Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the frequently-asked questions page for prospective jurors. Please click on the applicable questions from the list below.



I’ve received a jury summons, what should I do?

You should respond to the summons via mail or the online response system available here:

Back To Top

What happens if I ignore the summons?

It is advised that you DO NOT ignore your summons. If you do, you may be subject to prosecution.

Where is the courthouse and what do I do when I arrive?

Please visit our directions and parking information here for more information about how to get to the Judicial Center, located at 45 N. George St. in York City. For information about what to do when you arrive, please click here.

Back To Top

What happens if I don’t want to serve or have a conflict?

Deferrals are available for jurors that will experience a severe hardship because of jury duty. Jury duty is an obligation required by law, and is not voluntary. Most people enjoy the experience. For more information about deferrals, please click here.

Back To Top

Will I be paid and/or receive travel mileage to serve?

Jurors are paid $9 each day for the first three days of service. Starting on the fourth day, jurors are paid $25 per day. You are also eligible for mileage at a rate of 17 cents per mile. For more information about compensation, please click here. Compensation is set by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Back To Top

Will I receive meals while serving?

Jurors typically are not provided meals, but at lunchtime are given ample time to purchase food outside the courthouse or eat a meal brought from home. There are also vending machines on the first floor of the Judicial Center.

Back To Top

Who is eligible to serve on a jury?

All U.S. citizens age 18 or older who live in York County are qualified to serve as jurors, with the exception of:

  • Individuals unable to speak and/or understand the English language
  • Individuals because of mental or physical conditions are unable to render efficient service
  • Individuals convicted of a crime and sentenced to more than one year of incarceration who has not been granted a pardon or amnesty.

Back To Top

What is the role of the jury?

  • The Jury must find the facts.
  • The Jury must listen carefully to the evidence presented during the trial
  • The Jury should not discuss the case with anyone, including other jurors, during the trial.
  • The Jury should only discuss the case with fellow jurors during jury deliberations. It is during the deliberation process that the jurors come to a consensus as to the facts and determine which witnesses are credible.
  • The Jury must apply the law, as explained by the judge, to the facts.
  • The Jury arrives at a verdict.
  • The Jury determines the money damages in some civil cases or decides whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty in criminal cases.

Back To Top

What kind of cases might I hear as a juror?

Jurors will hear criminal and civil cases.
In criminal cases, the District Attorney or Attorney General prosecutes a case against an individual accused of a crime.

In civil cases, the parties are individuals, businesses or government agencies. The party initiating the lawsuit is the Plaintiff and the party defending the lawsuit is the Defendant. The Plaintiff is generally seeking monetary damages.

Back To Top

Who are the various people I might see in the courtroom while serving?

For more information about the people in the courtroom, please click here

Back To Top

What’s the process for a trial?

  1. Jury Selection
  2. Swearing-in of the jury
  3. Opening instructions by the judge
  4. Opening statements by legal counsel for the parties (or the parties themselves)
  5. Evidence Presentation
  6. Closing arguments by parties, or attorneys for the parties
  7. Jury charge – instructions from the judge to jury
  8. Jury deliberations
  9. Verdict

Back To Top

What happens during jury deliberations?

After the trial judge explains the law, the jury is excused from the courtroom. One of the first things the jury does when it retires to a jury deliberation room is to choose a foreperson. The foreperson makes sure that each juror has a chance to speak and that each juror's opinion is treated with respect. The foreperson makes sure that the jury does not rush to a verdict and that careful thought has been given to the evidence and the application of the law to the facts.

Back To Top

What happens after a jury reaches a verdict?

When the jury reaches a verdict, the foreperson notifies the tipstaff stationed outside the jury deliberation room and the tipstaff notifies the judge. The judge calls everyone back into the courtroom and the foreperson announces the verdict. The verdict is recorded and the jurors' responsibility for the case is concluded, except in a criminal death penalty case. In such cases, following the rendering of the verdict, the jury must decide the punishment.

After the jury has been discharged, the jurors are permitted but not required to talk about the case. Jurors are not permitted to disclose what another juror said during deliberations. If anyone attempts to communicate with a juror in any way that the juror feels is improper, the juror should report the incident to the court as soon as possible.

Back To Top