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Trial by jury (also known as petit or regular jury duty) is a cornerstone of our democracy. The Oregon and United States Constitutions protect our right to jury trial. Jury duty is one of the most important rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. All persons chosen for jury duty are selected at random from combined lists of registered voters and DMV records.
Grand Jury is a special kind of jury that hears evidence in criminal cases and votes on whether there is enough evidence to issue an indictment charging a person with a serious crime. Information specific to Grand Jury can be found at the bottom of this page.
Under Oregon law, a person is required to respond to a circuit court summons for jury duty. If you fail to comply the court may order you to appear before a judge and show cause why you should not be held in contempt of court.
Most general questions about jury duty (such as eligibility, compensation and employer conduct) can be answered by referencing the Oregon State Bar’s Juror Handbook. Below is information specific to Lake County.
Please return your Juror Eligibility Response Card no later than 5 days before your report date. Jurors may also respond to their summons online.
Generally jury trials in Lake County begin on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, but on some occasions they can be scheduled to begin on any day. Check in with the court every after 5:00 p.m. to ensure you have the most current information of your Jury term to see if your Juror number has been called for a trial starting the next day. This can be done by accessing our web site or by calling 541.947.6052 or 1.800.657.9450. You will receive instructions on when and where to report. Please listen/review the message carefully and report to the Jury Coordinator as instructed.
Requests to be excused must be made by 2:30 p.m. the day prior to any scheduled trial. You may request days off by contacting the Jury Coordinator.
Only the trial Judge may excuse you after 2:30 p.m. the day prior to any scheduled trial or on the morning of trial. Except under extraordinary circumstances and with permission of the trial Judge, you cannot be excused once you have been sworn as a juror on a trial.
In an emergency, contact the Jury Coordinator as soon as possible and explain the circumstances.
The length of your jury duty term is ninety days. Within your 90 day term you generally will not have to serve more than 10 days. If you are a juror on a trial that will last longer than your 10 days of service and/or past your 30 day term, you must continue service for the duration of that trial. In all other instances, your service will end at the close of the last business day for which you were summoned.
Anyone receiving a Jury Summons needing a special accommodation for health or disability should contact the Jury Coordinator no later than ten days prior to the date of service.
Prospective jurors may be allowed to have jury duty deferred one time, to start no later than one year from the date of the original jury duty. If you would like to defer jury duty and commit to serving within one year, indicate your preferred new date on the response card or in a letter.
A Judge, the Trial Court Administrator or the Jury Coordinator may excuse a person from jury duty for reasons listed in Oregon law (statutory excusal) or for other documented reasons, if good cause is shown.
In its discretion, the circuit court may excuse you from serving jury duty for non-statutory reasons. If you ask to be excused in writing the court may ask for additional documentation to support your request such as a letter from a physician or your employer. The Judge will weigh the basis for your excuse against the public’s need for jurors. The court may deny a request for excuse and require you to serve.
The deadline for written requests to be excused or to delay jury duty is one week before your service begins.
If selected for Grand Jury any requests to be excused for a day must be made through the District Attorney’s office. In an emergency, call the District Attorney's office at 541.947.6009.
The length of Grand Jury duty will be 60 days and jurors will generally be asked to attend twice a week. Once the Grand Jury is selected the District Attorney facilitates and will be able to answer any questions about scheduling and procedures.
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