A couple of weeks ago I received my summons for jury duty. As a trial attorney, I deeply appreciate the important role the public plays in the jury system and its critical role in our legal system. I also do not believe that any attorney takes for granted the sacrifice jurors make when sitting on a jury, but I do believe that the appreciation attorneys feel towards jurors is probably not as great as it perhaps should be. Receiving my jury summons truly makes me appreciate what jurors have to go through once they are asked to report for jury duty.
In Los Angeles, when you receive a Summons for Jury Service you have to take affirmative actions in order to ensure that you do not run afoul of your legal obligations. Specifically, the Summons sets forth the duties, you as a potential juror, are required to comply with upon receipt of the Jury Summons.
Registration with the Los Angeles County Superior Court
There are two ways to register with the Los Angeles County Superior Court after receiving your Jury Summons, either by telephone at 213-972-0970 or online at http://www.lacourt.org/jury. You are required to register within 5 days of receiving your jury summons, so do not waste time and miss this deadline.
When calling by telephone at 213-972-0370, be sure to have your Summons for Jury Service in front of you because you will need to provide your Juror ID Number, Pin Number and answer several questions regarding your availability to serve on a jury. The process is rather quick and only takes a couple of minutes.
When registering on-line, you will also want your Summons for Jury Service handy because you will also need to provide yourJuror ID Number, Pin Number and answer several questions regarding your availability to serve on a jury. During this initial registration process, you can ask for a delay in serving on a jury, however simply asking for a delay to serve does not mean your request will be granted. The County of Los Angeles clamped down on bogus excuses for delaying jury service several years ago, so if you do not have a strong, legitimate reason for delaying jury service, your request for a delay will be denied.
On-Call Jury Duty
Jury duty always begins on a Monday, so the Sunday evening before you are to begin jury duty you are required to call the registration telephone number (213-972-0970) or use they jury service portal on the Los Angeles County Superior Court website at www.lacourt.org/jury. You will be informed whether you have to report for jury duty on Monday. If you are not required to report for jury duty on Monday, you do not have to appear at the Superior Court. However, that does not mean you are finished with jury service. Instead, you are required to check on Monday evening to see if you need to report for jury duty on Tuesday.
You keep checking to see if you report for jury duty until, (1) you are required to report to the courthouse for jury duty; or (2) you checked-in everyday from Sunday to Thursday to see if you are required to report for jury duty and on none of those days were you required to report for jury service.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court has a good system in place that only calls people to jury service if they are needed. It lessens the burden on the individual and businesses, while also ensuring that every litigant gets the opportunity to have his or her case heard before a jury of peers.