1. Is Jury Service mandatory?
Yes, it is. It is a civic duty and a right of citizenship.
2. Where do you get the names for Jury Duty?
We receive names annually from a list compiled by Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters and from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
3. Do I need to call before I come?
Yes, you will need to call (209)548-6293 or check this website at or just after 5:00 p.m. the day before you are scheduled to appear to get reporting, cancellation or call back instructions. If you are asked to call back for the afternoon, you must be able to appear within an hour's notice.
4. Where is the courthouse located?
The entrance to the courthouse is located at 800 11th Street in Modesto between H and I Streets. You will need to go through the metal detectors and then take the stairs or elevator down to the basement. The jury assembly room is located in the basement of the courthouse. Our office hours are from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and our phone hours are from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
5. What if I do not qualify?
Complete the Not Qualified section on the Summons and return it to our office within five (5) days. Make sure that you sign, date and put your phone number so if we have any questions we can contact you.
6. Can I reschedule?
Yes, if you have a conflict with the date you are scheduled to appear you can get a one-time postponement up to 90 days maximum. Call the jury office at (209)548-6293 to reschedule. You may also mail in your request or go to the juror postponement form on our website. You cannot postpone on the day of appearance or the day before you are scheduled to appear.
7. What if I am a student?
Being a student does not excuse you from serving. However, you may request a postponement.
8. Is childcare provided?
No, but you can request a postponement to allow you time to make necessary arrangements for childcare. Children will not be allowed into court.
9. Can I be excused for medical, mental or physical disability reasons?
A juror must provide an original physician's verifying note on a prescription pad or letterhead signed by a doctor. The note must state the specific medical reason you are unable to serve and how long the illness or problem will exist (length of excuse).
10. What is the term of service?
"One Trial or One Day". Nearly 80% of those summoned serve one day or less. You should, however, always be prepared to serve more than one day just to be on the safe side.
11. How long does an average case last?
In most cases, three to four days. We do have longer cases, as do all other courts.
12. How long will I be there?
A typical day is from around 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The day could be shorter but it is rarely longer. The jury office hours are actually from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
13. Can my employer prevent me from attending?
Notify your employer the day you receive your summons. Your employer must allow you time off to serve on a jury. This is the law*.
(*Labor Code 230 states: "No employer shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trial jury, if the employee, prior to taking the time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer that he or she is required to serve.")
This code is intended to prevent any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned for jury duty service and who has given reasonable notice of when the employee is to serve. Please read Section 230(a) of the California Labor Code.
14. Does my employer have to pay me when on Jury Duty?
There is no law that requires your employer to pay you. Check with your supervisor or personnel department before coming to Court.
15. Will I be paid by the Court?
Yes, fees are $15.00 per day plus mileage of $0.34 per mile, one way. Fees are paid beginning on the second day of service. At the conclusion of the trial you will receive a check for your fees.
16. Will I be sequestered in a hotel room?
The Court has not sequestered a jury.
17. Is there an age limit to serve Jury Duty?
There is no specific age limit. The courts, however, have a policy which states that if you are 70 years or older you can request to be excused for age and health reasons without providing a doctor's note.
18. Is there a dress code?
Yes. No shorts, no tank tops and no t-shirts or sweatshirts with offensive language are allowed.
19. Where do I park?
Free parking is available along 8th Street between K and L Streets. Pay parking is available at the parking garages located along 9th Street and 11th Street. Pay metered lots are also within walking distance to the courthouse. Please refer to the map on your summons for parking locations or view the summons form on our web page.
20. Can I take the bus?
You may use your jury summons as a complimentary bus pass to and from the courthouse or transportation center on your first day of appearance. If selected to serve as a juror, bus passes will be provided upon request.
21. What if I lose my summons?
We can provide you with a substitute qualifying statement when you appear. Call the jury office at (209)548-6293 to obtain information regarding your jury service.