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About Grand Jury Service

Thank you for serving as a Grand Juror.

What is Grand Jury?

A grand jury is a group of up to 23 people who are called together to do two things:

  • Receive and hear evidence to determine whether probable cause exists to charge someone with a crime; and
  • Conduct certain investigations.
 Grand Jurors do not call in. Grand Jurors must follow the instructions on their letter and summons.
 

Grand Jury Schedule

Grand Jurors serve a 3-month term. The term begins on a Tuesday, which is an orientation day, and service continues each Thursday for 3 months.

Grand Jury vs Trial Jury

The American judicial system has two primary types of juries: the Grand Jury and trial jury. Trial juries are sometimes called "petit" juries because, in French, "grand" means large, and "petit" means small. When the jury system began, a Grand Jury had a larger number of members than a petit jury, thus their traditional names. The Grand Jury in no way serves a more significant (or larger) role than the trial jury. Rather, each performs a distinct but equally important function.

The Grand Jury does not hear both sides of the case and does not determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. This is determined by a trial jury. The Grand Jury only determines whether there is probable cause that the accused committed the crime. If the accused is later tried by a jury, it is a trial jury that determines whether a defendant is guilty of a crime.

Grand Juries generally review criminal cases, while trial juries consider civil cases as well as criminal cases.

Your service as a Grand Juror is important to all the citizens of Maryland. It is an oblibation and a responsibility that ensures equal treatment under the law for all.

Few people are selected to serve on a Grand Jury. Thank you for your dedication and willingness to serve.

Postponement Policy

Montgomery County adheres to a very strict excusal and rescheduling policy. If you have a significant scheduling conflict (e.g., prepaid vacation, business trip), you may take advantage of a one-time courtesy rescheduling option using the online jury system. Alternatively, you may submit a written request to the Jury Office with your completed questionnaire and any required documentation, within 10 days of receipt of the Jury Summons. You will receive notification if your request is granted or denied.

Maryland law recognizes no exemptions on the basis of occupation.

You may also call the Jury Office at 240-777-9090 to reschedule; please have your juror badge ID number available. However, please note that because new jurors are being checked in early each morning, the phone line does not open until 10:00 am Monday-Friday. If you believe that you may be late for any reason, or if you have further questions about your upcoming jury duty, please call the Jury Office at 240-777-9090 during the hours of 10:30am - 4:00pm. Please have your badge ID number available when you call.

Court Closures

An alert will flash up on every screen of the Circuit Court’s website if the courthouse is closed for a court-scheduled holiday, inclement weather, or some other emergency event. Information about how you can be automatically notified via Alert Montgomery is available on the Courthouse Policies page.

In case of inclement weather, listen to your local news station for information about the MONTGOMERY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT only. You may also call the Circuit Court’s pre-recorded message line at 240-777-9399.

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