Courthouse, Room M2400
I just received a summons. Why me?
If you are an adult U.S. citizen living in Prince George's County, you are in our jury pool. Every three years, a computer may randomly choose you for jury duty.
My summons says GRAND Jury; I got one before that said TRIAL Jury.
What's the difference?
A Grand Jury has 23 people who serve once each week for a period of 4 months. By majority vote, a Grand Jury decides whether to indict or charge someone with a crime.
A trial jury (previously called a Petit Jury) must reach a unanimous decision for a final verdict. In a criminal case, there will be 12 jurors, plus some alternate jurors. In a civil case, there will be 6 jurors, plus some alternates. While all jurors and alternates selected will hear the same evidence, alternate jurors may be excused before deliberations--the time when the jurors decide the verdict.
What is the significance of my Group?
Each group of jurors represents the number of people needed for a trial or group of trials. If that trial or those trials are cancelled for any reason, your group may not be needed. So, you must follow the instructions for your Group. However, if your Group is excused, you may receive another summons in the next calendar year.
How long must I serve as a juror?
If your group is required to report, you must come to the courthouse, without any other obligations, AT LEAST for that full day. Once you appear in the courthouse, you may only be excused by a judge or the Jury Commissioner.
If jury selection extends beyond one day, you may be required to return daily until the entire jury is seated, or until the judge excuses you. If you are selected to serve on a trial, you must return for service daily until that trial concludes and the judge excuses you..
JUROR QUALIFICATION FORM:
Why do I have to fill out the Juror Qualification Form?
You are required by law to answer those questions truthfully, to establish your eligibility to serve as a juror and to provide basic information about yourself.
To complete the Juror Qualification Form online, click here
Who can see my answers?
Most of the information will only be available to the Jury Judge, Jury Commissioner, and
During jury selection, the trial judge and lawyers receive a Jury Information Sheet with the name, age, town, marital status, highest level of education, occupation and spouse's
occupation for each person in the jury panel. The Clerk collects and destroys those sheets after the jury is seated.
REPORTING FOR JURY DUTY:
How often can I be called for jury duty?
You are required to come to court for jury service only once within three years. If you have completed jury service in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County less than three years before the date you are summoned to appear, you may ask to be excused based on your previous service.
When and where do I report for jury duty?
On the date of your summons, if your group must report, you must be in the Jury Assembly Room, Courthouse, Room M-2400, in Upper Marlboro by 7:30 a.m. Bring your summons with you!
Who is qualified to serve as a juror?
If you are a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old, and a resident of Prince George’s County on the date summoned, you are legally qualified to serve as a juror. You may not be prevented from serving because of your race, religion, sex, color, disability, economic status, or national origin.
Who is disqualified from jury duty?
If you are a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, and a resident of Prince George’s County you may still be disqualified if you:
- cannot read, write, speak or understand the English language,
- have a disability that prevents you from serving on a jury (as explained in writing from your health care provider to the court),
- were sentenced to more than six months in prison and have not been pardoned, or
- have criminal charges pending against you for a crime punishable by more than six months in prison.
Who is exempt from jury duty?
Even if you are legally qualified for jury service, you may be exempt - released from your obligation - if you are:
- At least 70 years old, and request exemption (you can write your request on your Juror Qualification form),
- A member of the United States Congress, or
- A member of the armed forces of the United States or the Maryland militia - and your commanding officer or supervisor writes a letter explaining that you are on active duty and cannot serve on jury duty.
How do I get to the courthouse?
Directions and areas for parking are included on the summons; please park at the Equestrian Center (Show Place Arena). Directions can also be found using this link.
Where do I enter the courthouse?
Jurors are encouraged to enter the courthouse through the Marbury entrance. BRING YOUR SUMMONS to show to the Security Officer.
What if I cannot report for jury duty?
You are expected to be at the courthouse on the date and time printed on the summons, unless your group was instructed not to report; in which case you will receive a notice the following year informing you of the date you are summoned to appear. If you have an emergency and you cannot come to court on your assigned date, call the Jury Office, 301-952-4385 (Mon. through Fri., 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). You will be assigned a new date for jury service.
What will happen when I get to court?
When you first enter the courthouse, you will go through a metal detector. You will be asked to put personal belongings in a tray and your handbag, briefcase or other objects may be put through an x-ray machine. Weapons, knives and any kind of sharp objects are prohibited. If you try to enter the courthouse with a weapon, etc., it will be confiscated and you may be arrested. This is for the security and safety of everyone in the courthouse.
You will then be directed to the jury room (M2400) where you will be checked in by a jury clerk and given attendance. You will be directed to take a seat after which the orientation will take place.
What should I do if I have children?
Children are not allowed to come with you when you report for jury service. Childcare is not available at the courthouse. Please, do not bring children or adults needing care with you. If you cannot find childcare, or come to court as scheduled, please contact the Jury Office at 301-952-4385 to reschedule.
What should I wear for jury duty?
There is no formal dress code, but you are in a courthouse and you must dress appropriately for the seriousness of the proceedings.
- Clothing that is neat, clean, comfortable and not revealing.
- Clothing worn for an office job or for a job interview.
- Slacks and a shirt with a collar for men.
- Dress, skirt or slacks and a blouse for women.
- Uniforms (e.g., law enforcement, military, medical, work, etc., except when worn for religious reasons).
- Employer badges or work name tags.
- T-shirts with logos, graphic T-shirts (T-shirts with words or pictures), or undershirts worn as the top layer of clothing.
- Beach or athletic wear.
- Abbreviated clothing (for example, shorts, cut-offs, muscle shirts, halter or tank tops, bare midriffs, exposed undergarments, etc.).
- See-through clothing.
- Hats (except when worn for religious reasons).
Dressing in clothing that is not acceptable or that causes disruption to court proceedings may result in an extension of your service term or another sanction.
You may spend time in a jury deliberation room, so please do not wear strong fragrances.
The courthouse may be chilly – bring a sweater or jacket.
What can I bring to the courthouse?
You might have to wait, so you may want to bring work or something to read with you. The courthouse may be cold – bring a sweater or jacket.
You can generally bring an electronic device (for example, laptop, cell phone, MP3 player), but use is limited or prohibited in certain areas.
Electronic devices must be turned off, inoperable, and not used in a courtroom. In some cases, they are not permitted in the courtroom even if turned off.
Electronic devices cannot be brought into the jury deliberation room.
If you violate the restrictions, your electronic device may be confiscated by security or other court personnel, and you may be arrested.
Be conscious of noise – if you use your electronic device to listen to music, videos, etc., you must use headphones so you do not disturb courthouse staff or your fellow jurors.
While you are on jury service, including while you are in the jury assembly area, you cannot use your electronic device to research, investigate or communicate regarding any case for which you might serve on the jury. You cannot, for example, research a case using online media outlets or other websites. You also cannot communicate about a case on a blog or using social networking, Twitter, text, instant messaging, telephone or email.
Should I bring lunch?
Jurors are permitted to bring their lunch into the Jury Lounge however; food and drinks are not permitted in the courtrooms. There are refrigerators and microwave ovens at the courthouse. Jurors who prefer to eat out will find that there are restaurants near the courthouse; Be sure to be back at the courthouse at the time the judge or Jury Office tells you to return.
Where can I smoke?
Smoking is not permitted inside the Courthouse. You will only be permitted to smoke when you go outside during any court recess.
What if I have a personal emergency?
Because your absence can delay a trial, it is important that you report each day you are required. If you become ill or have a family emergency (such as a sudden illness, accident or death in the family) on the day you are to report for jury service or during a trial:
- Call the Jury Office (301-952-4385) immediately for instructions. Be sure to leave a message with full contact information if no one answers the phone.
- If you report that you are ill, you may be told to ask your physician to send a medical excuse to the Jury Office.
What if my family has an emergency while I’m in a trial?
Your family can call the Jury Office, and identify you by name. If possible, your family should also know the name of the judge presiding over the case; that will make it easier for us to find you.
How will I know if the court is closed in an emergency?
The courthouse may be closed if there is severe weather or another emergency. If you are serving on a jury as a trial juror, follow the trial judge’s instructions. Otherwise, you can find out if the courthouse is closed by:
Calling the “call-in” number on your Juror Summons (301-952-4387),
Public service announcements on your local television or radio station.
Important: Call the court only on the date and after the time on the summons.
If the recorded message tells you not to come to court for jury service, you will have completed your jury obligation only for the remainder of the court year.
If you are told to come to court, you must do so. If, for any reason, you are unable to make telephone contact with the court or have any questions about the message, assume you must come to court for jury service.
The Juror Qualification Form asks for information to make sure that you are legally qualified to serve as a juror. You are legally required to answer these questions truthfully. Your name, age, town, marital status, highest level of education, occupation, and your spouse’s occupation, will appear on the jury information sheet given to the judge and lawyers in the courtroom; all other information will only be reviewed by the Jury Judge, Jury Commissioner, and their designees.
To complete the Juror Qualification Form online, click here