Contacting the Franklin County Jury Personnel:
How can I reach the Franklin County Jury Coordinator?
The Jury Coordinator is available Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m until 4:30 p.m. and can be reached at (717) 261-3848. The Jury office is closed on all legal holidays.Franklin County Courthouse 157 Lincoln Way E Chambersburg, PA 17201
Where do I find parking?
Due to the number of people summoned for jury duty, please plan to arrive early as parking is limited. Free parking is available at:
- King Street Church lot (unless otherwise posted by the church)
- Administration Annex Building 218 North Second Street
- Queen Street Parking Lot
When and Where do I report?
All trials are conducted in the Franklin County Courthouse located in Chambersburg. Please review your printed notice for the location of where to enter the Courthouse because there are two points of entry.
Review your notice for the time you are to report. Most notices are for 8:30 a.m., unless otherwise printed.
Please report for duty promptly at the time indicated on your jury notice.
What do I wear?
There is no prescribed dress code for jurors except that the dress of any juror should not detract from the dignity of the Court. Women may wear slacks or pants outfits; provided they are appropriate for the courtroom. Men should dress conservatively. Coats and ties are encouraged but not required. Often it is a good idea to wear something that can be easily removed or put on should you get cold or warm depending on your comfort level.
Keep in mind that the parties in any case look to the jurors for justice, so respect and professionalism help to establish faith in the system.
How long is my service as a juror?
Jury selection will take place on at least one day, but could take an additional day depending on the number of cases and/or time involved in selection.
Both civil and criminal trials will be set on specific dates later in the trial term. The dates for individual trials will be announced before each jury is selected.
Who is eligible to serve as a juror?
Anyone 18 years of age or older who is a United States citizen and resident of the county and who has not been convicted of a felony within the last five years.
What happens if I ignore my summons for jury service?
A jury summons is a court order. If you ignore it, you are subject to arrest and prosecution.
Will I be paid for serving as a juror?
Yes, $9 per day for the first three days and $25 per day thereafter, and mileage to and from the courthouse. These fees are set by the state legislature.
What if my employer doesn't allow me to serve?
The law prohibits any employer from preventing an employee to serve as a juror. The law also prohibits an employer from depriving a juror of benefits because of jury service, such as requiring you to use vacation time to serve.
Is my employer required to pay me while I serve as a juror?
If you work for the government, your employer must pay you. If you work in the private sector, your employer does not have to pay you.
Is it possible to appear for jury service and not sit on a jury?
Yes, more people are called than actually serve because it is not always possible to estimate accurately the number of jurors who will be needed to serve each day.
May I go home at the end of the day?
Jurors almost always go home at the end of the day. Sequestration is a term used to describe jurors staying at a local hotel at the county's expense during the trial. Sequestration occurs rarely.
Are accommodations available if I have a disability?
Accommodations are available to people with disabilities. Call your local jury coordinator or call our county administrator to find out what accommodations are available in your county.
What happens if I'm late and can't get to the court before the time the trial starts?
Telephone your county's court administrator or the judge assigned to your case as soon as possible.
How often do I have to serve as a juror?
There is no limit on the number of times your name may be drawn for service. However, anyone who has served does not need to serve again for three years.
What kinds of cases will I hear as a juror?
Jurors hear either criminal or civil cases. In criminal cases, a district attorney acting on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania prosecutes a case against an individual or entity accused of a crime. The district attorney is also referred to as the prosecutor. The person or entity accused of the crime is referred to as the defendant. In civil cases, an individual, entity or governmental agency brings a suit against another individual, entity or governmental agency. The party initiating the lawsuit is referred to as the plaintiff, and the party defending the suit is the defendant.
What is the role of the juror?
Listen carefully to all evidence presented during trial.
During deliberations, discuss the evidence with fellow jurors and decide what the facts are, based upon which witnesses and evidence you believe.
Apply the law, as explained by the judge, to the facts, as determined by you.
Do no independent research or investigation.
Determine the money damages in some civil cases.
In criminal cases, decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
Arrive at a verdict.
What is the role of the judge?
Make sure that all parties have a fair opportunity to present their case.
Make sure the trial process proceeds in a proper manner.
Instruct the jury on the applicable law.
Decide the punishment in most criminal cases.
How are jurors selected?
Jury selection begins when a name is randomly selected from voter and motor vehicle registration lists. Your county may elect to supplement the master list of prospective jurors by the inclusion of additional lists from other sources such as personal tax roles. Those selected are sent a summons, which is a court order stating the required time and place to appear.
The jury pool is composed of those people summoned to appear on a particular day. Juries are selected from the jury pool. In criminal cases the jury is made up of twelve jurors, except in the rare case of the parties agreeing to fewer. In civil cases, the jury can consist of as few as six jurors or as many as twelve. Alternate jurors may also be chosen to avoid unnecessary delays or expense in the event of the incapacity of a juror.
What is voir dire?
Voir dire is a French term that refers to the preliminary examination of an individual's qualifications to be a juror. Voir dire is sometimes conducted by the judge and sometimes by the lawyers. The purpose is to find out whether any views held by the potential juror hinder his or her ability to act impartially. Therefore, it is very important to answer these questions honestly.
What is jury deliberation?
The judge explains the law and provides guidance on procedures to be followed in jury deliberations. One of the first things the jury does during deliberations is to choose a foreperson. The foreperson should make sure that each juror has a chance to speak; that each juror's opinion is treated with respect; that the jury does not rush to come to a verdict; that jurors carefully listen to one another; and that they return a fair impartial verdict based upon the facts of the case.
In criminal cases, a unanimous jury is required to find the defendant guilty. In civil cases, 5/6 of the jurors must be in agreement.
What happens after the jury reaches a verdict?
Once a jury reaches a verdict, the foreperson informs the court that the jury has reached a verdict, and the judge calls everyone back to the courtroom. The verdict will then be announced. After the verdict is announced and recorded, the jury has completed its duties and is discharged.
After discharge, jurors are permitted but not required to talk about the case. Jurors are not permitted, however, to disclose what another juror said in the jury deliberation room. If anyone attempts to communicate with a juror regarding his or her role as a juror in a way that one feels is improper, the juror should report the incident to the court as soon as possible.