Frequently Asked Questions
How long is my jury term?
The term of service is one month for Trial Jurors and six months for Grand Jurors.
How often do I call in?
Trial Jurors should call 410-632-5674 each and every night, Sunday through Thursday, during their service month after 5:00 p.m.
What happens when I call the Juror Information Line?
Please listen for instructions for your reporting number. Your reporting number can be found on your juror badge. You do not report for jury duty unless the recording instructs you to do so (This includes your first day of jury service). Trial Jurors are automatically scheduled for jury service Monday through Friday of their jury month. However, you should call 410-632-5674 every evening after 5:00 P.M. to check your reporting status. Please listen carefully to the message as the reporting time varies.
How long will I be there?
Most jury trials last 1-2 days. If a trial is scheduled longer, the presiding judge will address this in the courtroom during jury selection. You may advise the judge if you have a conflict with your schedule. In general, prospective jurors will know by noon if jury selection will occur in a courtroom; however, you should make arrangements to be here all day just in case you are selected. The Court usually gives an hour lunch break for jurors. The lunch break will be determined by the presiding judge.
Can I serve on more than one trial?
Yes, jurors may serve on multiple trials as you are on call for the entire month.
Where do I report for jury duty?
The Worcester County Courthouse is located at 1 West Market Street, Snow Hill, Maryland. It is a brick building at the corner of Washington and Market Streets. All jurors must check in every time you appear in order to receive credit for reporting. You will be asked to provide your signature on a juror sign in and payment verification sheet.
What is the dress code for jury duty?
Out of respect for the Court; please, do not wear jeans, t-shirts, shorts, gym clothes, tank tops or half shirts. If you have a job where uniforms are required, please do not wear the uniform for jury duty. You are here as a citizen for a court proceeding. Please do not wear employer badges or name tags from your place of employment.
Where do I park?
Municipal parking lots are located on Green Street and Washington Street. Jurors are encouraged to use the Green Street parking lot. Directions to the parking lot on Green Street are on the jury summons you received.
Is there a special entrance to the courthouse?
Yes, for security reasons everyone must enter the courthouse at the Market Street or Washington Street entrances of the building. All visitors entering the building must pass through a metal detector and bags are subject to search. No weapons/knives of any kind are permitted.
Can I bring my cell phone or electronic device into the courthouse?
Yes, however, the possession and use of cell phones and other electronic devices may be limited or prohibited in designated areas of the court facility.
The use of cell phones and electronic devices by potential jurors will be limited to the jury assembly room only. While in the jury assembly room prospective jurors may not research, investigate or communicate regarding any possible jury trials in the Circuit Court for Worcester County. Including, but not limited to; online media outlets, newspapers, communication of any kind including social networking, twitter, text, and email.
If called to a courtroom for jury selection all cell phones and electronic devices must be turned OFF. They cannot remain on silent or vibrate but must be turned off. The use of cell phones and any electronic device is NOT permitted inside a courtroom. The use of camera or video equipment including cell phone and electronic device capabilities to photograph and record is NOT permitted in the courthouse.
If selected to serve on a jury trial (empanelled juror); cell phones will be collected, tagged and placed in a secure container and maintained by the courtroom staff. However, at the first opportunity jurors may return their cell phones and/or electronic devices to their vehicles for the duration of the trial. Empanelled jurors will receive specific instructions from the presiding judge regarding communication while serving as a juror.
Empanelled jurors may not research, investigate or communicate regarding the jury trial they have been selected to hear for the Circuit Court for Worcester County. Including, but not limited to; online media outlets, newspapers, communication of any kind including social networking, twitter, text, and email.
Upon a finding that the circumstances of a particular case raise special security or privacy issues that justify a restriction on the possession of electronic devices, the county administrative judge or the presiding judge may enter an order further limiting or prohibiting the possession of electronic devices in a courtroom or other designated areas of the court facility.
NOTE: No liability shall accrue to the security personnel or any other court official or employee for any loss or misplacement of or damage to the device.
Can I get documentation for my employer proving my jury service?
Yes. Certification of your jury service will be provided.
How much does jury duty pay?
Jurors will receive $25.00 per day. You will be paid for reporting whether or not you are selected for a trial. You must present your payment voucher to the Treasurer's Office the day of your jury service to receive a cash payment.
Can my employer fire me for appearing for jury duty?
No. Under Maryland law, your employer cannot fire you (or coerce, intimidate or threaten to fire you) if you lose time from work because you went to court for jury service or had to be in proximity to the court for jury service.
Also, your employer cannot fire you (or coerce, intimidate or threaten to fire you) if you exercise your right not to work on a day on which you are on jury service. Specifically, if you are summoned and you appear for jury service for 4 or more hours, including traveling time, your employer cannot require you to work an employment shift that begins:
- On or after 5 P.M. on the day of your appearance for jury service; or
- Before 3 a.m. on the day after your appearance for jury service.
The laws are Annotated Code of Maryland, “Courts and Judicial Proceedings,” Sections 8-501 and 8-502. Any person who violates these laws may be fined up to $1,000.
Can I be excused if I feel I am medically unable to serve?
A juror can be excused for medical reasons upon receipt of a physician’s note stating the length of time they are unable to serve. If you have a permanent disability the physician’s note must indicate “permanent” disability.
What do I do if I become ill on the day I am to report for jury duty?
You should ask your physician to fax a medical excuse to the jury office at 410-632-4592. We must have documentation to show the Judge why you are unable to report.
Can I be excused because I am employed?
Employment is not a reason to be excused from jury duty. It is the duty of every citizen to participate in jury service. All requests for excusal are to be submitted with your questionnaire within ten days of receipt.
Where are the courtrooms located?
Worcester County Circuit Court currently has four courtrooms which are located on the first and second floors.
If I am selected for a trial do I still call-in and listen to the message on the jury automated call-in system?
Once you are selected for a trial you must follow the judge’s instructions. If you are returning for a second day of a trial you should report directly to the jury deliberation room for the courtroom where the case is being heard. The jury staff will bring your work letter and payment voucher to the courtroom. You should not call the recording if you are currently serving on a trial.
What is the inclement weather policy?
In the event of inclement weather call the Juror Information Line at 410-632-5674 to listen for reporting instructions and closings.