time to make phone calls, if desired. Most jury trials in municipal court can be completed in one day. A two or more day jury trial is very unusual, but is sometimes necessary. During the initial questioning, the judge will give you all the information she has regarding the expected length of the trial. Although most one day jury trials end between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., we have concluded jury trials as early as noon, and as late as 10:00 p.m. (although these latter situations are unusual).

Jury Duty & Employment

Your employer is not required to pay you while on jury duty; however, employers are prohibited by law from firing an employee for serving on a jury nor can your job be affected by serving on a jury. If your employer requires, the Clerk of Court can give you a form stating that you were summoned as a juror.

Importance of Jury Service

Trial by jury is one of the most important rights that we have as Americans. Trial by jury is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Ohio. Remember, someday you may want the service of a juror to decide a legal dispute of yours. Jury service is both a legal obligation and a civic duty.

Trial Participants

Those who participate in a trial must do so in accordance with established rules. That is true of the witnesses, of the lawyers, and of the judge. It is equally true of jurors.

  • Judge and Counsel - The lawyers present the evidence according to the rules. The judge enforces the rules and determines what evidence may be admitted.
  • Jury - You will be the sole judges of the facts, the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be give to the testimony.

Trial Procedure

The procedure for the trial is as follows: First, counsel outline what they expect their evidence will be. These opening statements are not evidence, but they are a preview of the claims of each party, designed to help you follow the evidence as it is presented. Then the state or plaintiff offers its evidence. The defendant may, but need not, offer evidence. If the defendant presents evidence, the state or plaintiff may present rebuttal evidence. The trial concludes with the arguments of counsel and the instructions of law by the Court. Thereafter, you deliberate on your verdict.

Juror Responsibilities

Jurors must arrive promptly to court. A trial cannot begin until all jurors are present. Jurors are required to give their undivided attention to the proceedings. Jurors must listen closely to the judge, witnesses, and attorneys. Jurors must consider the evidence presented and make an intelligent decision based on the evidence presented in court. Remember, the outcome of the case is extremely important to the parties that are involved. Jurors cannot let social media, television, radio, newspapers, or other publicity concerning the case influence their decision. A verdict must be based solely on the evidence presented during the trial.

While Trial Is In Progress

While a trial is in progress, members of the jury must not discuss the case with friends, family, relatives, or other trial participants. If you are approached about the case, you need to report the incident to a court official immediately. If it is necessary, jurors will inspect a scene as a group under the court's supervision – not independently. Jurors must be impartial and refrain from comments or expressions during the trial which convey their opinions regarding the case.

Nervous About Jury Service

It is understandable that you may be apprehensive about being called for jury duty. However, we will try to accommodate your needs. Your service is essential to achieve justice, and we recognize this. After serving on a jury, most jurors report that they enjoyed learning about, and experiencing first hand our legal process. Also, you can take satisfaction in doing your duty as an American citizen.

What to Wear

Wear comfortable clothing. Casual pants are perfectly acceptable. You will be sitting most of the day, but it is possible that we may go on a view of a scene. Therefore, you should where comfortable shoes. You may wish to bring a sweater.

Lunch, Snack, Smoking

The Judge usually breaks for lunch as close to noon as possible. The jury is released to go to lunch wherever they choose. Jurors will not be required to eat as a group. (If you wish to go home, you may.).

The City has designated The Memorial Municipal Building as a non-smoking building. When the Judge gives the jurors breaks, they will be permitted to exit the building to smoke.