Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I fail to appear for jury duty?
- You should understand that a jury summons is a
legal document. It is not an invitation which you
may casually decline to accept. No person who is
summoned as a juror shall fail to attend and serve
as a juror without having been excused. Such person
may be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500,
imprisoned not less than 30 or more than 90 days,
- Who is eligible to serve on a jury?
- All persons are eligible to serve on a jury except those
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.
- are less than 18 years of age;
- are not residents of the Perrysburg Municipal
- are not citizens of the United States;
- are not able to communicate in the English
- have been convicted of a felony and have not
had their civil rights restored. Pursuant
to Ohio Revised Code Sections 2961.01 and
2967.16, a convicted felon's civil rights
are automatically restored upon release from
- Are there any situations that will automatically
exempt me from jury duty?
- Senate Bill 69, enacted in 1998, removed the
statutory exemptions from jury duty for physicians,
dentists, attorneys, police officers, firefighters,
elected officials, and people over the age of 70.
Senate Bill 71, effective May 18, 2005, allows a
juror over the age of 75 years to be excused if
they request to be excused not later than the date
on which the prospective juror is scheduled to
report for jury duty.
- Is it possible to postpone my jury duty service?
- The computer automation of our jury system makes it
difficult to reschedule jury service dates.
Contact the court as soon as possible if you have
a date conflict.
- Who can be excused from jury duty?
- You should understand that a jury summons is a legal
document. It is not an invitation which you may
casually decline to accept. For this reason all
requests to be excused must be first approved before
you can consider yourself "released" from the
summons and duty to report to the court for jury
service. Include a daytime phone number, so the
court may contact you with its decision. Since jury
duty is a constitutional responsibility, requests
for excuse are not taken lightly. Inconvenience to
a prospective juror or employer is not an adequate
reason to be excused from jury duty.
You are entitled to be excused as a juror if:
A request to be excused should include as many details
as possible, with applicable documentation. For
instance, if you are traveling out of the
jurisdiction, you might enclose a copy of your
travel itinerary or plane tickets, including dates
and places of travel. If you have a mental or
physical condition that makes you incapable of
performing jury service, provide a letter from
your physician stating the reason why you are
not mentally or physically capable of jury
service. If you no longer reside within this
court's jurisdiction, a photocopy of your
driver's license showing your current address
will satisfy the residency excuse.
- The interests of the public will be materially
injured by the juror's attendance;
- The juror's spouse or a near relative of the
juror or the juror's spouse has recently died
or is dangerously ill;
- The juror is a cloistered member of a
religious organization (a place, especially
a monastery or convent, devoted to religious
- The prospective juror has a mental or
physical condition that causes the
prospective juror to be incapable of
performing jury service. Documentation must
be received from a physician verifying the
condition renders the prospective juror
unfit for jury service for the remainder
of the year;
- Jury service would otherwise cause undue
or extreme physical or financial hardship
to the prospective juror or a person under
the care or supervision of the prospective
juror. Undue or extreme physical or
financial hardship does not exist solely
based on the fact that a prospective juror
will be required to be absent from the
prospective juror's place of employment;
- The juror is over 75 years of age (although
you are not disqualified from serving if
you wish to);
- The prospective juror is an active member
of a recognized Amish sect and requests
to be excused because of the prospective
juror's sincere belief that as a result of
that membership the prospective juror
cannot pass judgment in a judicial
- The prospective juror has moved outside
the jurisdiction of Perrysburg Municipal
- The prospective juror has served, by
being seated on a jury, in any court of
the state within the past two years.
- What types of security screening will I be subject to
as a juror?
- To maintain proper security, all persons entering
the courthouse (including courthouse employees) are
subject to search and screening. Bags, cases, and
parcels may be x-rayed and searched.
- What about lunch breaks?
- If you are not selected to be seated as a juror for
the trial, your service will be completed before
lunchtime. A reasonable lunch break will be provided
to those jurors seated on the jury panel. Breaks
will be provided throughout the day at which time
telephones will be available and use of cell phones
Coffee and bottled water, are provided
to all jurors when they arrive for jury
- Is parking provided?
- There are two free public parking lots to the north
and west of the building.
- What type of attire will I be expected to wear as
- Use good judgment and report for jury duty properly
dressed. Shorts, mini-skirts, T-shirts, and tank
tops are not appropriate courtroom attire. Because
temperatures vary in the courtroom and the assembly
room, jurors are encouraged to dress in layers.
- How long will I have to serve as a juror?
- The parties involved in a case usually try to settle
their differences and avoid the time and expense of
a jury trial. Sometimes a case is settled only
minutes before the trial begins. The majority of
jury trials in our court do not go to trial, so
those cases will not need juries. Your time spent
waiting to serve is not wasted as your presence
The Perrysburg Municipal Court operates on a one
trial/one day system for jurors. If the trial you
were summoned to serve on should cancel before your
scheduled report date, you may be asked to call
back into the court one time to cover a second
jury trial date.
It will take approximately two hours to question
and select eight jurors and an alternate. If you
are not selected to be seated as a juror for the
trial, your service is complete and you will be
discharged. If you ARE selected to serve on the
jury panel for a trial, your service is complete
at the conclusion of the trial. When a case does
go to jury trial, it can usually be completed in
one day. Occasionally, a complex trial may go
beyond the first day into a second day or
deliberations may be extended past 4:30 p.m. to
complete a trial in one day.
- Will I be paid for being a juror?
- Compensation varies between counties. In the
Perrysburg Municipal Court you will be paid $20
for a half day (until 12 noon), $40 for a whole
day, and $60 if jurors are required to stay past
5:00 p.m. You will receive payment in the form of
a check by mail approximately 30 days after you have
reported to the court or served as a juror.
- Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
- Your employer is not required to pay you while on
jury duty; however, employers are prohibited by
law from firing an employee or taking any
disciplinary action that could lead to the discharge
of your employment. Check with your personnel
department about your company policy regarding jury
While employers have valid concerns about how jury
service affects their employee resources, they are
encouraged to support the jury system by paying
employees while they are serving as jurors. We need
to make it easier for citizens to report for jury
service if society is to have the benefit of fair
trials. Many citizens cannot afford to serve if
they will lose their earnings during jury service.
A much broader cross section of society will be
free to serve when financial hardship is removed.
This will create juries that are truly
representative and reflective of our society. By
agreeing to compensate employees during jury
service, not only will employers continue to
enjoy the benefits of the jury system, but they
will also contribute toward its improvement.
- What is the juror information system?
- You should receive your jury summons about three
weeks prior to the actual date you have been summoned
to serve. All jurors are to call a special phone
number 419.872.7931 the afternoon before the
scheduled trial date. When you call this number
you will hear a recorded announcement advising
you of the trial status.
You will be advised either:
You may call the court at 419.872.7952 during regular
business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) if you have
additional questions or want to speak to a court
- that the jury trial has cancelled and you do
not need to report for the trial;
- that the trial has cancelled, but you are
requested to call back for a different trial
date within the next three weeks; or,
- that the jury trial is scheduled to proceed
and you are to report for jury selection.
- What happens when I appear for jury service?
- When you arrive at the court, you will pass through
security and be directed upstairs to a jury waiting
area. Coffee and bottled water will
be available while you fill out a prospective juror
questionnaire providing general background
information about yourself to help speed along the
jury selection process. All prospective jurors
take an oath that they will answer truthfully to
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.
It will take approximately two hours to question
and select eight jurors and an alternate. If you
are not selected as a juror, your service is
complete and you may leave.
The most common complaint of jurors is the
unexplained time apparently wasted during jury
selection and trials. What might appear to be a
waste of time to you is actually time being used
by the judge and attorneys working on matters that
must be done outside the presence of the jury.
These events often arise unexpectedly and cannot
be planned for in advance. A case may settle just
before a trial was to start which eliminates the
need for a jury to be assigned. This is
unpredictable and unfortunately may negate the
need for your services that day as a juror. Your
presence may have accelerated this result and
without your knowledge, you will have played a
vital role in our legal system. Please be aware
of these issues and bear with us as we all work
to accomplish our goal of achieving justice for
- What are the different types of cases?
- There are two basic types of cases heard by a jury in
the Perrysburg Municipal Court: criminal and civil.
A criminal case results when a person is accused of
committing a crime. You, as a juror, must decide
whether the person charged is guilty or not guilty.
The accused person is presumed innocent, and the
city or state, represented by a prosecutor, must
prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The person
charged with the crime is called the defendant, the
plaintiff in a criminal case is known as the State
of Ohio. In a criminal case all eight jurors must
agree upon the same verdict.
A civil case results from a disagreement or dispute
between two or more parties concerning money or
property. The party suing is called the plaintiff
and the party being sued is called the defendant.
A municipal court is limited to $15,000 for a
lawsuit. In a civil case, you, as a juror, must
answer questions of disputed facts based upon the
testimony and evidence submitted at trial. An
answer to these questions is called the verdict.
A verdict in a civil case requires that three-fourths
of the jury agree. A total of eight jurors are
seated with one alternate juror. Therefore, in a
civil matter, six of the jurors must agree on a
- What are the benefits of serving on a jury?
- It is understandable that you may be apprehensive
about being called for jury duty. Many fear that
their time will be wasted or that the experience
will be very negative. However, jurors have the
opportunity to learn a great deal about the legal
system. You are directly involved in making our
justice system work, and your efforts help preserve
our American right to a fair trial.
Court officials are careful to treat jurors
courteously. We know how important jurors are to
the task of achieving fair and just results for
those who come before the court, and we want every
juror to leave with a positive opinion about the
experience. The benefits to individuals who serve
as jurors are significant, but most significant are
the benefits of jury service to the entire
- How was I selected?
- You were selected at random from a computer-generated
list of registered Wood County voters. To be eligible
to serve as a juror you must be a resident of the
court's jurisdiction covering the following
geographic area: the cities of Perrysburg, Rossford,
and Northwood; the townships of Perrysburg, Lake,
and Troy; and the villages of Luckey, Millbury,
- I have been called to serve three times in the past
five years and none of my friends have ever been
called. Why don't you pick some other people?
- A computer program randomly selects names from the
master jury file to summons potential jurors. Since
that process is random, some people may be selected
more than others.
- Some people would volunteer for jury service if
you'd let them. Why don't you?
- The Perrysburg Municipal Court adheres to the
random selection process set out in the law. Because
it is random, some people who are willing to serve
may never be asked, and others who do not wish to
serve may be asked frequently.
- I served on a jury three years ago. Do I have to
serve again already?
- Yes. If you served being sworn in and seated on
a jury panel for a trial in any county of the
state, you are prohibited from jury service in
any court of the state for two years. If it has
been more than two years since your last service,
you are required to appear for jury service again,
regardless of how many times you have served in