FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2019
187 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Circuit Court for Washington County reduces trial jury service to one week
“The term is being modified to respond to the needs of the public, whose professional and family obligations may make a one-month term of service difficult to fulfill,” said Washington County Circuit Court Judge Daniel P. Dwyer, County Administrative Judge. “I would like to join fellow judges Dana Moylan Wright, Viki M. Pauler, Mark K. Boyer, and Brett R. Wilson in expressing our heartfelt appreciation to jurors who provide their valuable time to perform their civic duty serving as members of trial juries for this court.”
Washington County Circuit Court Clerk Kevin R. Tucker said the decision to review the jury process in the county took place after court staff noticed an increase in absenteeism that could be attributed to the impact of a Washington County resident being needed as a juror for 30 days or more.
Based on an investigation and recommendations of a local work group that was formed to address jury service, the decision was made to shorten the term and allow jurors who serve on a jury panel to be excused for the remainder of their one-week term.
“The overall goals are to continue to provide a jury trial to individuals who have opted for a trial with a jury of their peers, and to be responsive to the needs of the citizens of Washington County,” Tucker said. “All other aspects of jury service will not change appreciably, and those who may have served in the past will not notice anything more than a change to the length of service.”
In Washington County, jurors are paid $15 per day for service and 30 cents per mile for roundtrip travel between their home and the courthouse. Potential jury pools are generated by a random selection of Washington County residents who are registered to vote and have a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration-issued driver’s license or identification card.
A person summoned for jury duty can request to be exempt if they have served on a trial jury in the prior year, are over the age of 70, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate, or an active-duty member of the armed forces or state militia. The term of service on a grand jury, which is six months, remains the same.