Jury Duty

You will be expected to report for jury duty on the date shown on your summons. If you believe that you do not qualify because of one of the reasons below, you may return the juror excusal form to our Jury Clerk.

The exemptions from reporting for jury duty are as follows:

The Clerk's Office can excuse you from jury duty for one of the following reasons:
  • You have served as a juror in Sumter County within the past 12 months
  • You have been convicted of a felony and have not had your civil rights restored
  • You are 70 years of age or older
  • You are an expectant mother or a parent that is not employed full-time and has custody of a child under six years of age
  • You are a full-time Federal, State, or Local Law Enforcement Officer or Investigative Personnel for these entities
  • You are not a citizen of Sumter County
  • You are not a citizen of the United States

The Judge will review the following request and the Clerk will notify you of the Court’s decision.
  • You are responsible for the care of someone mentally or physically unable to care for themselves
  • You are a practicing attorney or physician
  • A person may be excused from jury service upon a showing of hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity


Selection of Jurors
To be selected as a juror, you must be at least 18 years of age, possess a valid Florida Driver's License or Identification card, and be a resident of Sumter County. Juror names are randomly selected from a list provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The names of non-driver Florida (Sumter County) residents who wish to voluntarily submit affidavits offering their names for possible use in compiling jury lists also may be included.

Reporting
Please call the jury recording at (352) 569-6990 after 5:00 P.M. on the Friday before the date you are to report for jury service for instructions concerning your attendance. Jury status updates will also be posted to the Events Calendar located on the home page of this website each Friday before a scheduled Jury Summons date.

You will be directed to report to the 1st floor of the Sumter County Judicial Center. Jury service lasts for one day or, if you are selected for a jury, for the length of the trial. Please dress appropriately. Do not wear beach attire or shorts. Bring a jacket or sweater because courtrooms are air-conditioned.

Failure to Appear
In accordance with s. 40.23(3), Florida Statutes, any person who is duly summoned to attend as a juror in any court and who fails to attend without any sufficient excuse, may be considered in contempt of court.

Juror Pay
Jurors who are regularly employed and who continue to receive wages while serving as a juror are not entitled to receive compensation from the state for the first three days of juror service. Jurors who are not regularly employed or who do not continue to receive regular wages while serving as a juror are entitled to receive $15 per day for the first three days of juror service. Each juror who serves more than three days is entitled to be paid by the state for the fourth day of service and each day thereafter at the rate of $30 per day of service. Jurors are not entitled to additional reimbursement by the state for travel or other out-of-pocket expenses. A juror who receives unemployment benefits does not lose such benefits because he receives compensation for juror service. The sheriff, when required by order of the court, shall provide juries with meals and lodging, the expense to be taxed against and paid by the state.

Length of Service
The first day of service is normally limited to jury selection for trials to be held during that trial week. Jurors selected to serve will be required to return on the date(s) of that trial. In Sumter County the Judge's try to select all jurors on the first day and the remaining jurors are excused for the term.

Types of Trials
Cases, which come before a petit jury is divided into two general classes: Civil and Criminal.

In a civil trial, parties in dispute come into court to determine and settle their case. The person who brings an action against another is the "plaintiff". The person against whom the action is brought is the "defendant".

In a criminal trial, the people of the State of Florida, represented by the State Attorney, bring charges against the defendant. The State Attorney is commonly referred to as the "prosecutor". The "defendant" is a person or corporation accused of a violation of law.

Grand Jury
The grand jury consists of 15 to 21 members who serve a six-month term of duty with the court. (The term can be extended by the court for up to 90 days to allow for completion of unfinished business.) At least 12 members of the panel must vote in agreement to return an indictment. As prescribed by judicial administrative order, grand jurors are selected from the list of licensed drivers and those who hold valid Florida I.D.'s supplied by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. They are paid on the same basis as trial jurors (see jury pay topic) for every day they meet in session during the term of court. A grand jury has broad powers to investigate a wide range of criminal offenses and to examine the performance of public officials and public institutions. Its deliberations are conducted in secret, in conjunction with the State Attorney or a designated assistant state attorney. Grand jurors are given the following oath, as prescribed by F.S. 905.10:

You, as grand jurors for Sumter County do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will diligently inquire into all matters put in your charge and you will make true presentments of your findings; unless ordered by a court, you will not disclose the nature or substance of the deliberations of the grand jury, the nature or substance of any testimony or other evidence, the vote of the grand jury, or the statements of the state attorney; you shall not make a presentment against a person because of envy, hatred, or malice, and you shall not fail to make a presentment against a person because of love, fear, or reward. So help you God.


Americans with Disabilities Act
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in jury service should contact the Courts Administrators Office no later than seven days prior to the shown date on the summons. The Juror may contact their office by phone, (352) 569-6088.