You may be called to serve on jury duty if you are at least 18 years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of Chester County.
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The court system is taking the necessary actions to protect the safety of court staff, court users, judges and the public, guided by general CDC and Department of Health recommendations. The Judiciary is working to protect public health while ensuring that individuals retain their fundamental state and federal constitutional rights to trial by jury. To that end, the Department of Health assisted the judiciary in developing recommended guidelines designed to ensure that jury selection and jury trials can be conducted safely.
If you are unable to appear for jury service due to COVID-19 related reasons, please submit a request for your jury service to be postponed or to be excused as soon as possible after receiving your Summons for Jury Service. You may also contact the Jury Office directly. If you are sick, this includes having a fever, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 on the day you are expected to appear for jury service DO NOT REPORT. Contact the Jury office at 610-344-6174.
Enter the Justice Center through the Market Street entrance. Take the elevator to the 5th floor. Make a left and follow the hallway to the Jury Assembly Room, Suite 5325.
Chester County uses residents who are registered to vote with Chester County Voters Services. The required number of jurors for a particular day are randomly selected and summoned to appear for jury service.
Jury selection is a random process. As such, there is always the chance that a person may never be called while another may be called several times.
No. Jury service is a civic obligation. No one is automatically excused because of their occupation. Many doctors, lawyers, dentists and school teachers have served as jurors in Chester County. Not even the judges themselves are exempt from jury service.
If you are selected to serve as a trial juror, your jury service will be for the length of that trial. Most trials take between one and five days to complete. Because of this, DO NOT make any appointments or commitments that would interfere with you serving on a trial that may take up to five days to complete. If you are not selected as a trial juror, your length of service will be two days.
When you arrive, you will need to check in with jury personnel. A brief orientation will be provided by a jury commissioner advising you of the jury selection procedures. During jury selection you will be told about the length of the trial. Any conflicts that you may have will be addressed during jury selection.
The normal business hours for the Chester County courts are 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. You may be required to report at a different time. The phone call-in system will advise you of the specific time to report if your services are required. If you are seated on a trial, you may serve later than 4:30 p.m. Breaks and a minimum of one hour for lunch will be provided.
After you receive and respond to your summons, you must call the Jury Information Line: 1-800-223-5879) or 610-344-6597 after 5:00 p.m. each day prior to your service dates. Service dates are listed on your jury summons. Instructions concerning reporting time will be given via a recorded message. Please listen carefully and follow all instructions. Jurors scheduled for Monday and Tuesday must call Sunday and Monday evenings. Jurors scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday must call Monday and Tuesday evenings. Jurors scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday must call Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Jurors scheduled for Friday must call Thursday evening.
Per Pennsylvania law, jurors are paid $9.00 per day for the first three days of jury service and $25.00 per day for every day thereafter. PA law also requires payment of mileage at the rate of 17 cents per mile. Mileage is calculated by using a zip code table from the Chester County Justice Center to the center of the zip code listed in the mailing address of the juror.
No, Pennsylvania law does not require an employer to compensate an employee for jury service. Check with your employer for their policy.
The law provides that such conduct is contempt of court and can be punishable by fine and or imprisonment.
Pennsylvania law does not exclude persons over the age of 18 due to age. However, Chester County is liberal with excusing senior citizens upon written request for good reason.
The number of jurors needed by the court changes daily. An adequate number of jurors must be summoned each day to cover potential trials. We try to summon as few jurors as possible.
Only persons for whom jury service would be an extreme hardship may be excused. Should you need to be excused from jury service or have your jury service postponed, YOU MUST SUBMIT A REQUEST IN WRITING to the Jury Commission’s Office, Chester County Justice Center, P.O. Box 2746, West Chester, PA 19380-0989. Please include your juror number and service date with your request. These requests must be in writing and will not be accepted over the phone or via email.
Parking is provided for jurors in the Chester County Parking Garage located directly across the street from the Chester County Justice Center. You must show your juror information sheet to the parking attendant to enter the garage. After entering the garage, proceed to the third floor where an attendant will be on duty between 8:00am-8:30am to admit jurors - plan to arrive accordingly. When approaching the two gates located on the third floor please use the gate on the left side. Once the attendant has opened the gate, you will be directed to park on the top floor.
Reminder: If you leave the garage during the day you cannot get back in. The County will pay for your parking in the above-mentioned parking garage ONLY. There are two entrances to the garage - from Market Street and from Wollerton Alley.
If there is inclement weather and the county has a delayed opening, the time to check into the parking garage will be adjusted accordingly. For example, if the county opens on a one-hour delay, parking will be open from 9:00 am – 9:30 am.
If you have an emergency on the day your are scheduled to report for jury duty, please call the Jury Commission Office at 610-344-6174 before 9:00 a.m.
Please use good judgment and dress conservatively We suggest simple business attire that is comfortable and not extreme in style. This helps maintain the dignity of the court. Blue jeans, shorts, tank tops and tee shirts are not suitable.
Yes, all persons entering the Justice Center are subject to a security search and will be required to pass through a metal detector. Please do not bring any sharp objects with you (scissors, pen knives, knitting needles, etc).
In case of inclement weather, always visit chesco.org (a banner will appear at the top of the page if there is a weather delay) for any updates regarding jury service OR call 1-610-344-6000 after 6:30 a.m. If the County is running on a one-hour delay, you may arrive for jury service beginning at 9:00 a.m. If there is a two-hour delay, you may arrive for jury service beginning at 10:00 a.m.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have greatly limited the number of jurors that are called in each day. The maximum capacity for our Jury assembly room is 55 and is currently the maximum number of Jurors called in at one time. Juror’s reporting time may be staggered between an 8 am reporting time or an afternoon reporting time, further decreasing the number of jurors appearing for service at any one time.
If the jury message says that individuals with jury numbers 1 through 100 report for service, 100 jurors do not report to the jury assembly.