[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of the County of Delaware 5-16-1979 by Ord. No. 79-2. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Jury Commissioner — See Charter, Section 416.
Jury Commissioner — See Ch. 6.
There is hereby created for the County of Delaware a commission as the Jury Commission hereinafter called "Commission." Said Commission shall consist of three members. One of said members and its Chairman shall be the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. The President Judge may from time to time for cause assign a judge of said Court to perform his duties temporarily. The other two members of said Commission shall be appointed by the County Council of the County of Delaware in accordance with the provisions of Section 416 of the Delaware County Home Rule Charter. In the event that two of the members of the Commission are unable by reason of illness or other cause to temporarily perform the duties imposed upon them by this chapter, the remaining member, if he or she be the President Judge or judge assigned to act in the place of the President Judge, may act alone.
The Commission shall employ an administrative assistant and such other employees as are necessary to assist it in the performance of its duties required by this chapter.
Every citizen of the minimum age eligible to vote for state or local officials residing in the County of Delaware shall be eligible to serve as a juror unless disqualified for one or more of the following reasons:
He or she is unable to read, write, speak and understand the English language.
He or she is over 70 years of age, or is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to render efficient jury service.
He or she has been convicted within the preceding six years of the commission of a felony or of a misdemeanor of the first or second degree under the laws of any jurisdiction punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and has not been granted pardon or amnesty.
No persons shall be exempt or excused from jury duty except the following:
Persons in active service of the Armed Forces of the United States or with the National Guard.
Persons who have served as grand or petit jurors in a state or federal court within the preceding two years.
All ministers of religion and members of religious orders actively so engaged.
All actively practicing attorneys, physicians, dentists, druggists, undertakers and professional nurses.
Persons who are school teachers in public, parochial or private schools and actively teaching.
Persons who are sole proprietors of businesses which are unable to function without such persons.
Persons who have the care of a child or children under the age of 10 years.
Persons demonstrating to the Commission, its administrative assistant or to the Court undue hardship or extreme inconvenience may be excused for such period as is determined necessary, at the end of which period such jurors shall again be summoned for jury duty.
Each year at a time specified by the Court the Delaware County Information Technology Department shall provide the Jury Commission with an alphabetical list and tape copy of names, street addresses, municipalities and zip codes selected impartially and at random from the Voter Registration List of Delaware County. Said list shall contain the number of names as specified by the Court. The names of this list of electors shall constitute the master list of prospective jurors. Said list shall be available in the office of the Jury Commission and shall be open to the public. Any person who was not registered to vote in the current year and who meets the qualification for jurors set forth in this chapter may be added to the master list of prospective jurors by the Commission on its own initiative or upon the application of said person.
At least 45 days before the first day that a prospective juror may be called for service there shall be selected from the master list the number of names designated by the President Judge, said names to be selected in random order to insure a fair cross section of the eligible population of the County. The names, addresses, occupations and numbers of the persons so drawn for jury service shall be typewritten or printed upon a list, and the list shall be posted in the office of the Jury Commission, in the Office of Judicial Support, and such other place or places as the Jury Commission so designates, at least 25 days before the first day that the prospective juror is to report for jury service. These lists shall be signed by the members of the Jury Commission and also by the administrative assistant of the Commission.
At least 30 days before the first day of the period for which said jurors have been drawn for service, there shall be mailed by first-class mail to each person whose name has been selected in a random manner, as set forth in Subsection B, a juror qualification form devised by or for the Jury Commission in such manner that there may be determined from the answers thereto whether or not the particular juror is qualified. The juror qualification form shall be executed by the prospective juror under penalty of perjury, and shall be returned to the Jury Commission within 10 days from the date of the mailing. Should the qualification form not be properly executed or not returned within said period of time, the Commission may request any such juror to appear at the office of the Commission to complete the qualification form or resolve any ambiguity contained therein. In the event the prospective juror fails to appear as directed, the Commission may make application to the Court of Common Pleas for an order requiring the prospective juror to appear before said Court to show cause why he or she has failed to appear. Failure to comply with such order or any further order of the Court after he or she has appeared shall constitute contempt of Court, and the Court may impose a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 10 days, or both.
At the same time and in the same mailing that a juror qualification form is mailed to each prospective juror whose name has been selected, as set forth in Subsections B and C hereof, there shall be mailed to each such juror a summons signed by the Sheriff of Delaware County to appear for jury service at the proper date, time and place. Said summons shall have attached to it a postage prepaid return card setting forth that notice to appear at the hour and date therein stated is accepted. This return card shall be addressed to the said Sheriff. The citizens to whom cards have been mailed and from whom return cards have not been received five days after the cards were mailed to them shall be served personally by the Sheriff or his deputies with notice to appear for jury service at the proper time.
After receipt of the juror qualification form as provided in § 88-4 hereof, the Commission through its members, its administrative assistant, or its duly authorized employees shall ascertain whether or not those individuals returning the questionnaire are qualified for jury service as provided in § 88-2 hereof, and/or whether such individuals should be excused, given an exemption or a postponement of jury duty. The Commission shall notify each prospective juror who has requested to be excused, or an exemption or postponement, whether such request has been granted; if such request is denied, then said notice shall advise said juror of his starting date of service.
The names of the qualified persons as set forth in this section, exclusive of those persons excused, exempted or granted a postponement of jury duty, shall constitute the list of qualified jurors and shall be open to the public. The names, addresses, occupations and numbers of said qualified jurors shall be typewritten or printed upon a list, and the list shall be posted in the office of the Jury Commission, in the Office of Judicial Support, and such other place or places as the Jury Commission so designates.
Jurors shall be chosen for such period of time as the Court shall, from time to time, designate; however, said period of service may be extended by the Court when necessary to complete a trial for which a juror has already been selected.
Except as otherwise provided in Subsection B hereof, the Jury Commission shall maintain a jury wheel or wheels and shall place therein the names of persons included on the qualified list of prospective jurors. From time to time, as provided for in this chapter, the Commission shall publicly draw at random from the said wheel or wheels such number of names of persons as may be required for assignment to jury panels.
Use of mechanical or electromechanical devices or equipment.
The Jury Commission for the selection of jurors in its discretion, in the interest of efficiency, speed and economy, is authorized to use mechanical or electromechanical devices or business machines, including, but not limited to, punch cards, electronic tape, sorting, computing and data processing type devices or machines and any future technological advances or improvements as an aid to it in the random selection, drawing, investigating, summoning, and listing of jurors.
Where such data processing equipment, devices, cards, etc., are being so used, the President Judge may order that such aforementioned equipment, devices or cards, or some of them, be used in the drawing of jury panels, in lieu of pieces of paper and jury boxes as otherwise provided by law. In such case, the President Judge shall direct the manner of use of such aforementioned equipment, devices or cards so as to provide for impartial drawings of the names of the persons to constitute the jury panels and for the preparation of the lists of the names so drawn.
Venire for jurors in the several Courts of Delaware County shall be issued from time to time by the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County specifying the number and type of jurors to be selected, and also the dates and location when and where said jurors shall be present; the form of said venire shall be as prescribed by the Jury Commission.
The form of the summons to the jurors drawn upon each venire shall be as prescribed by the Jury Commission; said summons shall be signed by the Sheriff of Delaware County and shall indicate the dates and location when and where said jurors shall be present for jury service.
Jurors shall receive compensation and mileage allowances allowed by law for each day he or she is in attendance for jury duty. The Jury Commission shall establish appropriate telephone call-in procedures to ensure that no juror shall be in attendance for jury duty on any given day for which his or her attendance is not required.