(Adopted by the Pennsylvania Bar Association)
I am a juror, I accept the position not only as an honor but as my solemn duty.
I will remember the men who died to give us, and retain for us, the right of trial by jury, and I will reflect upon the fate of those people whose government gives them no such right.
- Instructions for Jurors(Sample Summons)
- Confidential Juror Information Questionnaire (Criminal)
- Confidential Juror Information Questionnaire (Civil)
- Juror’s Handbook (Civil)
- Glossary of Terms
About our Courts
- About the Courts
- A Short History of Pennsylvania Courts
- Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System: A Citizen's Guide
How was I chosen for Jury Duty?
Jurors are randomly selected by a computer from a combined list of voter registration records, property assessment recordsand driver registrations.
What do I do when the summons and the questionnaire arrive?
Jurors should make note of the scheduled day to appear and fill out the Confidential
Juror Questionnaire and return it in the provided envelope to the Jury Commissioner’s Office.
How often may I serve Jury Duty?
Usually a juror is called once every 2-3 years.
I recently served on jury duty. Do I have to serve again?
If, for McKean County, you served one day within a one year period of your summons or served at least three days in a three year period, you will be excused if requested.
Is there an age limit for Jury Duty?
Anyone 18 years old or older may be selected.
I'm not a McKean County resident. Am I still eligible to serve?
Only those who reside within the County can serve as jurors.
I am a full-time student and unable to miss classes. Will I still have to serve?
A written request explaining why missing the class would be an extreme inconvenience or undue hardship must be sent to the Jury Commissioners.
I take medication and/or have medical problems. Do I still have to serve?
Please answer question 15 on the questionnaire appropriately and also send a written doctor’s note explaining the effects of the medication or medical problem.
I am on active duty in the military. How can I be excused?
Those on active military duty can be excused. Please send a written request to the Jury Commission.
What if I am unable to serve on the day I was called?
In most cases, the court will do what it can to accommodate you and often permit you to postpone the date. Please send a written request to the Jury Commission.
My employer said it will create a hardship for them if I serve on Jury Duty. Is my job protected in any way?
An employer may not deprive an employee of his/her employment, or threaten or otherwise coerce a person because you received a summons to serve. Any employer who violates this law is guilty of a summary offense. If they penalize an employee for serving, the employee, within six (6) months, may bring a civil action against the employer to recover lost wages and benefits. The employee also is allowed a reasonable attorney's fee fixed by the Court. However, this only applies if a retail or service employer has 15 or more employees and if a manufacturing employer has 40 or more employees.
My employer does not pay me while serving on jury duty. Do I still have to serve?
Check with your employer to make sure they do not pay you while serving. Many unions provide for jury duty pay in their union contract. However, employers do not have to pay employees for jury duty. Otherwise, excuses based on financial hardships will be determined on an individual basis.
I haven't lived in McKean County for quite some time. Why did I get a jury summons?
Chances are your name was selected from the voters' registration list. The Election Office does not remove names unless you notify them, in writing, that you are no longer a resident. If you send the Jury Commission Office a signed statement that you are no longer a resident and request to have your name removed from the voters' registration list, we will excuse you from jury duty and forward your request to the Election Office. Please include both your old and new address.
I've been selected for jury duty and would like to serve, but I'm disabled and require special assistance. What should I do?
Please contact the Jury Commissioners one week before the scheduled hearing and they will explain the assistance that is available. The Courthouse is equipped to accommodate those with disabilities.
Will I be paid for jury service? If so, when will I receive payment?
You will receive $9 per day for the first three (3) days you report and $25 per day for any days thereafter. In addition, for those who live outside the Smethport city limits, jurors are compensated for mileage at the rate of 17 cents per mile. You should receive payment by check within 3 to 4 weeks after your service is complete.
What should I bring with me to Jury Duty?
We recommend that you bring something to read.
Can I bring my cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device into the courthouse?
Cell phones are not permitted in the Courthouse. If you bring a cell phone into the courthouse you will be required to check it with security. You may bring into the courthouse a reader (Kindle, Nook, Ipad or Tablet). If your device has a camera or an internet connection you must disable them before using your device.
What should I wear?
You should wear comfortable clothing that reflects respect for the court. Men should wear a collared shirt and slacks. Women should wear a loose fitting blouse with pants or a skirt. Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops and sports clothing should not be worn.
I have sent in a written request for excusal but haven't heard anything. What should I do?
It is your responsibility to check on your juror status. Call our office (814-887-3205) for an update. Your request for excusal may have been denied, and therefore, you will need to either report or phone-in as instructed on your summons. Another possibility is your request or our reply may have been lost in the mail.
What if I am sick or have an emergency on the day I am required to serve?
Call the court directly and inform us of your situation. Do not simply fail to appear as you may be subject to penalties.
What happens if I ignore my summons?
A juror summons is a court order. Any juror who fails to appear when summoned may be fined or imprisoned for contempt of court.
What kinds of cases will I hear as a juror?
Jurors hear either criminal or civil cases. I n criminal cases, a District Attorney or
Attorney General, referred to as the prosecutor, acting on behalf of the citizens of
Pennsylvania prosecutes a case against an individual or an entity accused of a crime. T he person or entity accused of the crime is referred to as the defendant. In civil cases, an individual, entity or governmental agency brings a suit against another individual, entity or governmental agency. The party initiating the lawsuit is referred to as the plaintiff, and the party defending the suit is the defendant.
What will I do on the scheduled day to appear?
Jurors are to report at 8:30 AM to Courtroom No. 1, Second Floor, McKean County
Courthouse, 500 West Main Street, Smethport, PA. You are required to bring with you your summons and photo identification. A member of the tip staff will seat you according to your jury number. You will remain seated and await further instruction by the Court.
You may spend some time waiting to be selected as a juror. Such time is not wasted. Your mere presence as a prospective juror in a case may help the Court in settling the case, thus avoiding the need of what might have been a long and costly trial. The lawyers know you are prepared to sit in judgment of the evidence to be presented and render a verdict. The moments just before trial are often the best for the settlement of a case. In a great many instances, the lawyers will retire with the judge to his chambers. There, they will resolve certain factual or procedural matters that have prevented them from agreeing upon a settlement, with the result that a compromise is reached or a guilty plea entered and no trial is required.
The Courthouse has a “no smoking” policy.
http://telephonecallinWhat is the telephone call-in procedure?
After you have received and responded to your summons, the following is the telephone procedure to be followed based upon your service date from your summons. You must call the Jury Information Line: (814) after 4:30 p.m. on the business day prior to the date of your service. This tape recorded message indicates whether or not you are required to report the following morning or the next day that court is in session.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
District Court Administrator
(814) 887-5571 ext. 4305
Office Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Mon. – Fri.
McKean County Jury Commission
500 W. Main Street
Smethport, PA 16749
(814) 887-5571 ext. 3202
Betty Comes (814) 368-6366 (home)
Wanita Lane (814) 642-2177 (home)