Jury Information for Friday, September 24
All jurors are excused and should not report for jury duty.
All jurors are excused and should not report for jury duty.
All jurors must complete the juror questionnaire prior to arriving for service.
Updated COVID-19 Protocol
- Masks must be worn when entering and exiting the building and in all public spaces within the courthouse.
- Masks are required for in-person court proceedings, including jury.
- Social distancing is not required but strongly encouraged.
- Visit our COVID-19 Updates page for full details.
- Check Your Jury Duty Status
- Excusals & Postponements
- What to Expect
- Security Procedures & Prohibited Items
- Attire - Dress Code
- Payment for Jury Service
- Juror Qualifications
Check Your Jury Duty Status
A number of cases settle out of court, requiring fewer jurors than originally summonsed. As such, your service may no longer be required. Updated juror information for the coming week is posted each Friday after 5 pm. You can check your status by calling the Juror Hotline at 863-534-4582 or using our juror app below. If you requested an excusal or postponement, you can also check the status of the request through our app.
Please note, you may need to disable pop-up blockers.
Lakeland & Winter Haven
Free surface parking is available at each location.
The Blue Parking Lot is reserved for juror parking at the Bartow courthouse. This lot is directly west of the courthouse on West Davidson Street. This lot opens at 7 am, and there will be an attendant at the gate to assist you.
All parking lots near the courthouse provide free parking. A paid parking garage is also available in the area. However, parking garage fees will not be reimbursed.
Excusals & Postponements
If you are not available on the date scheduled, you may request one postponement of your service. All requests for excusal from service must be made in writing or via our Juror app days five prior to your reporting date and requests are considered on an individual basis. Minor hardships or inconveniences to a prospective juror or an employer are not legal reasons to be excused from jury service. However, you may request to be postponed for this reason. Please submit your postponement request online through our juror app.
If you are not able to serve on the date scheduled, you may request one postponement.
You may be excused if:
- 70 years of age or older - permanently remove
- 70 years of age or older - onetime excusal
- Responsible for care of person that is incapable of caring for himself/herself (Doctor’s statement required)
- Physical or medical impairment (Doctor’s statement required)
- PERMANENTLY incapable of caring for self because of mental illness, intellectual disability, senility, or other physical or mental incapacity – permanently remove
- Served on a jury in Polk Co. in the past 365 days
- Expectant mother
- Serving in the military
- Practicing attorney or physician
- Law enforcement officer or investigating agency with arrest power
- Parent not employed full-time with custody of a child under 6 years of age
- Upon request, full-time students who are 18 to 21 years of age shall be excused from jury service if they are attending high school, state university, private post secondary educational institution, a Florida College System Institution, or career center.
Length of Service
Length of service may vary; however, you may serve on a jury panel on the same day you report for duty.
Voir Dire or Examination of Jurors
Once prospective jurors are impaneled in a case, the judge and the lawyers will ask about jurors’ backgrounds. These questions are not intended to embarrass jurors, but are designed to assist the lawyers in deciding which jurors to select. Jurors may have strong feelings about the type of case to be tried. If jurors feel they cannot be impartial and this has not been expressed during questioning, these jurors should bring this to the attention of the judge. Excusals from jury service should not be taken personally.
When jurors are excused, it means only that there are proper and lawful reasons for the excusal.
Important Things to Remember During the Trial
After you are sworn as a juror in a case, there are some rules of conduct you should observe:
- Be on time for court. The trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present.
- Sit in the same seat in the jury box. This allows the clerk, judge, and lawyers to identify you more easily.
- Listen carefully. It is important that you hear every question asked and every answer given since your verdict will be based on the evidence given. If you do not understand any portion of the trial, you should ask the judge to explain.
- Do not talk about the case. You should not talk with anyone about the case. This includes the clerk, lawyers, judge, bailiff, and other jurors, unless you have retired to the jury room for deliberations. If anyone tries to talk to you about the case or attempts to influence you as a juror, you should report it to the judge immediately.
- In Accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in jury service should contact the Court Administration Office no later than seven days prior to the date shown on the summons. Please call 863-534-4690 to make arrangements.
Security Screening & Prohibited Items
Enter the courthouse through the North entrance. When you enter the building, you must go through a security screening. Please do not bring anything in your pocket or purse such as the following that will set off an alarm:
- Knitting needles
- Pocket knife
- Scissors, etc.
- Expandable Batons
- Glass Bottles
- Pepper Spray
- Pocket Knives
- Any item that can be used as a weapon
Security personnel will take these items from you. Also, newspapers are not allowed. You may, however, bring a book, magazine, or something to occupy your time while you are waiting for jury selection to begin.
COVID-19 Safety Measures
In addition to routine security, the court has enacted the following safety measures to ensure the well-being of all who enter the courthouse. If you are sick, stay home and contact our office.
- Temperature Check: Each person entering the courthouse will receive a temperature check, and anyone with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will be denied entry
- Screening Questions: Each person seeking entry into the courthouse will be asked the screening criteria questions. Any yes answers will result in denied entry. These questions are listed in the Safe Steps insert included in summons.
- Face Coverings: Face coverings must be worn while in the courthouse.
- Social Distancing: A distance of at least six feet must be maintained between all individuals at all times. Physical markers are in place to support social distancing.
- Cleaning Protocol and Barriers: Heightened cleaning protocols have been established to disinfect surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations are readily available throughout the building.
- Smaller Jury Pools: Smaller jury pools are being used and appropriate distancing measures are in place in all assembly areas and jury boxes. We are also using staggered arrival times for jurors to avoid crowds.
Attire - Dress Code
Casual business attire is required. Do not wear the following that reveals printed material that alludes to offensive or illegal activities:
- Flip Flops
- Tank Tops
Tattoos should be covered by clothing, if possible. Courtrooms are generally cold, and you may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket for your comfort.
Payment for Jury Service
Jurors who are regularly employed and receive regular wages while serving as a juror are not entitled to receive compensation for the first three days of jury service. Jurors who are not regularly employed or who do not receive regular wages while serving as a juror are entitled to $15 per day for the first three days of jury service. Jurors who serve more than three days will be paid by the state for the fourth and subsequent days of service at the rate of $30 per day.
You must be a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age, a resident of the State of Florida and Polk County, and possess a driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Names are randomly selected from the list of names supplied by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Below is a compilation of resources in close proximity to the courthouses that may be useful to jurors during their time of service.