Being summoned for jury duty can be intimidating. Here is a preview of the first day.
You should plan to arrive at the courthouse at least 30 minutes before your reporting time. The Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa courthouses open at 7:30 a.m. The Fort Myers and Ocala courthouses open at 8:00 a.m.
A common mistake is going to the state courthouse, not the federal courthouse. Be sure to check the address on your summons rather than relying on where you think the courthouse might be.
Courthouse parking is unavailable, but parking garages and metered parking surround each courthouse in the district.
You cannot bring a cell phone or electronic device into the courthouse. This prohibition does not apply if you are selected as a juror. For jurors, they may store cell phones and electronic devices in secure lockers available at no charge.
You should dress in courtroom-appropriate attire, akin to business or church attire. You should bring a sweater or jacket because the courthouses can get very cold. You should bring something to read during downtime. Once trial starts, certain reading material may be off-limits (the presiding judge will give you instructions on what you can and cannot read). There are vending machines in the courthouses but no cafeterias. There are refrigerators to store your own food.
Once you arrive, you will pass through a security checkpoint. Have your identification and summons ready for review. From the checkpoint, you will be directed to the jury assembly room.
In the jury assembly room, you will be greeted by a staffer, have an opportunity to ask questions, fill out forms, watch a juror orientation film on the jury selection process and the importance of jury service, and take an oath.
From the jury assembly room, you will be directed to a courtroom to participate in jury selection. Depending on the case, jury selection can last one hour or most of the day. At the end, you will either be excused from service or selected to serve on the jury.