What To Expect On The First Day Of Jury Service

 

If you think you have the basis for an exemption, excuse, or postponement from jury service, you should contact the Jury Staff in writing well in advance of your reporting date. Please review the Qualification and Permanent Excuse/Exemption from Jury Service page.

 


Otherwise, you should plan to arrive at the courthouse at least one half hour in advance of your reporting time. Tampa jurors please note that the Tampa courthouse does not open to the public until 7:30 a.m. and you should plan your arrival accordingly. Parking availability varies widely from one division to another. Please see the parking suggestions on the individual Divisional Court Location pages.

 

Once you arrive at the designated Jury Assembly Room, you will be greeted by a member of the Jury Staff, have the opportunity to ask questions, fill out necessary forms, and be shown a juror orientation film. During this time you will learn about the jury selection process. You will also be administered the juror oath. Shortly thereafter, the process of selecting actual jury panels will begin.


Jurors very often have to wait while important pre-trial activities take place before they are assigned to a particular jury. Reporting jurors are therefore encouraged to bring along books or newspapers to read during breaks. However, once the jury selection or trial begins, reading materials are not permitted unless authorized by the trial judge.


Jury trials can last anywhere from less than one day to weeks, and occasionally longer. The majority of our trials last two to four days. In the event of a lengthy trial, the Court will consider special hardship requests for excuse.