Jury Duty Update – Jury Trials to Resume September 14th
By order of the Supreme Court of Florida, Order No. AOSC20-23, Amendment 6, and Chief Judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit, beginning August 28, 2020 the Charlotte County Clerk of Circuit Court and County Comptroller has been directed to begin issuing summonses for jury trials. Jury trials are scheduled to begin on September 14, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020 the Supreme Court of Florida and the Chief Judge for the 20th Judicial Circuit cancelled all jury trials. However, the Florida Supreme Court has determined its guidelines for resuming jury trials have been met in Charlotte County. The Florida Supreme Court and Chief Judge for the 20th Judicial Circuit’s decision to resume jury trials in Charlotte County was also based on the safety precautions taken by the Clerk of Court for Charlotte County and Court Administration for the 20th Judicial Circuit to protect the safety of our citizens.
The Charlotte County Clerk of Court’s office has placed the safety of its staff and Charlotte County citizens above all else. Our safety protocols include social distancing, continuous sanitizing of public spaces, hand sanitizer stations, and the wearing of face masks and shields. When entering the Justice Center, face masks must be worn by all jurors and temperature will be checked at the time of entry into the building.
We are also using new technology to check jurors in when reporting for jury duty, such as the use of a mobile check-in kiosk and wireless bar code scanners. Jurors will bring their summons and be processed quickly, efficiently, and with all social distancing requirements being followed.
A potential juror who indicates he or she does not meet the court’s screening requirements for courthouse entry, is a person at higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 infection, must care for a child or relative whose regular care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, or is receiving leave pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act may be excused from jury duty.
In addition, a potential juror may postpone service as a potential juror for up to six months because the potential juror indicates he or she has recently returned to work after being unemployed due to COVID-19 or has suffered a financial or personal loss due to COVID-19 that makes it a hardship to perform jury service.
As an additional safety measure and convenience to our jurors, we updated our website to allow reporting jurors to view, save, print and email their attendance record for their service. This change reduces the interaction and handling of paper between jurors and staff.
Finally, we are excited to introduce our donate pay program for those jurors who are eligible to receive compensation for jury duty, and may wish to donate their juror pay to the Charlotte County Center for Abuse, Rape and Emergency (CARE) whose mission is to help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes in Charlotte County. CARE and the Clerk’s office goal is to create safety in our community by promoting healthy relationships.
For additional information, please read the Honorable Judge Donald H. Mason’s jury memorandum. If you have any questions regarding your jury summons, please visit Jury.CharlotteClerk.com or call 941-833-3054. For any questions or concerns regarding courthouse health and safety measures, please contact Sara Miles, 20th Circuit Public Information Officer at 239-533-1723 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.