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Jury Services

Jury Service Information

Jury service is one of the most important civic duties. We recognize the sacrifices made by jurors and appreciate the significant role our jurors serve in the American Justice System. Our judiciary and administrative staff are committed to make jury service as convenient and comfortable as possible.

JURY SCAM ALERT

The Juror Services Division does not call jurors to obtain personal information, including social security numbers and/or financial information.

Juror phone numbers are not contained within our database unless provided by jurors who have served and even then are only called if the date and/or time that the juror was instructed to report has been changed. Jurors who have missed their date of service are notified by mail.

Social security numbers are not contained within our database and we do not request this information from the juror.

If you receive such a call do not give the caller any personal information and if possible record the caller's phone number and report the contact to both our juror office and local law enforcement.

If you have any questions regarding this notice please contact the Juror Services Division at (661) 868-4700.

Jury Selection

On the day you report for jury duty, you will either be involved in jury selection or dismissed from jury duty. If selected as a trial juror, you will be expected to serve for the duration of the trial, which will generally last longer than one day.

Trial duration

There can be a wide variance, but the average jury trial is approximately 5 days, depending upon the type and complexity of the case before the jury. Once the trial has concluded, this will fulfill your obligation for jury service for one year.

Obligation

Every qualified Unitied States citizen has an obligation to serve as a juror when summoned. Trial by jury is a right guaranteed by the United States and California Constitutions. Civil Code of Procedure section 209 compels the attendance of any prospective juror if not excused.

Reporting Instructions

Reporting instructions are updated daily and can be obtained by jurors by going online to the Court’s website or calling the automated system after 6:30 p.m., beginning the evening before their service week begins.

Instructions may vary daily. It is important that the jurors read/listen to the full message and follow the instructions given, which may be to check back the next day for further instructions.

Protecting the health and well-being of our jurors, staff and public is our highest priority. The Court will continue to take precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the virus and to keep our court visitors and employees safe.

Disqualifications

Please submit all excuses or postponements by the Wednesday prior to your report date. If you have any questions, please contact the Jury Services Department at (661) 868-4700.

Jurors can be disqualified if they either provide paperwork showing they are under conservatorship, or they are a conservator for another person. To submit this disqualification online, click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire. Once complete, upload conservatorship papers by clicking the upload documents tab.

Jurors can be disqualified for the following reasons: they are on parole, they are on felony probation, they are serving community service for a felony, they are a registered sex offender or they have committed a malfeasance in office and their civil rights have not been restored. Jurors can also submit this disqualification online by clicking on the Juror Portal If they answered no to all of these questions, they are now eligible to serve jury duty.

Jurors can be disqualified because they are not a U.S. citizen. To submit information for disqualification, click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire.

Jurors can be disqualified for not living in the county. To submit information for disqualification, click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire. If they have been disqualified in the past for not living in Kern County, proof will also need to be submitted by uploading necessary documentation to the Juror Portal through the upload documents tab. Jurors can upload a copy of their current driver license or ID, showing residence outside the county. A copy of a current rental agreement or utility bill, including name and address, is also accepted. We will also accept a current copy of automobile insurance bill, including name and current address. Please update your information with the DMV and/or contact Kern County Voter Registration to update your address. Otherwise, you may be summoned in the future and again would be required to send proof of address.

Jurors can be disqualified if they are under 18 years old. To submit information for disqualification, click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire. Once complete, upload proof at the upload documents tab. Acceptable documents include birth certificate, ID, driver license or school ID, including date of birth.

Excuses

Please submit all excuses or postponements by the Wednesday prior to your report date. If you have any questions, please contact the Jury Services Department at (661) 868-4700. 

Jurors can be excused from jury service due to dependent care obligations. They must meet one of the following requirements:

They are a nursing mother or foster parent. To submit this excuse, click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire.

They are a stay at home parent, non-paid grandparent or other relative, with a child 13 years old or younger, and there is no one else available to watch the child. To submit an excuse, click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire. Please note, if all children at home are above the age of 14, our department does not have the authority to approve excusal.

They only have childcare while they are at work and they have a child 13 years old or younger. Jurors can sign and date a letter, referencing their badge number, stating, “I only have childcare while I am at work. My children are (list ages of the children) and there is no one available to watch the children.” They can mail, scan and email or click on the Juror Portal and upload the letter to the upload documents tab. Please note, if all children at home are above the age of 14, our department does not have the authority to approve excusal.

If they care for a dependent relative, under the age of 70, the juror needs a note from the relative’s doctor stating the juror is a care provider and needs to be excused from jury duty.

If they care for a dependent relative, over the age of 70, who lives with the juror, and the juror is the relative’s full time caregiver, the juror can be excused without a doctor’s note. The juror must sign and date a letter, referencing your badge number, stating, “I am a full time care provider for my (state relative and age) and we live together.” The juror can mail, scan and email or click on the Juror Portal and upload the letter to the upload documents tab.

A juror can be excused if a relative calls and says the juror is deceased. An excuse can also be submitted online. Click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire.

A juror who is employed outside the United States can be excused by submitting a signed and dated letter from their employer, on company letterhead, stating they are employed outside the U.S. If they will be back in the county within the next six months, they should call to reschedule. Jurors can also upload the letter on the Juror Portal to the upload documents tab.

  • Jurors can be excused for financial hardship if their employer does not pay them for jury duty. To be excused, a juror must submit a letter from their employer on company letterhead stating they will not be paid for jury duty. The employer must sign and date the letter. If the employer does not have letterhead, please also submit a business card with the signee's name, copy of current business license, or business stamp the letter. Jurors can also upload the letter on the Juror Login Page by clicking the upload documents tab
  • If the juror is self-employed, they will need to submit a business card or copy of current business license. They can also submit schedule C, D or E of last year’s tax form. A copy of a fictitious business statement is also acceptable. If the juror is not licensed and does not have a business card, they can submit two customer letters stating they are providing services for them and if they report for jury duty, they will not be paid. Letters need to be signed and dated by the customers. To submit an excuse, click on the Juror Portal fill out the questionnaire and upload your proof to the upload documents tab.
  • If the juror is a school district substitute employee, or works for a daycare center, an excuse will not be granted. They can reschedule for the nearest break. If the daycare center does not have a break, they will need to submit a letter stating, "I am a year-round daycare provider with no breaks and will not be paid for serving jury duty."

Jurors can be excused for being an active military member. Click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire.

Jurors can be excused if they live outside the city in which they are summoned and they do not have transportation. To submit the excuse, please sign and date a letter, referencing the juror badge number, stating transportation is not available. The letter can be submitting on the Juror Portal to the upload documents tab.

Jurors can be temporarily excused for medical reasons by submitting a doctor’s note on letterhead or prescription pad. It must be signed in pen and dated. The note is good for 3 years. Jurors can also submit a copy of the most recent Social Security Income or Social Security Benefits letter. Please also include a signed and dated letter, referencing the badge number, stating you cannot serve for medical reasons. You can also upload the letter on the Juror Portal to the upload documents tab and fill out the questionnaire.

Jurors can be permanently excused for medical reasons by submitting a doctor’s note on letterhead or prescription pad. The note must be signed in pen, dated and state, "permanently excused for medical reasons." If the doctor’s note is on computer-generated letterhead, a business card must be attached. If the juror is a patient of BARC, Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, an assisted living center or hospice care, a signed and dated note on the agency’s letterhead will be accepted. Jurors can also upload the letter on the Juror Portal to the upload documents tab.

If the juror is over 70 years old and has a medical issue, they can be permanently excused. They need to notify Jury Services by phone, or by filling out the questionnaire on the Juror Portal A doctor’s not is not required.

Jurors can be excused if they are a peace officer and fall under penal code 830.1 or 830.2(a). Correctional officers, reserve, volunteer or retired law enforcement officers are not exempt. To submit this excuse, please complete the questionnaire on the Juror Portal.

A juror can be excused for being a student if they are going to school outside of Kern County and are not home for breaks. To submit this excuse, click on the Juror Portal and fill out the questionnaire. If the juror is home for breaks, we will reschedule them for when they are home. If the juror goes to a vocational school (Kaplan, UOP, SJVC, or Santa Barbara Business College) they will need to submit a letter signed and dated letter from their counselor on college letterhead, stating they are attending college and when they graduate. It must be signed in pen. If they graduate before six months from their original summons date, they will be rescheduled. If they only attend night school, or certain days, they cannot be excused. Jurors can upload the letter on the Juror Portal to the upload documents tab.

Jury Services FAQs

You are eligible for jury duty if you:

  1. Are at least 18 years old
  2. Are a citizen of the United States
  3. Are a resident of the county where you are summoned
  4. Have not served as a juror within the past twelve months
  5. Are physically and mentally capable of serving

Your name was selected at random from information compiled by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Elections Department.

If you have been summoned for jury duty and fail to report to Jury Services as directed or to be excused from attendance, the following sanctions may apply to you:

  1. You may be attached and compelled to attend.
  2. Following an Order to Show Cause hearing, the Court may find you in contempt of court whereby you could be fined or jailed, or both.

The call in period for Jury Duty is one week. When you are asked to report you are required to serve a minimum of one day. When you are asked to report in for jury duty:

  1. If you are not involved in a trial by the end of your first day of service, you will turn in your juror badge and your service is complete.
  2. If you are involved in a trial by the end of the first day, your term of service will be completed when you are thanked and excused by the court.
  3. If you have been instructed to call in for five days and your group is not told to report to the Jury Services Department by the end of the fifth day, your term of service is complete.

You may request a one-time postponement ( deferral ) of your jury duty to a more convenient time. Please submit all excuses or postponements by the Wednesday prior to your report date. If you have any questions, please contact the Jury Services Department at (661) 868-4700.

If your postponement request is granted, you will receive a new Summons in the mail prior to your requested date.

You may also call the Jury Services Automated Jury System and use your touch-tone telephone to postpone your jury duty without speaking to a Jury Services Representative.

To view types of excuses accepted by the Jury Commissioner please read the topics , Types of Excuses and Disqualifications, on this page.

Your employer is required to let you off to serve as a juror under Labor Code Section 230 Your employer may not discharge you from your employment if you are called for jury duty if you provide your employer with reasonable notice. Your employer does not have to pay you for the time you are serving as a juror.

An average Limited Jurisdiction trial lasts 3 days.
An average General Jurisdiction trial lasts 4 days.
A trial may last from one day to several weeks.

Jury trials normally:
  1. are Monday through Friday
  2. begin at 9:00 AM
  3. recess for lunch between 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  4. end the day at 5:00 PM

You should arrive to court promptly while you are on jury duty because the trial cannot begin until all the jurors are present. If you are late, the judge may fine you. If you are not given the courtrooms number, please contact the Jury Services Office at (661) 868-4700 or via email.

You are not permitted to carry weapons into the court buildings, and you will be scanned for weapons when entering the courthouse. Weapons include:

  1. mace, pepper spray, or tear gas
  2. any blades two inches or longer (pocket knives, knitting needles, nail files, nail scissors, etc.)
  3. guns

Business Casual is HIGHLY recommended.

The following will get you removed from court:
  • Shorts
  • Backless or strapless garments, or garments with "spaghetti" or thin straps baring the shoulders, including halter tops
  • Bare midriffs including "crop tops" (skin should not show between the shirt/top hem and the waistband of the skirt/pant)
  • Tank Tops
  • Hats shall not be permitted unless worn for religious purposes
  • Glasses with darkened lenses unless prescription or worn for medical reasons
  • Bare feet are not permitted
  • Chewing gum
  • Food or drinks
  • The use of tobacco products is prohibited throughout the courthouse

You should be courteous and alert. You may read while you are waiting for court to begin or during recesses but you may not read while court is in session. You must turn off your pager and cell phone or set it to vibration mode rather than ring mode. No gum chewing, food or drink is allowed in the courtroom. Check with your Jury Commissioner if you have any doubts about proper courtroom conduct.

Juror parking is available just south of the court buildings and the railroad tracks.

For those jurors who have a disability placard and wish to serve, you can park in ANY timed area, as long as your placard is visible. Please do not park in “Police Only” spots or county assigned parking spots.

  1. Park only in the juror parking areas outlined in red on the permit. All juror parking areas are located south of the railroad tracks. You may receive a parking citation if:
    1. You park in other than designated juror parking lots.
    2. The wheels of your vehicle are outside the painted lines of the parking space.
    3. Any part of your vehicle is over the lines painted on the parking lot.
  2. Allow sufficient time to locate available, all-day parking prior to reporting. Please use the pedestrian underpass at 14th Street and Chester Avenue or the pedestrian overpass south of Mechanics Bank Arena to avoid the train.
  3. Detach the parking permit on the summons and place the permit on your dashboard.

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