Importance of Jury Service
Trial by Jury is one of the most important rights which Americans enjoy and is unique to our system of justice, as it is guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Ohio. To be called upon to serve as a juror is one of the most important civic duties you may ever perform.
About Jury Week
Juries are summoned 24 times per year. When selected, Jurors are required to report Tuesday or Thursday of Jury week. In general a Trial lasts no more than one day and Jurors are asked to report for only one day of service.
Reporting for Jury Duty
Jurors report at 8:30 a.m. to the Berea Municipal Court, located on the second floor of the Berea City Hall, at 11 Berea Commons. Parking is in the rear of the building and is free. Jurors should enter through the front entrance of the building and proceed through the security checkpoint. After all Jurors have assembled and have been checked in by the Clerk of Courts, the Clerk will explain the schedule and procedure for jury service. Jurors then remain with the Clerk until called for trial and will then be escorted to the Courtroom, by the Bailiff, when the Trial is ready to begin.
The Hotline number is 440-891-3304. The Clerk of Courts has established a special telephone line for Jurors only. Jurors should call the Hotline after 5:00 p.m. on the day before they are to report and listen to a pre-recorded message explaining whether or not Trials will be proceeding the next day. On occasion, all Trials scheduled for the following day are settled before Trial and Jurors are not required to report. Using the Hotline avoids unnecessary trips to the Court.
Juror Selection Process
Jurors are first chosen from the six communities served by the Berea Municipal Courtwhich include Berea, Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, Olmsted Falls, Olmsted Township and Strongsville. The Court’s Jury Commission screens the list of potential jurors and submits a final list to the Clerk of Courts. From the list submitted to the Clerk by the Jury Commission, 40 Jurors are randomly selected for each Jury day. When called for Trial, all potential Jurors take an oath and are questioned first by the Judge and then by the attorney’s involved in the case. This process is called voir dire. The goal of the voir dire is to obtain a fair and impartial Jury for each Trial. After questioning the Jurors, each attorney has the right to excuse a certain number of Jurors and after the attorneys are satisfied with the composition of theJury, the Jurors are sworn in and constitute the panel for that Trial. All non-selected Jurors are then excused. Once called to report for Jury Duty, your service to the Court for the reminder of time that the current Jury Pool will be completed.