If you are an American citizen residing in Prince George’s County, Maryland, you very well may be summed for jury duty. Everyone will have a different opinion about this call to duty, especially if it is the first time being summoned. There are several things that you should do, when you receive your notification:
- Notify your employer of the summons (provide them with a copy of the summons, so you are accredited for your absentee) date and let them know that you may be absent for several days, if you are selected to serve on a jury.
- You must complete the Juror Qualification Form (see link provided below) to validate your eligibility. By law, you are required to answer the questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.
- Locate the “Group Number”, which is located on the summons, because it is how the court verifies a specific group of jurors.
- On the evening before your scheduled summons date, you will need to call 301-952-4387. A recorded message will identify the Groups that need to report for jury duty, the following morning. You are expected to arrive at the Courthouse no later than 7:30 a.m. with the summons in hand. Go directly to the Jury Assembly Room (Room M2400) and wait for further instructions from the jury commissioner.
If you are not selected to serve this time around, you may be expected to return daily until the entire jury is seated or you may be summoned again in the future. The summons generally requires all citizens to serve one day, if not selected for a jury panel. For those that are selected for a jury panel, you will be expected to serve one trial.
You may question why you were chosen for jury duty. All U.S. citizens residing in Prince George’s County, Maryland are listed in a computer database. The computer generates a list of names of potential jurors, so it is not unusual for every citizen to be chosen at least once. It is possible for your name to appear on the list at least once every three years.
Your summons may say Grand Jury or Trial Jury, so pay close attention to this information, because it is very relevant. It you are summoned to serve on a Grand Jury, you will be among a group of 23 jurors that will be expected to serve 1 day a week for up to 4 months. If you are called to serve on a Trial Jury, you will be among 12 jurors, plus some alternates. In this case, you will serve until the trial ends, which may take several days or weeks.
The information provided on the Juror Qualification Form is transferred to a Jury Information Sheet and available to the Jury Commissioner, Jury Judge, and their staff. Once the jury is seated, the Clerk will collect and destroy the sheets in a secured manner.
Reasons for exemption may include, but not limited to:
- 70 Years of age or older
- S. Congress member
- Active duty in the U.S. armed forces or member of the Maryland militia
Reasons for disqualification, but not limited to:
- Cannot write, speak, or read English
- Disabled (written explanation from a healthcare provider)
- Served 6-months in prison
- Pending criminal charges for a crime that is punishable by over 6-months in prison
If for some reason you are unable to report for jury duty on the scheduled date, you will need to contact the Jury Office (see below for phone number). A new date will be assigned to you for future jury service.
While, there is no formal dress code required, you should take this proceeding very seriously and only wear acceptable attire. Professional uniforms, badges, graphic tees, athletic wear, tank tops, transparent clothing, and hats are unacceptable. You can bring an electronic device with you, but it cannot be taken into the courtroom. However, you are to avoid visiting online news and social media websites. You can bring your lunch or eat at one of the nearby restaurants.
While, the Courthouse remains operational throughout the week, an occasional emergency can occur at any time, causing it to close. If you are currently scheduled to serve on a jury, you should call the number located on the summons. The prerecorded message will relay the closing to you, but continue to follow up on this emergency, so you know what steps to take next.
Prince George’s County Courthouse
14735 Main Street
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772
301-952-4385 (jury office)
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Juror Qualification Form Online: https://ejury.mdcourts.gov/login