What to Expect During Jury Duty
Jury Duty can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you have never served before. We want to make sure you know what to expect during jury duty so that you feel as prepared as possible when you are called to potentially serve on a jury.
Things to Know
Parking / Public Transportation
Please visit our parking and directions page to get exact directions and information on where to park when coming to the courts.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court jurors who choose to use public transportation can request free RTA passes from our Jury Commissioners.
If a person uses public transportation on their first day of jury duty, they can request a complimentary one-way pass to return home. If they are scheduled to return for jury duty the next day, they may request an all-day pass.
The passes are in addition to daily compensation provided to jurors.
Jurors are paid at the rate of $27.00 per day. Payment is made by check, 2-3 weeks after the completion of jury service.
The Court of Common Pleas provides public, non-secure wireless internet access for jurors serving on jury duty. Wi-Fi details are available at check-in when you report for jury service.
The Common Pleas Court uses a red lanyard marked "Juror". The badge will not set off the metal detectors and does not use a pin that damages clothing or punctures skin. A pin may be provided if all of the lanyards are in use.
Please expect to go through a metal detector when you arrive at the courts. Even if you are licensed for a conceal-carry weapon, you will be arrested if you try to bring a gun into the Justice Center. Only law enforcement personnel are allowed to be armed. Items that could be considered weapons include, but are not limited to, pocket knives, knitting needles, letter openers, and box cutters.
What to Wear
A trial is a formal legal process and jury service is a serious civic responsibility. Jurors should take this into consideration with respect to attire. Appropriate dress is required. Jurors should not wear shorts, tank-tops, sheer/mesh shirts, flip-flops, or clothing containing statements or offensive symbols. Dressing with a light layer is advised as temperatures may fluctuate within the building.
If you cannot find the answer to a jury duty question in the information below, you can contact the jury commission directly by email at email@example.com, or by calling call the Jury Commission Information Number: (216) 443-8628.
Called To Serve
Watch our introduction for new jurors, which you will also see when you arrive for service.
The Grand Jury
The Ohio Supreme Court produced this grand jury video to educate potential grand jury members and the public. In Ohio, a grand jury decides whether the state has good enough evidence to bring felony charges against a person alleged to have committed a crime. Felonies are serious crimes, ranging from murder, rape, other sexual assaults, and kidnapping to drug offenses, robbery, larceny, financial crimes, arson, and many more.
Grand Jury Jurors. On the front of your summons above your mailing address you will see the phrase "OFFICIAL GRAND JURY SUMMONS. DO NOT FORWARD OUT OF COUNTY." Also on the front of your summons, just left of your mailing address, you will see a Court Room and Time to report to on the date of your service. Grand Jury jurors serve two days a week for four months if selected.
Petit Jury Jurors. On the front of your summons above your mailing address you will see the phrase "OFFICIAL JURY SUMMONS. DO NOT FORWARD OUT OF COUNTY." Petit jurors are instructed to report to the 4th floor Jury Commission on their report date at 8:00 a.m. Petit Jury service is normally one week. However, if you are serving on a jury and the trial is not completed by the end of the week, you will be required to continue to report until the trial is concluded.
The instructions about your service are also outlined between Sections 1 & 2 of the summons.
A temporary deferral of jury duty can be granted under certain circumstances only for Petit jurors. Grand Jury jurors are not eligible for a temporary deferral.
If your service at this time presents a hardship, you must submit a request, in writing, to the Jury Commission, Justice Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44113, or by fax: (216) 443-3044.
You must submit your request for deferral as early as possible following receipt of your summons for jury duty.
If you have a medical excuse, you must submit a doctor's statement containing condition and prognosis.
Remember, in most cases, this is not an exemption, but only a temporary postponement of jury duty.
If you believe you may be exempt from serving, you should note the reason on the back of your jury summons and return it to the Jury Commission.
Under a Ohio law, only cloistered members of religious organizations are exempt from jury service. (Ohio Rev. Code. §2313.14)
The following are disqualified, and thus may not serve as jurors:
Persons who are no longer residents of Cuyahoga County.
Persons who have served as jurors in a court of record in Cuyahoga County within the past two years. (Ohio Rev. Code. §2313.21)
If you believe you may be exempt from serving, you should note the reason on a separate sheet of paper, and return it to the the Jury Commission with completed information form. Do not return the summons.
If you are not currently a resident of Cuyahoga County, please return your information with a form showing your current address.
Petit Jury Service: The length of jury duty for Petit jurors is normally one week. However, if you are serving on a jury and the trial is not completed by the end of the week, you will be required to continue to report until the trial is concluded. You will be advised if the trial is expected to last past the end of the week, so that you may make appropriate arrangements.
Grand Jury: Grand Jury service is two days a week for four months, if you are selected.
Petit Jury Service: On your first day Petit jurors should report to the 4th Floor of the Justice Center at 8:00 a.m. for orientation. Court hours are normally 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you are not in trial, lunch break is 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., and you will be excused for the day at 3:30 p.m. If you are in trial, the trial judge will advise you of the Court's schedule.
Grand Jury Service: For Grand Jury, jurors are instructed to report directly to the court room shown on the front on their summons. Don't forget to check the time you are to report. Depending on which Grand Jury you were summoned for, you could be reporting at either 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. on your report date.
The instructions about your service are also outlined between Sections 1&2 of the summons.
You should plan on spending at least part of your stay outside the courtroom waiting to be called for a trial. You may bring reading material and other appropriate items to occupy your time when you are not in trial. We do have books, magazines, and games on hand as well.
There are several restaurants of various price ranges within a short walk of the Justice Center, and there is a Cafeteria located on the 4th floor of the Justice Center, around the corner from the Jury Commission. On Mondays during the summer, food trucks come to Huntington Park across the street from the Justice Center.
Announcements of closings of government offices, including the Justice Center, are made over radio and television stations, the same as with school closings. We will also tweet closings. You can follow us on Twitter: @CuyCommonPleas
Petit Jury Service: Telephone the Petit Jury Bailiffs (216-443-8625) and advise them of your situation. They will either answer your questions or inform the Court accordingly.
Grand Jury Service: The Grand Jury Bailiffs can be reached at (216) 443-8666 or (216) 443-8652.
Huntington Park (Corner of W. 3rd & Lakeside)
We encourage our jurors to enjoy downtown Cleveland while they are here. On Mondays during the summer, we host lunchtime food trucks in Huntington Park across the street on Lakeside Avenue.