Jury Service Reporting Instructions
Use the Court’s interactive jury reporting system (below) along with your juror badge and pin number from the upper left of your summons to:(1) Confirm if your service is required, (2) Check your current juror status, and (3) Postpone your date of service. Information about reporting for jury service is also available 24 hours a day at (831) 420-2203. Please call after 5:30 PM on the Friday before the date on your summons and each evening of the week you are summoned.
Parking for jurors reporting to the Santa Cruz Courthouse (701 Ocean Street) is available at:
- County Governmental Center Visitors Lot (Front of Courthouse) – Jurors must use two hour visitor spaces. Detach parking pass from juror summons and place on dash to avoid a ticket
- Metered spaces available on Dakota Avenue (Off Ocean Street)
- Street parking on Ocean and Water Streets (very limited)
- City of Santa Cruz Parking Garage located at 24 River Street (between Wells Fargo Bank and the Riverfront Twin Theater)
Orientation to Jury Service
As a juror you participate in an important public process and fulfill a civic obligation. All persons accused of a crime or involved in a civil dispute have a constitutional right to have a jury decide their cases. When you serve on a jury, you make important decisions affecting other people's lives as well as your own community.
All potential jurors are selected at random from a list that is created using contact information from the Department of Motor Vehicles and voter registration lists.
Jurors receive a summons in the mail and are placed on telephone standby beginning with the date printed on the summons and continuing through Friday of that business week. If you are required to report for service and you are not selected for a trial and you are not ordered to return for a second or subsequent day, your term of service will be completed. If you are selected for a trial, your term of service will be the length of that trial.
Trial length depends on how complex the issues are and how long jurors spend in deliberations. Most trials are completed within a week. The judge knows approximately how long the trial will take and he or she will give you an idea when your group is called for jury selection. Judges are aware that long trials can be difficult. Let the judge know if it would be a serious hardship for you to serve on a long trial. Please be patient during this process because a lot of people have similar concerns about time.
Jurors who cannot serve during the date on the summons may use a one-time postponement by calling the Court's automated attendant at 831-420-2203 and following the menu options. Jurors can also postpone using the Court's web-based attendant by clicking the link that is located above that says "Check Jury Status." Please follow the instructions for seeking a postponement. Jurors must select a new date within three (3) months of the date on the original summons. Jurors will receive a new summons by mail approximately one month prior to the newly selected date.
Starting on the second day of service, jurors receive a per diem of $15.00 per day and $0.34 (34 cents) per mile, one way from their residence to the court.
Two types of trials have juries: criminal trials and civil trials. Juvenile and family law trials do not have juries.
No. Staff of the superior courts will never ask past or prospective jurors for personal information like financial history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or Social Security numbers. Do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be associated with the courts, and contact your local jury office if you receive this type of request. If you receive a telephone call, an e-mail or other form of electronic communication from someone identifying himself or herself as a court employee and requesting your personal information, you may be the victim of a jury fraud scam. Please do not provide any information and immediately contact the fraud unit of your local police department and the jury office of your local court.
Selection is random. If you have already responded to a summons or have served in the past 12 months, contact your local jury office. Explain to the staff person that you have been summoned twice in 12 months. It is important for you to contact the court to resolve the problem.
Jurors are summoned randomly from countywide lists maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the local registrar of voters. Inclusion in the list of eligible jurors does not guarantee that you will be immediately selected for jury service. If you have not been selected, you may contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and your local registrar of voters to update your mailing address.
You do not need to speak perfect English to serve as a juror. The court uses common, everyday language that people can understand. The work done by the courts affects all people, so it is important that all communities be a part of our justice system. No one person has to know everything. Jurors decide the outcome of a trial as a group, with each member making an important contribution. If you cannot understand English, follow the instructions on the summons or contact the jury office. If you need assistance, a friend or a family member who speaks English can call for you. However, you may still have to come in person to request a disqualification.
As of January 1, 2020, the state law on convicted felons serving on juries has changed. Current law now prohibits only those felons who are incarcerated in any prison or jail, persons who have been convicted of a felony and are currently on parole, post release community supervision, felony probation, or mandated supervision for the conviction of a felony, and persons who are currently required to register as a sex offender based on a felony conviction. Persons who have been convicted of malfeasance in office and whose civil rights have not been restored are also prohibited from serving on a jury. If you do not fall into one of these prohibited categories, you should report for jury service if you receive a jury summons.
Your employer must allow you time off to serve on a jury. That is the law. The California Labor Code prevents any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned for jury service. School employees and students are protected as well in different parts of the law. However, you must let your employer know well in advance, as soon as you receive your summons. You should contact the court if you have a problem with your employer. Remember that you can postpone jury service to a more convenient time. Read your summons carefully or contact the jury office to find out how to request a postponement.
If you have a child or an adult under your care, you may ask for a postponement or excuse from jury service. Read your summons carefully or contact the jury office. If you are a mother who is breastfeeding a child, you may request a postponement for up to one year by filling out the summons response form.
If you need certain accommodations such as assistance with a wheelchair, hearing amplification, or special seating, contact the jury office right away. Let them know what you will need. If they cannot reasonably accommodate you, you may request to be excused from jury service.
The judge and court staff try very hard to reduce the time prospective jurors spend waiting for assignment. The court asks for your patience and suggests that you bring a book or other reading material to occupy your time while waiting. The judge and court staff will explain delays when possible. The court is equipped with free WiFi Internet access for jurors.
Individuals with medical conditions covered by the American With Disabilities Act of 1990 or other applicable state and federal law and whose condition is unlikely to resolve may request to be permanently excused from jury service. If you meet this requirement and would like to be excused, you must submit information to the court prior to your schedule date of service (on your summons). You must send a written notification to the Court along with a supporting medical letter from your health care provider stating the you have a permanent disability that makes you incapable of performing jury service. The supporting letter must be signed by the provider. Both the written notification and the supporting letter can be delivered in person, mailed, or emailed to the following locations:
- Superior Court of Santa Cruz County
Attention Jury Services
701 Ocean Street, Room 101C
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- Or Email: email@example.com
You will be promptly notified about whether your notification to be excused has been granted or denied. If you are granted an excuse, you may contact the Court at any time to be reinstated but you must include a note from your medical provider that indicates that you may be instated. If you are denied an excuse, you may reapply at any time. See California Rule of Court 2.1009 for more information.