Jury service compliance
October 15, 2014
The right to a trial by jury is a right of every person in the United States, whether or not that person is a citizen. Both the U.S. and California Constitutions guarantee this right.
Courts cannot hold jury trials unless citizens of the county are willing to perform their civic duty and serve as jurors. These people are essential to the effective administration of justice.
Jury service compliance has dropped in El Dorado County, creating a hardship on the court and litigants. Jury service is a requirement of citizenship. In an attempt to insure that all eligible people carry out their obligation to serve as jurors when summoned, the El Dorado County Superior Court has initiated a Jury Service Compliance Program.
Summoned jurors who failed to respond to the court's summons to jury duty can now expect to receive a "Written Invitation to Come See the Judge." That invitation is actually an Order to Appear and explain why they should not be found guilty of contempt for failure to respond to the court's jury summons. This "Written Invitation" is in the form of an "Order to Show Cause" Hearing Re: Contempt.
Every resident of El Dorado County who is qualified to serve and who does not have a legal hardship or excuse must appear for jury service when summoned. Willful failure to appear is contempt of court. Contempt of court is punishable by fine of up to $1,000 and/or five days in the county jail.