EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 22, 2020:
BY ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER OF CHIEF JUDGE MARY ELLEN BARBERA, JURY TRIALS WILL RESUME APRIL 26, 2021.
Once Jury Trials resume, please make sure to fill out your qualification form online at www.courts.state.md.us/juryservice/jurorqualificationform. If you are requesting to be excused those requests need to be submitted in writing to the Court and submitted within 10 days of receipt.
You have been randomly selected from either Voter Registration records or Motor Vehicle Administration records to serve as a juror in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. The statute requires completion of a juror questionnaire.
Most of those selected will serve as Trial Jurors. The term of service for Trial Jurors is one week or one trial. That is, if a juror serves on a jury, no matter how short or long the trial, it will completely fulfill the juror's obligation for three years. If the juror reports to the courthouse and is not selected for a trial, that juror will be on call for one week. If not selected for a trial during that week, this too will completely fulfill the juror's obligation for three years. Length of trials varies but is currently averaging two to three days.
Please answer all questions on the questionnaire - you have the option to do it on-line or by using the printed form. Sign and return the printed questionnaire or complete the on-line questionnaire within ten (10) days of the receipt of your questionnaire letter. If you are unable to fill out this form, someone else may do it for you provided that the person who does so also signs the form and the reason for answering by proxy is indicated. If you do not submit this form within ten (10) days, you will be summoned to this office at your expense to complete this form.
Click on the links below to jump to the area of information you are seeking or scroll through this page to view all information on Jury Service.
• The Importance of Your Service
• The Jury Selection Process
• Selection in Civil vs. Criminal Cases
• Directions and Parking Information
• Inclement Weather
• Courtroom Etiquette
• What Can I Bring?
• Excuse Requests
• Maryland Judiciary's Jury Service web page
• Juror Publications and Resources
• Employers, Employees and Jury Service
The Importance of Your Service:
Trial by jury is the foundation of the American judicial system. In a civil case, it is the duty of a jury to decide issues of fact in disputes over matters such as property rights, contract rights and damages for personal injury. In a criminal case, it is the individuals who serve on juries that the parties rely upon for the protection of life, liberty and property.
The performance of jury service is the fulfillment of a civic obligation. Our system of justice will not work without your participation.
The most important function of a juror is to listen to all evidence presented at trial, and to decide the facts of the case. The Judge is there to determine the legal aspects of the case and to keep the trial moving forward.
The Jury Selection Process:
The names of potential jurors are selected at random from driver and voter registration records. Anne Arundel County jurors must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Anne Arundel County. Jurors provide this and other information on a brief questionnaire which is used by the court to determine eligibility.
Your summons will indicate whether you have been called to serve on Grand Jury or Trial Jury duty.
Grand Jurors serve for a 6 month time period, reporting every other Friday. Grand Jury cases are criminal in nature, and require jurors to determine if there is enough evidence in order to issue an indictment. Names of candidates for Grand Jury service are drawn for a term beginning the first Wednesday in January and a second term beginning the first Wednesday of July. If the first Wednesday of January or July falls on a holiday, the term would begin the second Wednesday of the month.
Jurors summonsed to serve on Trial Jury Duty in Anne Arundel County are on call for 1 Week or 1 Trial. That does not mean that a juror will be in court everyday. Instructions are provided on the summons which indicate that prospective jurors are to call the Jury office after 5:00 p.m. (410-222-1438) on the afternoon before the one week jury period begins. Each juror is assigned a call-in number. The recorded phone message will provide information as to which jurors are to report in on what day. Not every juror will report the first day of service.
The first morning of Jury Duty serves as a brief orientation. Jurors view a video and receive an overview of the process from Jury Office staff members. At this point, Jurors are asked to do one of the most difficult parts of Jury Duty - wait. Many court proceedings cannot be held without jurors, which is why a pool of potential jurors must be assembled and ready before the court starts its day. However, once assembled a variety of things can occur which can mean delays, (i.e. settlement efforts between parties). Please feel free to bring a book, magazine, etc. if you are so inclined.
Once called to a courtroom, all jurors will take an oath to answer all questions truthful, and the Judge will explain the case. At this point, jurors will be questioned by the Judge and the attorneys during the voir dire process. The purpose of voir dire is for the judge and attorneys to make sure you have no prior knowledge of the case, and that you have no personal interest or feelings that could impact your ability to be impartial. These questions are not intended to embarrass jurors - but are essential when selecting an impartial jury which will be best suited to rendering an unbiased decision.
Some jurors may never be called for a case. This is especially true should all cases scheduled for a given day end in settlement. Taking a matter to court is a measure of last resort, and the court encourages parties to settle their own differences. Should all cases for a given day settle, jurors will be excused.
Selection in Civil vs. Criminal Cases:
The process for selecting jurors differs slightly depending upon whether the case is civil or criminal. In a civil case, usually the attorneys will merely strike a certain number of names from the list of jurors and the remaining six will enter the jury box as the jury. In a criminal case, the State and the defendant each have a certain number of what are called peremptory challenges where a juror is excused and no reason need be stated. The jurors may be asked to stand or step forward to be identified before they are accepted or challenged. Such challenges are exercised according to the judgment of the parties.
A juror should always remember that the process of selecting a jury panel in a criminal or civil case involves legal strategy on the part of the attorneys. One should never feel there is any implication of unfitness or discourtesy directed toward a juror if stricken, challenged or excused.
In both criminal and civil cases, the judge will designate a foreperson of the jury.
If the case is expected to be a lengthy one, one or more alternate jurors may sit with the jury during the trial. An alternate may become a jury member if one of the regular jurors is taken sick or is otherwise unable to continue as a juror during the trial of a case.
Once the judge has given the instructions and closing arguments have been made, the jury will retire to the jury room. The foreperson will preside over the deliberations and present the verdict to the Court. In reaching the verdict, jurors must make sure they listen to one another with an open mind. All jurors should have the opportunity to express their opinions and ideas on the case.
If there is any doubt about what the judge said in the charge, or any matter of law, the foreperson may send the questions in note form to the judge.
Juror parking is available at the Park Place Garage, 1 Park Place, Annapolis. Garage entrances are off Taylor Avenue and West Street. Juror parking fee is $3.00. The Circulator Trolley transports jurors to and from the Courthouse. The trolley stops in front of the Courthouse. The first shuttle leaves the Park Place Garage at 7:30 a.m. Jury Office staff will provide Jurors with a parking voucher which will be presented at the garage to get the $3.00 rate.
The Circulator Trolley route map appears below. It is a 6-8 minute ride to the courthouse and the trolley will drop you off right in front of the courthouse and return you to the Park Place Garage when your jury service is completed.
The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County building will meets the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our staff is committed to assist any juror, litigant or attorney. In addition to wheelchair ramps, elevators and accessible jury boxes, the court offers assisted listening devices. Please make the court staff aware of any need for assistance. If you require an accommodation, please click here to complete an ADA Request form.
The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County has a security system consisting of metal detectors. All firearms, mace, knives, scissors, or any other weapons are prohibited within the courthouse.
Scheduled to Begin Jury Service: (Currently Seated Jurors see below)
In the event of severe snow or icy conditions, listen for Anne Arundel County Public school closings. If schools are closed due to inclement weather, you need not report for jury duty. Also, go to the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County website for closing or delay information at www.circuitcourt.org/inclement-weather. However, you must call after 5:00 p.m. for further reporting instructions at 410-222-1438 or 410-222-1439. If schools have delayed openings, please report at your scheduled time.
Currently Seated Jurors:
If you are currently sitting as a juror on a case, check the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County website for closing or delay information at www.circuitcourt.org/inclement-weather. On-going cases may continue regardless of school closings, at the judge's discretion, if the Court is open. In every event, you must call the Jury Office for instructions at 410-222-1438 or 410-222-1439 prior to your scheduled reporting time.
Smoking, eating, chewing gum, reading and unnecessary noise are not allowed in the courtroom. Smoking is banned in the Courthouse.
A cafeteria is located on the 1st floor of the Courthouse. In addition, many restaurants are available in the Annapolis business district. THE DRINKING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES FOR LUNCH - INCLUDING BEER AND WINE - IS NOT ALLOWED WHILE YOU ARE ON JURY DUTY.
You are requested to wear appropriate clothing for the judicial proceedings in which you may be a part. Shorts, halters, jeans and T-shirts are not appropriate.
You will receive $15.00 expense monies for each day you appear for jury duty (even if you are not selected for a trial).
In the event of an emergency which may prevent you from reporting for jury duty, call our emergency number 410-222-1400 at 8:00 a.m. on the day you are scheduled to report. In the event of a family emergency while you are serving, call the emergency number and speak with one of the jury office staff members.
What Can I Bring?:
There can be a great deal of waiting while on Jury Duty. Please note that while in the Jury Assembly area you can work on a laptop, have your cell phone, bring a favorite book, etc. At the moment there is no wireless connection to the internet available. Please note, that once you go to the courtroom, you will be able to take your personal possessions with you, but you will not be able to use cell phones or laptops once in the courtroom or jury deliberation room.
Active Duty military, non-citizens, non-residents of county and any person having reached the age of 70 may be excused by so indicating on the Juror Qualification Form when you submit it online or mail it back to the Court. A person may be excused if he/she has served as a Grand or Petit Juror within the last three (3) years. You may also request to be excused because of "undue hardship." All excuse requests must be in writing and mailed with the Juror Qualification Form within 10 days of receipt of the summons. Please note, medical excuses must be accompanied by a doctor's note.
Juror Phone Scam Alert: If contacted by a person claiming to be calling from our jury office requesting that you pay a fine because you missed jury duty, do not give that person any information. Please advise our Jury Office immediately by calling (410) 222-1400.
Anne Arundel County residents should be aware that our court workers would never call you as a juror to ask for Social Security numbers or other private information like credit card numbers.