Jury Duty


Jurors perform a vital role in the American justice system. The protection of our rights and liberties is largely achieved through the teamwork of judge and jury who, working together in a common effort, put into practice the principles of our great heritage of freedom. The judge determines the law to be applied in the case while the jury decides the facts. Thus, in a very important way, jurors become a part of the court itself.

Any inconvenience and financial sacrifice that might be made to render public service as a juror are greatly appreciated by the judges, the lawyers, and your fellow citizens. It is a strong act of citizenship akin to paying taxes, serving in the military, and voting.

The reward for a juror’s services lies in the awareness that he or she has performed a high duty of citizenship, and in the realization that he or she has aided in the maintenance of law, order, and in the administration of justice among his or her fellow citizens.
Juror Eligibility
The American justice system is based on a trial by a jury of one's peers; thus, a cross-section of jurors is necessary. The list of potential jurors is compiled by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania courts from information from the Departments of Human Services, Transportation, Revenue, and State. A juror is permitted to serve every three (3) years.

In order to be eligible to serve, an individual must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen and a permanent resident of Greene County
  • Be able to read, write and understand English
  • Be physically and mentally capable of serving
  • Not have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. 

Anyone unable to serve due to medical reasons may be excused, but all medical excuses must be supported by a letter from a physician.
                              Jury Duty Compensation
The average case in Greene County runs for two days. Jurors receive $9 a day and $25 each day after the third day, plus a 54.5 cents per-mile mileage reimbursement rate. 

There is no legal requirement that employers must pay you while you are on jury service. Ask your employer what the company policy says because companies differ. Some employers ask you to supply proof that you were at court on jury service. Court Administration will provide you with a letter to verify your service with the court at the time of jury selection. 

               Courtroom Accessibility/Accommodations
Our courtrooms are accessible to people with disabilities. Elevators are available. If you have hearing, sight, or mobility concerns, please advise the Court Administration Office prior to your service (724) 852-5237. 

   Exemptions from Jury Duty
No person shall be exempt or excused from jury duty except the following:

(1)  Persons in active service of the armed forces of the United States or of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


(2)  Persons who have served within three years next preceding on any jury except a person who served as a juror for fewer than three days in any one year in which case the exemption period shall be one year.


(3)  Persons demonstrating to the court undue hardship or extreme inconvenience may be excused permanently or for such period as the court determines is necessary, and if excused for a limited period shall, at the end of the period, be assigned to the next jury array.


(4)  Spouses, children, siblings, parents, grandparents and grandchildren of victims of criminal homicide under 18 Pa.C.S. § 2501 (relating to criminal homicide).


(5)  Persons who have previously served for a term of 18 months on a Statewide investigating grand jury, including any extensions thereof, who opt not to serve.


(6)  Persons 75 years of age or older who request to be excused.


(7)  Judges and magisterial district judges of the Commonwealth and judges of the United States as defined in 28 U.S.C. § 451 (relating to definitions).


(8)  Breastfeeding women who request to be excused.


Persons who may be exempt or excused for Reasons 1 and 2 may be automatically excused by the President Judge or a presiding Judge or Court Administrator only. However, the Act in providing for exemption or excuse for undue hardship or extreme inconvenience may be excused permanently or for such period as "the Court" determines necessary.
                                            Instructions
             Official notifications will be sent to each of the selected jurors with specific instructions.                      
Parking:
The county provides free parking for jurors in the North Parking Lot (gravel lot to the east of the paved Greene County North Parking Lot) located behind Jan's Country Nook & Hardware. Please fill up this lot first. Once the gravel lot is full, you may park in any space remaining in the paved Greene County North Parking Lot.

All jurors will receive a parking permit that must be displayed on their windshield throughout the entire term of court to which you were summoned. 

Jurors parking anywhere other than Greene County North Parking Lot(s) are subject to all applicable parking restrictions and all fines incurred.

Do NOT park in borough municipal lots or in metered spaces. 

Click here for a map of the parking area.

Additional Parking Instructions:
In the event there is no additional parking in the North Parking Lot(s), the Greene County Maintenance Staff will direct you to a parking lot between Belko Foods' parking lot and the First Baptist Church. Please plan to arrive early in order to make the walk to the Courthouse by 9:00 a.m. Thank you for your assistance. 

Lunch:
Lunch is provided each day of a trial but not on jury selection days. 

Jury Selection Day:
All jurors must appear for service by 9:00 a.m. each day unless otherwise instructed. Court Administration will notify jurors if scheduling changes occur and jurors are not required to report for jury duty. 

All jurors are required to go through a metal detector upon entering the courthouse and should bring their summons with them. Jurors should not bring newspapers, recording devices or weapons of any type. Jury Selection does take time, you may want to bring a book or digital device. There will be morning, afternoon, and lunch breaks. Depending on the number of cases scheduled, you may be asked to report for an additional jury selection in the future. 

Juror orientation takes place in courtroom 1. Court Administration will register you upon entering the courtroom. A court Tipstaff takes juror names upon entering the courtroom.
 
Jury Deliberation

The judge explains the law and provides guidance on procedures to be followed. One of the first things the jury does during deliberations is to choose a foreperson. The foreperson should make sure that each juror has a chance to speak; that each juror's opinion is treated with respect; that the jury does not rush to come to a verdict; that jurors carefully listen to one another; and that they return a fair and impartial verdict based upon the facts of the case.

In criminal cases, a unanimous jury is required to find the defendant guilty. In civil cases, 5/6 of the jurors must be in agreement. 

After the Jury Reaches a Verdict
Once the jury reaches a verdict, the foreperson informs the court that the jury has reached a verdict, and everyone is called back to the courtroom. The verdict will then be announced. After the verdict is announced and recorded, the jury has completed its duties and is discharged.
After discharge, jurors are permitted, but not required, to talk about the case. Jurors are not permitted, however, to disclose what another juror said in the jury room. If anyone attempts to communicate with a juror regarding his or her role as a juror in a way that one feels is improper, the juror should report the incident to the court administrator as soon as possible. 
Frequently Asked Questions:
  • Why should I serve as a juror? 
    The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of trial to any person accused of a crime. In addition, citizens rely upon jurors for the protection of life, liberty and property. Jurors aid in the maintenance of law and order, and their presence as jurors is invaluable. On occasion, they may be required to wait for what seems a long time, but their attendance makes possible the operation of many important phases of the trial procedure. Absences would cause all of these proceedings to be delayed. Those who serve as jurors are participating in one of the fundamental institutions of democracy.

  • What kind of job protection do I have while serving as a juror? 
    An employer may not deprive an employee of his or her employment or threaten or otherwise coerce a person because they served as a juror. Any employer who violates this law is guilty of a summary offense. If an employer penalizes an employee for serving on jury duty, the employee, within six (6) months, may bring a civil action against the employer to recover lost wages and benefits. The employee also may be  allowed a reasonable attorney's fee fixed by the court.

    There is no provision in the law requiring an employer to pay an employee wages while on jury duty. However, statistics show that approximately 87 percent of juror costs are borne by the employers in the form of jury leave. 

  • How am I compensated for jury duty? 
    In accordance with state law, jurors summoned to serve receive compensation at the rate of $9 a day for the first three days that they shall be required to report for service and $25 a day for each day thereafter. In addition, jurors are compensated for mileage at the rate of 54.5 cents per mile. Jurors will be compensated at the end of the trial term after all trials have been held. 

  • Where do I park while serving on jury duty? 
    Greene County has designated parking for jurors, located in the Greene County North Parking Lot (gravel lot beyond paved Greene County North Parking Lot ), as free parking for Greene County residents while serving on jury duty. Greene County North Parking Lot  (gravel lot) is located behind Jan's Country Nook & Hardware, and is east of the paved Greene County North Parking Lot . Please fill up this lot first, once the gravel lot is full, you may park in any space remaining in the paved Greene County Parking Lot .

    Jury members MUST display their juror parking permit (which will be sent to each juror with their jurors package). The parking permit is valid for the entire term of court to which you were summoned. If you misplace your parking permit contact Court Administration at Greene County Courthouse, Room 218,  Waynesburg, PA 15370 724-852- 5237. 

    Jury Members parking anywhere other than the designated Greene County North Parking Lot(s) are subject to all applicable parking restrictions and all fines incurred. DO NOT PARK IN THE BOROUGH MIUNICIPAL LOTS OR IN METERED SPACES.

    Jurors with special parking needs (handicapped) should contact the Court Administration Office at 724-852-5237 prior to reporting for jury duty for other possible parking options. 

  • Click here for a diagram of the parking area. 

  • In an emergency, can I postpone my jury duty? 
    Persons summoned to serve for jury duty may request temporary postponement or deferral of service due to emergencies, extreme inconvenience or hardship. Upon request, the court will then defer the prospective juror to a later to a more convenient date. The court tries to be reasonable and accommodating and will carefully consider every situation.

  • What if I have a medical condition; can I be excused from jury duty? 
    Anyone unable to serve due to medical reasons may be excused, but all medical excuses must be supported by a letter from a physician.

  • Who can I contact about rescheduling my jury duty? 
    For a postponement or excusal  or for any questions concerning jury service, please call the office of Court Administration at 724-852-5237. 

   * What if I ignore my summons for jury service?
A jury summons is a court order. If you ignore it, you are subject to arrest and prosecution. 

* What if I have moved out of the jurisdiction or received a jury summons for a deceased relative?

Please call Court Administration (724) 852- 5237.

* What happens if I am late and cannot get to the court before the time the trial starts?
Telephone the court administrator as soon as possible (724) 852-5237.