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Juror FAQ

INTRODUCTION
This page provides basic information to prospective jurors about the Colorado Jury System and the Westminster Jury System. The jury system is a very important part of the court process in Colorado. The opportunity to serve on a jury allows you to become better informed about your courts and the law. Citizens who serve as jurors usually feel a sense of pride and respect for our system of justice.

Since 1990, Colorado law has made jury service more convenient by using a one day / one trial system. This means that, in each calendar year, persons summoned for jury service must serve only one day or, if selected for a trial, for the length of that trial.

To serve as a juror, a person does not need to have knowledge of the law or other special skills. A citizen must use common sense, keep an open mind and be fair, impartial, and honest. Each attorney advocates for his or her side of the case. The judge determines the law that will control the trial. Jurors must decide what the facts are by listening carefully to the evidence presented and actively participating in jury deliberations. The judge explains the law and the jurors apply the law to the facts to come to a decision.

Your service as a juror will be respected and appreciated by litigants, attorneys, judges, court staff and other citizens. The judges and staff of the Westminster Municipal Court thank you for your service as a juror.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the legal qualifications for jury service?
1. You must be a United States citizen.
2. You must be 18 years of age or older.
3. You must read, speak, and understand English.
4. You must not have a physical or mental disability that would prevent your ability to serve as a juror, although reasonable accommodations must be made to permit you to serve as a juror as a result of a physical disability.
5. You must not be solely responsible for the daily care of a permanently disabled person living in your home.
6. You must live in the City of Westminster.
7. You must not have served as a juror in any court within the past 12 months.
8. You are not presently scheduled to serve or appear as a juror during the next 12 months.

If you do not qualify to serve because of any of the reasons listed above, you should discuss your situation with the jury commissioner’s clerk at 303-658-2250.

You may be required to provide written proof of disqualification. By law, there are no economic, age-related, or occupational exclusions from jury service.

How do I check to find out if I should report for jury duty on the date I’ve been summoned?
Jurors should call 303-706-3135 after 6 p.m. the day before the appearance date listed on the Juror Summons and listen to a recorded message prior to reporting. This message contains reporting instructions and is updated before your jury service date. There are times that not all jurors summoned need to report for service. Calling and listening to this message eliminates the inconvenience of unnecessarily appearing the morning of trial.

How was I chosen for jury service?
Pursuant to Westminster Municipal Ordinance 1-22-11, a jury list is drawn from a list made from the voter registration list provided to courts of record in Adams County and Jefferson County, City directories, if any are available, motor vehicle license lists, and from any other source in order to insure a composite cross section of the population of the City. Names are selected at random through a computer system.

What if I have other commitments for the date I’m supposed to appear?
Call the number listed on your questionnaire or summons (303-658-2250). A jury clerk will work with you to select a mutually agreeable date for service. You should call at least a week before the day that you are scheduled to appear.

What if I no longer reside in the City of Westminster?
You must inform the jury commissioner in writing of your new address to be excused from service. Your new address information should be provided as soon as you receive your questionnaire or summons.

What if I am not a citizen of the United States?
If you are not a citizen of the United States and have received a summons, please make certain that you have your green card or passport visa number available, provide that information on your juror questionnaire, and return the questionnaire to the jury commissioner.

Am I paid for Jury Service?
Your employer has a duty under state law (Section 13-71-126 C.R.S.) to pay wages up to $50 per day if you are regularly employed. Employers may pay more than $50 by mutual agreement.

In accordance with Westminster Municipal Ordinance 1-22-12, the court will pay persons summoned to jury duty a fee of three dollars ($3) per day and will pay persons selected to serve on the jury a total fee of six dollars ($6) per day or part of a day for which they serve on a jury.

Can I lose my job if I serve as a juror?
Colorado State law protects a juror’s job. Section 13-71-134 C.R.S. says, “An employer shall not threaten, coerce, or discharge an employee for reporting for jury service as summoned.”

When are trials scheduled?
Jury trials are scheduled every Thursday.

How long do trials last?
Trials usually last one day and can extend past 6 p.m. Please be prepared to stay beyond 6 p.m. if necessary. You may have to wait before you are placed on a jury. During trial, you may have to wait in the jury room while the judge and attorneys settle legal questions. Judges and court personnel will do what they can to minimize the waiting time during trials. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.   What will happen after I appear at the court?

o Prospective jurors are to report by 7:15 a.m. the morning of jury service. Please arrive on time. The trials cannot start until all jurors have reported.

o All citizens entering the Westminster Municipal Court building are subject to search and confiscation of unauthorized or prohibited items or weapons.   This is done for everyone’s protection.  Please allow extra time for security screening.

o Prohibited items include aerosol containers, alcohol, marking pens, chains, concealed or deadly weapons, controlled substances, explosives, glass bottles, handcuffs, handcuff keys, martial arts or illegal weapons, knitting needles, knives, nail clippers with file attached, pepper spray, mace or any other type of gas, scissors, tools of any size or type.  At the discretion of the security guards, any items or weapons that pose any harm or danger are prohibited in the Court Building. 

o Electronic Equipment (cell phones, pagers, I-pods, I-phones, E-Readers, etc.) - All electronic equipment shall be turned off prior to entering the Court Building and shall remain off while in the building except if use is allowed by the Judges in the Courtroom.

o Laptops - Only attorneys scheduled for court hearings or trials will be allowed to enter with a laptop.  However, the laptop shall be turned off prior to entering the Court Building and shall remain off while in the building except if use of the laptop is allowed by the Judges in the Courtroom.

o Cameras and/or Video Recorders - No cameras or recording devices are allowed into the Court Building without prior approval of the Judge. 

o You will receive a juror badge and will be directed to the jury assembly room.

o A clerk will collect your completed Juror Questionnaire that was sent along with your summons.  Be sure to bring the completed Juror Questionnaire with you on your jury service date.

o You will watch a brief jury service video. You are required to remain in the jury assembly room until the clerk assists you to the courtroom.

o In the courtroom the judge will tell you about the case, and then introduce the attorneys and others involved.

What will happen if I fail to return my Juror Questionnaire and/or appear on my assigned date?
Failure to respond or appear may result in a Show Cause Order and/or Bench Warrant being issued subjecting you to the imposition of fines and/or jail time.

What should I wear?
Dress comfortably but not too informal – shorts, halter tops, tank tops, beachwear, and t-shirts are not appropriate for court appearances. Hats are not allowed unless worn for religious purposes.

Further information:
If you need more information or wish to discuss your status for jury service, please call the jury commissioner’s clerk at 303-658-2250.

The Municipal Court is located at 3030 Turnpike Drive (see map by clicking this link).  

Note: Some of the information contained in this section is from Westminster Municipal Ordinances 1-22-10 through 1-22-12 and the Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 13-71-101 through 13-71-145.

 

 

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