AS OF AUGUST 25, 2021, PURSUANT TO FLORIDA SUPREME COURT AND FIFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS, FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED IN ALL AREAS OF THE COURTHOUSE WHERE COURT PROCEEDINGS ARE HELD, INCLUDING IN COURTROOMS, HEARING ROOMS, CHAMBERS, AND THE JURY ASSEMBLY ROOM. ADDITIONALLY, ANYONE WHO IS NOT FULLY VACCINATED MUST WEAR A FACE MASK IN ALL OTHER PUBLIC AREAS OF THE COURTHOUSE. THOSE WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED ARE ENCOURAGED, BUT NOT REQUIRED, TO WEAR A FACE MASK IN ALL OTHER PUBLIC AREAS OF THE COURTHOUSE.
Selection of Jurors
To be selected as a juror, you must be at least 18 years of age, possess a valid Florida Driver's License or Identification card, and be a resident of Marion County. A list of Marion County Juror names are supplied quarterly by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to create a "pool" of names from which prospective jurors will be summoned. Each week a list of prospective jurors are selected randomly from this "pool" of names and summoned to appear on a specific date and time. The names of non-driver Florida (Marion County) residents who wish to voluntarily submit affidavits offering their names for possible use in compiling jury lists also may be included.
Please report to the Marion County Judicial Center, 110 NW 1st Avenue, Ocala, Florida 34475. You may wish to bring reading or writing material as delays may occur during jury assignment and selection. However, newspapers are not permitted in the jury assembly room. Free parking is available in parking garage located at the corner of NW 2nd St. and Pine Avenue. Please dress appropriately. Do NOT wear shorts. You may wish to bring a jacket or sweater. Do not bring pocketknives, nail filer, crochet needles, guns, or any item that could be considered a weapon.
Per Florida Supreme Court Rule 2.451(b)(5): All electronic devices will be removed from all members of a jury panel before jury deliberations begin and as directed by the presiding judge. Electronic devices may also be removed from a jury panel at other stages of a trial as directed by the court.
Failure to Appear
In accordance with s. 40.23(3), Florida Statutes, any person who is duly summoned to attend as a juror in any court and who fails to attend without any sufficient excuse shall pay a fine not to exceed $100, which fine shall be imposed by the court to which the juror was summoned, and, in addition, such failure may be considered a contempt of court.
Jurors who are regularly employed and who continue to receive wages while serving as a juror are not entitled to receive compensation from the state for the first three days of juror service. Jurors who are not regularly employed or who do not continue to receive regular wages while serving as a juror are entitled to receive $15 per day for the first three days of juror service. Each juror who serves more than three days is entitled to receive compensation for the fourth day of service and each day thereafter at the rate of $30 per day. Jurors are not entitled to additional reimbursement for travel or other out-of-pocket expenses. A juror who receives unemployment benefits does not lose those benefits due to receiving compensation for juror service. The sheriff, when required by order of the court, shall provide juries with meals and lodging, the expense to be taxed against and paid by the state.
Length of Service
The first day of service is normally limited to jury selection for trials to be held during that trial week. Jurors selected to serve will be required to return on the date(s) of that trial.
Types of Trials
Cases which come before a petit jury are divided into two general classes: Civil and Criminal.
In a civil trial, parties in dispute come into court to determine and settle their case. The person who brings an action against another is the "plaintiff". The person against whom the action is brought is the "defendant".
In a criminal trial, the people of the State of Florida, represented by the State Attorney, brings charges against the defendant. The State Attorney is commonly referred to as the "prosecutor". The "defendant" is a person or corporation accused of a violation of law.
The grand jury consists of 21 members who serve a six-month term, 15 of whom make a quorum. (The term can be extended by the court for up to 90 days to allow for completion of unfinished business.) At least 12 members of the panel must vote in agreement to return an indictment. As prescribed by judicial administrative order, grand jurors are selected from the list of licensed drivers and those who hold valid Florida I.D.'s issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Grand jurors receive compensation on the same basis as trial jurors (see jury pay topic) for each day they meet in session during the term of court. A grand jury has broad powers to investigate a wide range of criminal offenses and to examine the performance of public officials and public institutions. Its deliberations are conducted in secret, in conjunction with the State Attorney or a designated assistant state attorney.
Americans with Disabilities Act
If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in jury service, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the ADA Coordinator at the Office of the Trial Court Administrator, Marion County Judicial Center, 110 NW 1st Avenue, Ocala, Florida 34475, Telephone (352)401-6710, at least 7 days prior to jury service, if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711.