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A petit, or trial jury, is generally 12 people sworn to try a criminal or civil case, hearing evidence and rendering a verdict. In some cases, additional jurors can be chosen as alternates. Some types of cases may use a jury of 6 people. A grand jury, so named because it is comprised of a greater number of people (16) than a petit jury, is sworn to hear evidence presented by the prosecution and determines if probable cause exists that a crime has been committed.
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Individuals must have all the following qualifications to serve as a Lake County, Illinois juror:
In Lake County, jurors are selected from lists of licensed drivers (at least 18 years of age) and registered voters. These are combined into a single juror database. For each week of jury service, the computer system randomly selects names to provide jurors for the Courts.
The Illinois General Assembly and the Lake County Board have established a per diem reimbursement for jury service. This reimbursement is not intended to replace daily wages. Rather, it's a token of the Court's appreciation and should cover your mileage and daily expenses during jury service. Debit cards will be distributed to jurors upon check-in.
Should a juror become ill while serving as a juror or an emergency arises, the juror should inform the Jury Assembly Room staff, or the judge if the juror is sitting on a trial. When the situation is explained, every effort will be made to find a solution. The juror may be excused or deferred to another date.
Upon notification from the Court, the Jury Commission staff will prepare a computer-generated, randomly selected panel of jurors. Court Security will escort the panel of jurors to the courtroom for Voir Dire (the process of jury selection). During voir dire, the judge and attorneys have the opportunity to question each juror regarding their ability to keep an open mind and to be fair. To be challenged is no reflection on the juror's integrity or usefulness.
Jurors will either be selected or excused for that particular case. If selected, the Court will instruct the jurors further. Jurors that are not selected for the case must report back the Jury Assembly Room for further instructions.
Only rarely is a jury sequestered. Sequestered jurors must remain with the Court during all mealtimes and overnight. The Court will provide meals, lodging, and the retrieval of jurors' personal items from their homes. Jurors will be told in advance if a jury is to be sequestered.
Jurors do not need to know the law. The juror must be able to reach conclusions about each aspect of the case based on the juror's own impartial and independent recollection of the evidence and then apply the laws as the judge explains them. To do this a juror must pay attention and listen closely to the evidence presented in Court. You must not make snap decisions or pre-judge but wait until the attorneys have completed their cases. Then the jury should consider the evidence and determine the facts of the case. The judge will instruct the jury as to what laws apply to the case and what they mean.
Civil cases are legal cases involving disputes between individuals or organizations in which some form of compensation may be awarded. The individual who brings the action is called the plaintiff, and the individual against whom the action is brought is called the defendant. The plaintiff starts the action by stating his or her claim against the defendant in a written complaint. The defendant disputes the claim by filing a written answer. The complaint and answer constitute the basic pleadings in the case. The points in the pleading upon which the parties disagree are the issues to be decided. If any defendant has a claim against the plaintiff or any other defendant, he or she may present it in the same case. Thus, a civil case might involve parties who have claims against each other and might involve more than 2 parties.
When a juror is summoned, they become a part of the judicial process of this state. The services of a juror are as important as those of the judge. Jurors are obligated to perform these services honestly and conscientiously without fear or favor. The jurors must base their verdict on the evidence as they will hear it in court and on the law as the judge instructs them. The entire group of jurors will be asked to rise and swear or affirm to answer truthfully all questions asked of them concerning their qualifications to act as a juror in the case. A prospective juror is questioned. The answers to these questions enable the Court and the lawyers to decide which jurors to select. It may seem that some of the questions are personal, but it is not the intent that any question should embarrass or reflect upon a juror in anyway. Each juror may be asked whether he or she has a personal interest in the outcome of the case, has preconceived opinions about it, or is prejudiced in any way. The law permits each attorney to excuse a certain number of jurors without giving reasons. This should not offend the juror, if they are excused from sitting on the jury.
The jury is composed of fair and impartial persons who will listen attentively and decide the case only upon the evidence and instructions of the Court. After the jury has been selected, the jurors will be asked to rise and swear or affirm to well and truly try the matters at issue and render a true verdict according to the law and the evidence. It is the duty of the juror to listen to the judge, witnesses and lawyers, to deliberate calmly and fairly, and to decide intelligently and justly. All of the evidence available to allow jurors to make a decision will be disclosed during the trial.
No. You cannot perform jury service in Lake County if you are no longer a legal resident of the county. However, you will be required to provide documentation of your residency elsewhere. Accepted forms of identification include any government issued identification (driver’s license, state ID, voter’s registration). If necessary, the Jury Commission will grant a one-time postponement to give you additional time to obtain the required documentation.
Yes. The Court offers childcare to children of jurors at no charge. Please contact the Jury Commission at 847-377-4600, prior to your service date for information regarding this service.
Requests should be made to the Jury Commission no later than seven days prior to your scheduled week of jury service. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Court may provide an assistive listening device, interpreter or real-time captioning for the deaf. Written requests may be submitted to email@example.com.
Upon request, Jury Commission staff will provide a certificate of service at the end of jury service.
Additionally, jurors may find a certificate of service on the Jury Web Solutions Portal at www.19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/juror.
Jurors are issued a debit card upon check-in. Jurors will be notified electronically when funds are available on their debit cards. Further information regarding juror debit cards can be found in the brochure distributed with the debit card and online at www.courtfunds.com.
Lunch is normally from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., but you must wait for the official lunch dismissal announcement. If you are in a courtroom, your lunch hour will vary according to the judge.
You will report to the Jury Assembly Room at the time indicated on the Jury Information System. Access to the building can be obtained through the Washington Street entrance. Attendance will be taken, and an orientation will be held which will answer many of the questions you may have about jury duty. Court personnel will be present to help you and answer any additional questions. You will remain in the Jury Assembly Room until you are selected for a trial or released for the day. Televisions and some reading materials are available. You may use your own laptop, tablet and/or cell phone while waiting in the Jury Assembly Room. You should be prepared to stay until 5:00 p.m.
To reduce juror waiting time in the Jury Assembly Room, the Court has instituted a Juror Information System. Under this system, summoned jurors must call either the Juror Information Recorded Message Line at 847-249-5879 or visit this
If your juror debit card has been lost or stolen, please contact Court Funds at 877-287-2448 or visit their website: www.courtfunds.com.
The BACK of the Jury Summons includes important information regarding Reporting Instructions and Parking Information.