|Location:||Montgomery County Circuit Court
North Tower 2nd floor, Rm 2100
|Hours of Operation:||8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
Notice Regarding Building access to the Montgomery County Circuit Court:
- The building will open at 7:30 AM Monday through Friday.
- The building will close at 6:00 PM on Monday and Friday, and at 8:00 PM Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Call-in Procedure: (301) 309-9351
Also for emergency closure due to inclement weather please call
NOTE: Juror parking is extremely limited, especially on Mondays, and is on a first come, first served basis. Please review the map carefully and arrive ten to fifteen minutes early.
- General Information
- Importance of Jury Service
- Basic Process in Jury Selection
- A Juror’s Guide to Montgomery County Circuit Court
- Summoned Jurors Call-In Information
- Online Juror Questionnaire Form
- Juror/Customer Service Survey
- Policy on Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices
- Emergency Closure Policy
Your job as a juror is to listen to all the evidence presented at trial, then "decide the facts" – decide what really happened. The judge's job is to "decide the law" – make decisions on legal issues that come up during the trial. Everyone must do their job well if our system of trial by jury is to work.
You do not need special knowledge or ability to serve as a juror. It is sufficient that you keep an open mind, use common sense, concentrate on the evidence presented, and be fair and honest in your deliberations.
Remember: Do not be influenced by sympathy or prejudice. It is vital that you be impartial with regard to all testimony and evidence presented at the trial.
Information regarding jury service for your particular date will be broadcast on a telephone recording after 5:00 p.m. on the workday preceding your service date at 301-309-9351. In case of inclement weather, listen to your local news station for information regarding the MONTGOMERY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT only. You may also call the pre-recorded message (240)777-9399, visit the Emergency Closure Policy page, or Jurors Call-In information (301) 309-9351 just before you leave your home to see if there has been a change in your jury service.
Montgomery County recognizes no exemption whatsoever from jury service except for those with severe emotional or physical problems that preclude them from working and are supported by a health professional's certificate; and those who are 70 years of age or older who request to be excused. Any other request to be excused, for example, childcare or occupation, will not be granted.
However, we do have a very liberal deferment policy in order to accommodate your personal situation in most circumstances. If you wish to request such a postponement, please call 240-777-9090 and have available your juror number, last name, date summoned and a date that is more convenient for you to fulfill your jury service.
If you have thoroughly read the Jury Summons, front and back, and still have questions regarding jury service, or you have lost your summons, please call 240-777-9090 for further assistance and information.
We hope you find your experience as a juror interesting, educational and rewarding. Jury service is the foundation of the American judicial process. Your participation in jury service for Montgomery County is invaluable and greatly appreciated.
The cornerstone of our American justice system is trial by jury, and this is a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Jurors perform a vital role in our judicial system. Your job as a juror is to listen to all the evidence presented at trial and determine the outcome of the case. The vow you make in the juror’s oath to help decide the case fairly and impartially should not be taken lightly.
The decisions made by juries affect individuals' civil and property rights, right to freedom, or even to life. Justice depends on the quality of the jurors who serve. Although jury service may be inconvenient or even burdensome, jury service is a duty of citizenship.
Your service as a juror is what makes our judicial system the best in the world.
The Jury Commissioner’s Office maintains a roster of possible jurors called a “jury pool”, comprising Montgomery County residents who are licensed Maryland motor vehicle drivers and/or registered voters. Each year, 80,000 potential jurors are randomly selected from this jury pool. Throughout the year, each of these 80,000 potential jurors receives a Juror Questionnaire to establish whether he/she is qualified to serve as a juror in Montgomery County. The responses to the Juror Questionnaire are reviewed by the Jury Commissioner’s Office in order to determine whether the prospective juror meets the criteria to be qualified to serve as a juror. Once deemed qualified to serve, a Jury Summons will be mailed to the prospective juror with a specific date to fulfill jury service.
Below is a list of questions commonly asked by individuals selected for jury service at Montgomery County Circuit Court:
- How was I chosen?
- What is permitted to be brought into the Judicial Center when called for Jury Duty?
- How do I get to the courthouse? Where do I park?
- What am I supposed to do after I get to the courthouse?
- What's next?
- How long will I serve and how long can a trial last?
- Can I go home during the trial?
- Is it possible to be sent to a courtroom and not sit on a jury?
- What should I wear?
- What about lunch?
- What if I no longer live in Montgomery County?
- What if I'm physically disabled?
- What about my job?
- What if I have an emergency?
- What types of court cases may I hear?
- What happens during a trial?
- Some do's and don'ts
- What if I still have questions?
As a Montgomery County resident, your name was selected, at random, from Voter Registration and Motor Vehicle Administration records for the State of Maryland. You were deemed eligible for jury service based on your answers to the questions on the Juror Questionnaire, and since you are at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a resident of the county in which you are to serve as a juror, and able to communicate in English. You are now part of the "jury pool" -- a group of citizens from which trial juries are chosen.
Here is the short list of items you may or may not bring into the Judicial Center:
- NO weapons, knives, or sharp objects of any kind are permitted.
- Possession and use of cell phones and other electronic devices are limited or prohibited in designated areas of the court facility. An electronic device may not be brought into a jury deliberation room.
- Laptops are permitted. Wireless (Wi-Fi) access is available throughout the courthouse.
- Wooden knitting needles and wooden crochet hooks are permitted.
- You may bring lunch. Many restaurants are available in the immediate area.
- If wearing a belt, you may be asked to remove the belt upon walking through the metal detector.
Please note that you will be asked to go through a metal detector upon entering the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Allow an additional 5-10 minutes to get through security.
The Montgomery County Circuit Court is located at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Jefferson Street (Route 28). The Jurors' Parking Lot is at the corner of Jefferson and Monroe Streets, 301 East Jefferson St. See MAP and DIRECTIONS for more information.
If the Jurors’ Parking Lot is full, there is an “overflow” lot directly across from the Juror Parking Lot. It is the County Office Building Garage.
It is important to be on time when reporting for jury duty. If you believe that you may be delayed for some reason, please call the Jury Commissioner’s Office at (240) 777-9090. After going through the security check point, take any elevator to the Jury Lounge, located on the 2nd floor of the North Tower, Rm 2100, where prospective jurors check in prior to the short orientation. The orientation includes a 10-minute video regarding jury service. Upon completion of the orientation, potential jurors wait in the Jury Lounge until a judge notifies the Jury Commissioner that jurors are needed for a jury trial and they are then sent to a courtroom. Jury trials are usually scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. However, there may be times that you will be asked to wait in the Jury Lounge before being sent to a courtroom.
While waiting to be called to courtrooms, the prospective jurors have access to wireless internet in the Jury Lounge (and throughout the courthouse), as well as personal computers. Magazines and books are also provided in the Jury Lounge for the jurors’ reading pleasure.
In the courtroom, the judge will tell you about the case. He will then introduce the lawyers and others who are involved in the case. You will also take an oath, in which you will promise to answer all questions truthfully. After you are sworn, the judge and the lawyers will question you and other members of the panel to find out if you have any knowledge about the case, any personal interest in it, or any feelings that may make it difficult for you to be impartial. This questioning process is called voir dire, which means "to speak the truth". Although some of the questions may seem personal, you should answer them completely and honestly. If you are uncomfortable answering the questions in front of others, tell the judge and s/he may request that you approach the bench and answer the question in a more private setting with attorneys and/or parties present. Questions are not asked to embarrass you. They are intended to make sure members of the jury have no opinions or past experiences that might prevent them from making an impartial decision.
Any citizen selected for a jury serves for the duration of one trial, however long that trial may last. The average length of trial in Montgomery County is two to three days. Most people who report for jury service are finished in one day, but we cannot predict in advance how long the trials will be for any particular day, so you should be prepared for anything. In addition, the judge may vary daily working hours to accommodate witnesses who have special travel or schedule problems. During trial, you may have to wait in the jury room while the judge and the lawyers discuss questions of law. Judges and other courtroom personnel will do everything they can to minimize the waiting both before and during trial.
Usually. But in extremely rare cases, you may be "sequestered" during the trial or during jury deliberations. This is done to assure that jurors do not hear or see something about the case that was not mentioned in court.
Yes. In some instances, jury trials settle just before the trial is to begin and, therefore, jurors are not needed. We realize this waiting period may be tiresome and your patience during this time is appreciated.
You should dress appropriately when coming to court. Shorts, tank tops, or clothing with offensive language or logos is inappropriate. Your clothes should be neat, clean and comfortable. As a juror, you are entrusted with a great deal of responsibility and should dress consistent with the dignity of court proceedings.
You may bring lunch. There is a full service cash only cafeteria in the building with an ATM machine available.
If you are no longer a resident of Montgomery County, you may not serve on a jury in Montgomery County. Please indicate your new address on the summons, sign it and mail it to us at the address on the Summons.
Judges and employees of the Circuit Court are committed to making jury service accessible to everyone. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, attempts to accommodate all jurors will be made. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to ask a member of the court staff.
Maryland law states that an employer may not deprive an employee of his employment solely because of job time lost by the employee as a result of responding to a Jury Summons, or as a result of attending court for service or prospective service as a petit or grand juror. However, it does not say your employer has to pay you while you serve. Jurors receive an expense stipend of $15.00 per day for expenses incurred which comes in the form of a check. The expense stipend check will be received at the end of the juror’s service, either upon conclusion of a trial, if the prospective juror has been selected as a panel member, or at the end of the day. If a juror is impaneled and that juror’s services are required after 6:00 p.m., the juror will receive an additional $5.00. After five days of jury service, the expense stipend is then raised to $50.00 per day.
Because your absence could delay a trial, it is important that you report each day you are required. If an emergency occurs - a sudden illness, accident or death in the family - inform the court staff so that arrangements can be made for the trial to be scheduled around you.
Jury trials are held in either Civil or Criminal cases.
Civil cases – six-person panel
Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, government agencies, or other organizations. Usually, the party who initiates the complaint is asking for money. For example, a homeowner may sue a contractor for failure to fix a leaky roof.
The party who initiates the complaint is called the plaintiff. The party to whom the complaint is filed against is called the defendant. There may be multiple plaintiffs and/or defendants in the same case.
Criminal cases –12-person panel
A criminal case is a lawsuit brought by the State’s Attorney that charges a person with committing a crime. In these cases, the State’s Attorney is the plaintiff (prosecution) and the accused person is the defendant. The defendant is informed of the charge, or charges, by a charging document called an Information or an Indictment. A defendant may be charged with multiple crimes in the same case. The jury will be asked to consider separately each of the alleged crimes against the defendant.
Events in a trial usually happen in a particular order, although the order may be changed by the judge. Here is the usual order of events:
Step 1: Selection of the jury
Step 2: Opening statements
Step 3: Presentation of evidence
Step 4: Jury instructions
Step 5: Closing arguments
Step 6: Jury deliberations
Step 7: Announcement of the verdict
- DO arrive on time and return promptly after breaks and lunch. The trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present.
- DO pay close attention and take notes during the trial. If you cannot hear what is being said, raise your hand and let the judge know. Notepads and pencils are provided to jurors for notes.
- DO keep an open mind all through the trial. Sympathy or prejudice should not be an influencing factor.
- DO listen carefully to the instructions read by the judge. Remember, it is your duty to accept what the judge says about the law. It is your duty to decide the facts and apply the law to those facts.
- DON'T try to guess what the judge thinks about the case. Remember that decisions made by the judge during a trial do not reflect the judge's personal views.
- DON'T talk about the case or issues raised by the case with anyone –including other jurors – while the trial is going on, and DON'T let others talk about the case in your presence, even family members. If someone insists on talking to you or another juror about the case, please report the matter to a member of the court staff. These rules are designed to help you keep an open mind during the trial.
- DON'T talk to the lawyers, parties, or witnesses about anything while the trial is going on.
- DON'T try to uncover evidence on your own. Never, for example, go to the scene of an event that was part of the case you are hearing. You must decide the case only on the evidence admitted in court.
- DON'T let yourself get information about the case from the news media or any other outside source. Even if news reports are accurate and complete, they cannot substitute for your own impressions about the case. If you accidentally hear outside information about the case during trial, tell a member of the court staff in private.
- DO work out differences among you and other jurors through complete and fair discussions of the evidence and of the judge's instructions. DON'T lose your temper, try to bully, or refuse to listen to the opinions of other jurors.
- DON'T mark or write on exhibits or otherwise change or damage them.
- DON'T try to guess what might happen if the case you have heard is appealed. Appellate courts deal only with legal questions – they will not change your verdict if you decided the facts based on proper evidence and instructions.
- DON'T draw straws, flip coins, or otherwise arrive at your verdict by chance, or the decision will be illegal. It is also improper for a jury to determine monetary awards by averaging the amounts calculated by each individual juror.
- DON'T talk to anyone about your deliberations, or about the verdict, until the judge discharges the jury. After discharge, you may discuss the verdict and the deliberations with anyone, including the media, the lawyers, or your family. But DON'T feel obligated to do so--no juror can be forced to talk without a court order.
Contact Jury Commissioner’s Office:
Montgomery County Circuit Court
50 Maryland Avenue, North Tower 2nd floor, Rm 2100
Rockville, Maryland 20850
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM