Superior Court of California, San Bernardino County

Superior Court of California, San Bernardino County

Jury Information

Jury service is one of the most important acts of public service a citizen can provide. Our courtrooms do important work every day, and we depend on our jurors to accomplish our mission of providing fairness and justice. Both the United States Constitution and the California State Constitution guarantee the right to trial by jury. As a juror, you are a vital part of that process. Our third President, Thomas Jefferson, said “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”

Juror Qualifications

All qualified individuals have an equal opportunity to be considered for jury service and an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose. Juror qualifications are set forth in the Code of Civil Procedure, Section 203. This act states that individuals are legally qualified for service if they:
  • are citizens of the United States;
  • are at least 18 years of age;
  • are residents of the county; and
  • have a sufficient understanding of the English language.

On-Line Jury Services

It is important to complete your Juror Questionnaire. Click here to complete or check your juror status. Please verify that your name is spelled correctly and the address is correct.

If you elect to provide the Court with your telephone number or email address when completing the Juror Questionnaire, you should receive updates regarding your required reporting or call-in schedule via phone, text and/or email (normal text messaging fees apply). Any telephone or email information collected will not be shared or forwarded to any third party.

Please contact the court after 5:00 PM the day before your appearance date to find out if you need to report for jury service. A recorded message will advise you of your required reporting or call-in schedule.

Jury Administration (San Bernardino): 909-884-1858

Jury Administration (All Other Locations): 1-866-402-JURY (5879)

Hours for Jury Administration - 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Monday – Friday)

We receive your information from the Registrar of Voters and/or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records. Names are randomly selected from the county wide population by computer. If your information is incorrect, please contact either the Registrar of Voters or Department of Motor Vehicles at the numbers listed below.

Registrar of Voters: http://cms.sbcounty.gov/rov/VoterRegistration.aspx or 909-387-8300

Department of Motor Vehicle: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/online/onlinesvcs.htm or 1-800-777-0133

Deferrals

The Superior Court realizes prospective jurors may have been summoned at an inconvenient time and in most instances are willing to defer or postpone service to a more convenient time. Jury Service may be postponed one time within 90 days of the original summons date. Deferring jury service is preferred for a temporary or marginal hardship, i.e. a medical appointment; full-time student or planned vacation.

To defer jury service you may either use the automated phone system at 866-402-JURY (5879) or click here. You must provide your Juror ID number located on your jury summons.

Excusals

California Rules of Court, Rule 2.1008, and California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 203 and 204 specify the grounds on which the Jury Commissioner is permitted to excuse prospective jurors from jury service. Click here for a list of extreme hardships.

A request to be excused from jury service must be submitted in writing to the Jury Administration Office prior to the prospective juror’s service date.

The request must include facts specifying the hardship and a statement of why the circumstances constituting the hardship cannot be avoided by deferring jury service to another date.

Americans with Disabilities

If you need certain accommodations such as assistance with hearing amplification, or special seating, please click here to complete the Request for Accommodations form or contact Jury Administration at 909-884-1858. The court requires notification at least 5 days in advance in order to provide certain accommodations. Jury Administration Office will discuss accommodation options with you. If the Jury Administration Office cannot reasonably accommodate you, you may request to be excused from jury service.

Failure to Appear/Respond to a Jury Summons

While serving on jury duty may seem inconvenient, the right to a trial by jury is a privilege guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the California State Constitution. To preserve this constitutional right, it is important that civilians perform their civic duty and serve when called.

Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 209, any prospective juror who has been summoned for service, and who fails to respond as directed and be excused from attendance, may be found in contempt of court, punishable by fine ($1,500), incarceration (5 days) or both.

Reporting for Jury Service

All court locations are non-smoking environments. ATM machines are available at some court locations. Parking is limited at many court locations. For parking information, you may ask the jury room staff or click here http://www.sb-court.org/Locations.aspx.

Dress Code

Acceptable court attire is business or business casual dress (jeans are allowed). No shorts, tank tops, crop tops or bare feet are permitted.

Weapons Screening

When entering any courthouse you will be required to go through an airport style weapon screening device. Your handbag, briefcase, backpack, and all containers will be x-rayed. Objects like scissors, nail clippers, and knitting needles are not allowed in the courthouse. Click here to view the list of prohibited items. All weapons and any items deemed dangerous by the Sheriff’s Department will be confiscated.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones with cameras are permitted within the courthouse. They cannot be used to photograph, record, or broadcast from within the courthouse without prior court approval. Use of a cell phone to photograph, record, or broadcast from within the courthouse without prior court approval may subject the user to confiscation of the item misused, a citation for contempt of court or an order imposing monetary sanctions as provided by law pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 1.150 and local court rules.

Wireless Internet Access

The San Bernardino Superior Court provides free wireless internet access for jurors serving at each court branch.

Proof of Attendance

Prospective jurors that are asked to report to the courthouse can obtain a verification slip for each day of service. This verification slip is stamped with the date of service, or to obtain an electronic verification slip click here. It is the responsibility of each juror to request appropriate documentation for his/her employer.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m busy. Why should I serve?

As a citizen you participate in an important public process and fulfill a civic obligation. All persons accused of a crime or involved in a civil dispute have a constitutional right to have a jury decide their cases. When you serve on a jury, you make important decisions affecting other people's lives as well as your own community.

What if I am a mother who is breastfeeding?

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, section 2.1006, a mother who is breastfeeding a child may request that jury service be deferred for up to one year, and may renew that request as long as she is breastfeeding, however the request must be in writing, under penalty of perjury.

How many days will I have to serve?

The Superior Court uses the "One Day/One Trial" program under California Rules of Court, rule 2.1002, which is intended to make jury service more convenient by shortening the time that a person is required to serve to one day or one trial. Under the "One Day/One Trial" program and the Summons for Jury Service you received, you are only required to appear for jury service for one day unless you are assigned to a trial. If you are assigned to a trial and sworn in as a juror, you will continue your service until the trial is completed. Click here for more information.

How long does a trial take?

Trial length depends on how complex the issues are and how long jurors spend in deliberations. Most trials last 3-7 days, but some may go longer. The judge knows approximately how long the trial will take and he or she will give you an idea when your group is called for jury selection. Judges are aware that long trials can be difficult. Let the judge know if it would be a serious hardship for you to serve on a long trial. Please be patient during this process, because other jurors have similar concerns.

Do I get compensated as a juror?

Prospective jurors are paid fees and mileage beginning with their second day of service. Fees are paid at the end of a trial, at the rate of fifteen ($15) dollars per day and thirty four (.34) cents per mile, one way only from their home to the courthouse.

Note: All government employees who receive benefits from their employers while on jury service must waive their jury fees. (Code of Civil Procedure sections 481.200 and 215) Please click here to obtain the Waiver of Payment form. Complete and return this form to the jury staff upon arriving at the court.

Who is exempt from jury service?

You are exempt if you:
  • Are not a citizen.
  • Are not a resident of the county.
  • Are under 18 years of age.
  • Have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored.
  • Are subject of conservatorship.
  • Do not have sufficient knowledge of the English language.

How often must I serve?

In the County of San Bernardino once a person has served as a juror, they are exempt from further jury service for 12 months.

Does my employer have to pay me while I serve on jury duty?

By law employers are not required to compensate employees while they are on jury service. Many employers support the jury system and provide jury service benefits and will continue employee wages while they serve. Please check with your employer regarding your company's policy.

Can my employer prevent me from serving as a juror?

State law (Labor Code, Sec. 230) prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating against an employee for taking time off to serve as a juror if the employee, prior to taking such time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer of the requirement to serve as a juror.

Why are some prospective jurors instructed to report on their summons while others are told to call back for further instructions?

All San Bernardino County prospective jurors are required to call a prerecorded message the evening prior to their actual date of appearance.

Most prospective jurors are summoned to appear but others could be asked to call back again between 11 AM and 12 Noon on their same summonsed date for possible appearance at 12:30 PM that same day. If additional jurors are required they will appear that same date – if not the jurors will cancel and their service is complete for the next twelve months.

What if I am summonsed as a 'call back' juror and I can't call in or leave my job in the middle of the day?

Calling in does not work for everyone. The nature of many professions makes it difficult for some prospective jurors to call and/or report in the middle of the day. Please contact Jury Administration and they may be able to accommodate other arrangements.

Are there ever any instances when I may have to serve longer?

Due to the nature of trials, it is impossible to predict exactly how many jurors may be needed on any given day. If you are notified by the Court that you are a "stand-by" juror, you will be instructed to call in daily and may be told to report when there are juror shortages. However, in an emergency situation where there still are not sufficient jurors available, the court may order prospective jurors to serve additional days. This is extremely rare!

Why do jurors seem to wait around so much?

There are many courtroom processes that must be handled outside of the presence of the jury to protect the integrity of the trial.

The judge, attorneys and court staff make every effort to keep your wait to a minimum; however you may wish to bring a book or something to occupy your time while waiting. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

How late will I be at the courthouse?

The Court's normal hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Prospective jurors should make arrangements to remain the entire day.

Do I have to serve if I am 70 or older?

If you are age 70 or over and have either a physical or mental disability or impairment you may be excused from jury service. You may contact Jury Administration at 909-884-1858 or 1-866-402-JURY (5879).

May I serve on a jury if I am a felon?

You may not serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony offense and your civil rights have not been restored. See California Code of Civil Procedure section 203(a)(5). However, if you have received a pardon from the Governor and had your civil rights restored, pursuant to California Penal Code sections 4852.01-4854, you may serve on a jury. There are two ways to receive a pardon: one is by applying for and being granted a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon, and the second is through a Direct Application for Pardon. Please consult an attorney for legal advice, your local California Superior Court clerk’s office, or your probation office for further guidance.

What if I do not speak English?

You do not need to speak perfect English to serve as a juror. The court uses common, everyday language that people can understand. The work done by the courts affects all people, so it is important that all communities be a part of our justice system. No one person has to know everything. Jurors decide the outcome of a trial as a group, with each member making an important contribution. If you cannot understand English, follow the instructions on the summons or contact the Jury Administration at 909-884-1858 or 1-866-402-5879. If you need assistance, a friend or a family member who speaks English may call for you. However, you may still have to come in person to request a disqualification.