Why is jury service important?
The United States Constitution guarantees all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status the right to trial by an impartial jury of one's own peers. In order to uphold this guarantee, we need those summonsed to participate in the jury process to ensure every citizen's right to have their case decided by an impartial jury selected from a representative pool of prospective jurors.
Who is entitled to a jury trial?
Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party in a civil case has the right to a trial by jury. All parties are equal before the law, and each is given the same fair and impartial treatment.
What are my duties as a juror?
Your duty as a juror is to weigh all of the evidence and testimony presented to you and to decide the outcome of the case based upon the law and the evidence. Your decision must be fair, impartial, and free of any bias or prejudice. Jury service is the basis of our judicial system and is essential to the administration of justice.
How are jurors selected for a trial?
After a panel is randomly selected and reports to a courtroom, a process known as voir dire begins. During voir dire, the judge and possibly the attorneys will ask you questions to see if you can keep an open mind and be fair. After you have been questioned, you will either be selected or excused for that particular case.
If you are selected, you and the other selected jurors will receive instructions from the judge as to what is expected of you. If you are not selected, you will be allowed to leave. Your name will be placed back into the jury pool to be drawn randomly at a later date.
How long does jury service usually last if I am selected?
If you are selected to sit on a jury, the average trial length is two to four days; although, trials may be longer or shorter depending upon the facts of the case.
What are the different types of cases I might be selected for?
There are two basic types of cases, criminal and civil. In a CRIMINAL case, the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In a CIVIL case, the jury decides whether or not money damages should be given, and if so, how much those damages will be.
Is jury service mandatory?
The United States Constitution and the Nevada State Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury. Failure to attend as directed may subject you to penalties provided by law. All Nye County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they:
- Are NOT a United States citizen;
- Are NOT a resident of Nye County, Nevada;
- Are UNDER 18 years of age;
- Have been convicted of a felony.
Can I be temporarily excused from jury service?
You may be temporarily excused from jury service on account of sickness or physical disability, serious illness or death of a member of your immediate family, undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, public necessity or if you are the primary caregiver of another person who has a documented medical condition which requires your assistance at all times (NRS 6.030).
What should I wear to jury service?
Jurors should dress comfortably, but properly for a courthouse. Shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops and halters are NOT permitted. If you report wearing any of these items, you may be asked to return home at your own expense to change into more suitable attire.
What can I bring with me to jury service?
The jury process can require a juror to wait a considerable amount of time. For this reason, jurors are encouraged to bring a book or other form of reading material with them to the jury assembly room. Laptop computers may also be used. Jurors may NOT bring cameras, Walkmans or radios. Cellular phones and pagers MUST be turned off in the courtroom.
I have small children at home. Does this exempt me from jury duty?
No, but you may request a temporary excuse from service if you have very young children and do not work outside the home.
Can I bring someone to jury service with me?
Yes, they would be allowed in the courtroom during jury selection, but they are not allowed to enter the jury room.
What happens if I do not show up for jury service?
Failure to appear for jury service when summonsed is a serious matter. You may be held in contempt of court and could be fined up to $500.00. It is in your best interest to appear if you are summonsed to avoid any further action (NRS 6.040).