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Click here for Jury Status Information

Parking is located on the three sides of the courthouse: the south side, the north side, and the east side. There is no charge for parking.

For information, please call our Jury Coordinator at 863-993-4876.

How are Jurors summoned for Jury Duty?

Jurorsí names are randomly selected from the list provided by Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The number to be selected is ordered by the Judge. Back to top

What qualifies you to be a Juror?

You must have a valid Florida Drivers License or Identification Card and be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of DeSoto County. Back to top

Are there any exemptions for serving as a Juror?

Yes, jurors are exempt from service for one of the following reasons:

  • Served as a juror in DeSoto County within the past 12 months;
  • An expectant mother;
  • A parent that is NOT employed full-time and has custody of a child under six years of age;
  • Are 70 years of age or older;
  • A full-time law enforcement officer;
  • Responsible for the care of a person who is incapable for caring for themselves;
  • Convicted felon or currently under prosecution of any crime;
  • Not a citizen of the United States;
  • Not a resident of DeSoto County.

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What happens if you fail to appear for Jury Duty?

Willful failure to respond to a juror summons may be considered contempt of court, punishable by up to $100 in fines and/or possible incarceration in the local jail for a period determined by the presiding judge. If you would like to request a postponement or excusal, click here for the appropriate form. Back to top

Will I receive payment for Jury Duty?

Jurors who are regularly employed and who continue to receive regular wages while serving as a juror are not entitled to receive compensation for the first three days of 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 will be paid by the state for the fourth day of service and each day thereafter at the rate of $30 per day of service.

A juror excused from jury service at his/her request is not entitled to receive compensation. Back to top

If I'm chosen to be a juror, what type of case will it be?

Cases that come before a petit jury are divided into two general classes: Civil and Criminal.

In a Civil trial, parties in dispute come into court to determine and settle their respective rights. 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 persons bringing the action are the people of the state of Florida, represented by the "prosecutor". The "defendant" is a person or corporation accused of a violation of law. Back to top

What is Voir Dire?

Once a prospective juror has been impaneled in a case, the judge and the attorneys will ask some questions regarding his/her background. These questions are not intended to embarrass a juror in any way. The questions are to assist the attorneys in deciding which jurors to select. A juror may have a prejudice regarding the type of case to be tried that would make him/her a less desirable juror for the case. If the juror feels that he/she can not be an impartial juror and the questioning does not bring this out, the juror should bring this to the attention of the judge.

If a juror is excused for any reason, it is in no way a reflection on the juror. When a juror is excused, it means only that in the particular case it is proper and lawful to excuse him or her. Back to top

Important things to remember during the trial.

After you are sworn as a juror in a case, there are some rules of conduct which you should observe:

  • Be on time for court. The trial can not proceed until all jurors are present.
  • Sit in the same seat in the jury box. This allows the judge and attorneys to identify you more easily.
  • Listen carefully. It is important that you hear every question asked and every answer given since your verdict will be based on the evidence given. If you do not understand any portion of the trial, ask the judge to have it explained.
  • Do not talk about the case. You should not talk to anyone about the case. This includes the clerk, attorneys, judge, bailiff or even another juror unless you have retired to the jury room for deliberations. If anyone tries to talk to you about the case or attempts to influence you as a juror, you should report it to the judge immediately. Back to top

Who do I contact if I have a disability and need assistance to participate in Jury Duty?

In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in jury service should contact our Jury Coordinator at 863-993-4876, no later than seven days prior to the date shown on the summons. If you are voice or hearing impaired call 1-800-955-8771. Back to top