- Length of Service
- Standby Service
- How Long Do I Have to be Available?
- What If a Juror Does Not Report as Instructed?
- How Jurors Are Summonsed
- Employer Responsibilities
Length of Service
The Contra Costa Superior Court operates on a One Day/One Trial system.
In order to minimize the number of jurors who must appear in person and avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the juror, the standby service process is used. You are required to check the reporting instructions for at least one day or until instructed that your service is completed.
If you are instructed to report to the courthouse, you may or may not be selected to serve as a juror in a trial court. The Jury Commissioner is required to have a sufficient number of jurors for all anticipated trials. The jury staff tries to carefully estimate the number of jurors needed, but there are many variables outside their control. You may want to bring something to occupy your time.
If you are selected to serve on a trial as a sworn juror, the term of service will be the length of that trial. Trials vary in length, but generally last one to two weeks.
If you are not selected to serve on a trial by the end of your first day at the courthouse, and the judge has not ordered you to return for another day of jury selection, you have completed your jury service.
All prospective jurors begin their service on a standby status. You may begin to check for initial reporting instructions anytime after 5:00 p.m. the evening before your service begins.
Your reporting instructions may be to report the following court day at 8:00 a.m., or to call the recorded message at 11:30 a.m. for a possible afternoon appearance. You are required to check the group reporting information until you are either instructed to report to the courthouse or instructed that service is complete without having to report.
You are required to report to work until your group is called in.
How Long Do I Have to be Available?
In order to ensure that you can serve as a sworn juror on a case, you must be available for the week you are summonsed and the following week. If you are not available for this time period, click on the button below to have your service postponed.
What If A Juror Does Not Report as Instructed?
Every resident of Contra Costa County who is qualified to serve must appear for jury service when summoned. Willful failure to appear is contempt of court. Contempt of court is punishable by fine or possible county jail time.
How Jurors Are Summonsed
The selection and management of jurors is governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure. Jurors' names are selected at random from lists of registered voters and persons who have valid California drivers licenses or identification cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The two lists are combined to create one Master Jury List. Prospective jurors are summoned weekly and are randomly selected from the master list to receive a summons. The summonses are mailed approximately four weeks prior to the service date. Contra Costa County residents are eligible to be summonsed every twelve (12) months.
Employers cannot discriminate against employees serving on jury duty. Employers must allow employees time off to serve on a jury. The California Labor Code, section 230 - external link, prohibits any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned to court for jury service as long as reasonable notice is given. The California Education Code, section 44037 - external link and California Education Code, section 87036 - external link protect teachers and students as well. Employers can also be prosecuted criminally and face a misdemeanor charge if found guilty.