Maryland Courts

Office of the Jury Commissioner
Steve Merson, Jury Commissioner
Telephone: 410-313-3804 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fax No.: 410-313-2413
Email: howardjuryservice@mdcourts.gov

Juror Information

Grand Jurors | Trial Jurors | FAQs

Jury service is one of the most important civic obligations that citizens have. If you have received a Summons and Juror Qualification Form, you may use our online system to confirm the date you are to report for jury service and to fill out your Qualification form. You may also reschedule your jury service date online (ONE TIME ONLY). Please complete the qualification form online by selecting the above box. If you have documentation to attach to your form, you can e-mail attachments to: howardjuryservice@mdcourts.gov. You may also return the completed form by mail within ten days of receipt to the Office of the Jury Commissioner at the address above. Be sure to attach any required documentation. Save the lower portion of the form to bring with you when reporting for jury duty.

Grand Jurors

Howard County Grand Jurors serve for a four-month time period, reporting every other Wednesday. Grand jury cases are usually criminal and require jurors to determine if there is enough evidence to issue an indictment.

Trial Jurors

Howard County Trial Jurors are summoned for one-week. Trial Jurors hear Civil and Criminal cases. The average length of trial in Howard County is two days. To avoid unnecessary appearances please call the recorded telephone message at 410-313-4462 or 410-637-5222 before your reporting date. The message is updated FRIDAY evening and is on all weekend. Listen for instructions for your GROUP NUMBER. Your GROUP NUMBER is on the bottom right portion of your summons. If your GROUP NUMBER is not called to report, continue to call the recorded message each evening after 5:00 p.m. to receive instructions for the following day. If your GROUP NUMBER is not called at all to report during your assigned week, your jury service is complete. PLEASE MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE MESSAGE.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How was I selected for Jury Service?
  2. What do I do with the form I received in the mail?
  3. Can I submit the juror qualification form online?
  4. I no longer live in Howard County do I still have to serve?
  5. I am not a citizen of the United States do I have to serve?
  6. I am over 70 years old; do I still have to serve?
  7. Which day of the week will I appear for jury service?
  8. What if I have a vacation, medical appointment etc. during my assigned week?
  9. Can I be excused because of a medical condition?
  10. Do I get paid for Jury service?
  11. Is there a dress code?
  12. What can I bring to the Courthouse?
  13. What if I have a disability or special needs?
  14. Can I be excused because of my job?
  15. Can Jury service place my job in jeopardy?
  16. Is there childcare available?
  17. What is the inclement weather policy?
  18. How do I get to the courthouse/where do I park?
  1. How was I selected for Jury Service?
    You were selected at random from a fair cross section of citizens residing in Howard County. The cross section is drawn from a consolidated list of Howard County residents who are registered to vote, licensed drivers, or identification card holder’s aged 18 and over.
  2. What do I do with the form I received in the mail?
    Please read the form in its entirety. Complete the top half of the form Part B, and please return that portion to The Office of the Jury Commissioner along with any required documentation to be excused or rescheduled within ten days.
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  3. Can I submit the juror qualification form online?
    Yes you can. Click on the Complete Juror Qualification Form box above or visit http://mdcourts.gov/jury. Follow the online instructions and wait for confirmation.
  4. I no longer live in Howard County; do I still have to serve?
    If you no longer live in Howard County please see Question 12 on the qualification form. Provide the documentation requested and you will not have to report.
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  5. I am not a citizen of the United States, do I have to serve?
    If you are not a citizen please see Question 11 on the qualification form. Provide the documentation requested and you will not have to report.
  6. I am over 70 years old; do I still have to serve?
    For Howard County residents that are over the age of 70, jury service is optional. If you are over 70 and decide you do not wish to serve please check YES to Question 20 on the jury qualification form. If you wish to serve check NO to Question 4 and follow the call in instructions.
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  7. Which day of the week will I appear for jury service?
    To avoid unnecessary appearances, trial jurors are asked to call the recorded message the evening prior to your summoned date. Listen for instructions for your group number. The lower the group number the earlier in the week you will report. For example, on Monday groups 1-10 may be called, Tuesday groups 11-20 may be called and so on.
  8. What if I have a vacation, medical appointment etc. during my assigned week?
    You may reschedule your jury service date online (ONE TIME ONLY). Click on the Complete Juror Qualification Form box above or visit http://mdcourts.gov/jury for a one time rescheduling of your service. Any request to be excused or additional requests to be rescheduled must be in writing and submitted with your completed juror qualification form. You may email your request to be rescheduled to howardjuryservice@mdcourts.gov. Requests to be rescheduled for vacations, business trips, medical appointments etc. are granted liberally. Requests to be excused are granted rarely and only for extreme hardship.
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  9. Can I be excused because of a medical condition?
    Yes, a juror can be excused for a medical reason upon receipt of a doctor’s note stating the length of time you are unable to serve. If you have a permanent disability the doctor’s note should indicate that the condition is permanent.
  10. Do I get paid for Jury service?
    You will receive expense money in the amount of $15.00 per day. If you wish you may donate your $15.00 to the Howard County Generous Jury Program. The program benefits children in Foster Care through Howard County Social Services and Howard County General Hospital Healthy Families program.
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  11. Is there a dress code?
    Proper courtroom attire is business attire. No uniforms, shorts, cut-off jeans, t-shirts with logos, gym clothes, tank tops, halter tops or hats (except for religious or health reasons) are allowed.
  12. What can I bring to the Courthouse?
    Everyone entering the Courthouse will pass through a metal detector. Food and drink may be brought into the Jury assembly room. Coffee, tea and water are available but the Courthouse does not have a cafeteria. No refrigerator is available. No weapons (scissors, mace, knives etc) of any kind will be permitted in the building. Electronic devices such as cell phones, laptop computers are allowed, but must be turned OFF while in the Courtrooms. The court provides some wireless service, but connectivity is not guaranteed. Possession and use of electronic devices may be limited or prohibited in designated areas of the Courthouse.
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  13. What if I have a disability or special needs?
    Reasonable accommodations for a person with disabilities can be requested online or on the qualification form. You may also call or email the Jury Commissioner’s Office. The jury assembly room is 4R on the elevator. Handicapped parking spaces are available.
  14. Can I be excused because of my job?
    Maryland law recognizes no excuses on the basis of occupation. If you have a job related conflict during your assigned jury service, you may ask to be rescheduled.
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  15. Can Jury service place my job in jeopardy?
    An employer may not deprive an employee of his/her employment solely because of time lost by an employee while serving as a Grand or Trial juror.
  16. Is there childcare available?
    There are no provisions for childcare. Please do not bring children to Court with you.
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  17. What is the inclement weather policy?
    Please check the Maryland Judiciary website for weather related closings or delays. The courthouse will open as scheduled unless listed otherwise at: http://mdcourts.gov/administration/closingsdelays.html Information on closings and delays will also be available by calling the Howard County jury line at 410-313-4462 or 410-637-5222 the message is updated around 6:30 a.m.
  18. How do I get to the courthouse/where do I park?
    For driving directions, see http://mdcourts.gov/circuit/howard/directions.html Parking is free. Please do not park in areas designated for private office building tenants. The Circuit Court is not responsible for parking tickets and towing fees. Designated handicapped parking is available.
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