It is the Court's intention that your service as a juror or prospective juror be a “rewarding”
experience, even though the monetary compensation is minimal. We know that your service represents
some inconvenience to each of you. We believe you will recognize it as necessary. In the United
States, our justice system is based on the belief that a just and fair result in court comes from
having disputes settled by our fellow citizens. When you are called to be a juror, you become a
very important person in our legal system. Remember, some day you may want the service of a jury
to decide a problem of yours. Jury service is both a legal obligation and a civic duty. It is a
sacrifice required by democracy.
SELECTION & REQUIREMENTS
Jury trials are held in the Common Pleas Courts and in the County Courts. Jurors are chosen at
random from a list of registered voters who are bonafide residents of Ashtabula County. Jurors must
be at least 18 years of age and they must not have lost their right to serve on a jury by having been
convicted of certain crimes. Beyond those requirements, everyone is given the opportunity to be a
juror regardless of age or occupation. Under very special circumstances, a person may be excused from
jury service. All excuses must be submitted in written form and will not be taken over the telephone.
All questions regarding jury selection and service should be addressed to the Jury Commission at
(440)576-3615, or to your assigned Judge.
TYPES OF JURIES & LENGTH OF SERVICE
Most jurors will be selected to serve on a petit jury. The number of jurors required is
determined by the type of case and the court in which the proceedings will be held. Also, the Judge may
decide to have alternate jurors selected in case
something should happen to one of the original jury panel. Jurors selected for service on a petit jury
in this county are summoned for one specific date.
The grand jury does not decide guilt or innocence. Rather, these jurors hear evidence and decide
whether a person should be indicted and tried for committing a crime. Persons selected on a grand jury
serve a four month term and report 2 times per month on alternating weeks unless additional days are needed.
As much notice as possible will be given for all dates of service.
NOTIFICATION & PROCEDURES
Prospective jurors will receive a summons with a questionnaire attached which must be completed and returned to the Office of the Jury Manager. This packet will also include your juror number, the date of your service, your assigned courtroom, and the phone number to call the night before your scheduled service date. Jurors are instructed to call the evening before the scheduled report date or on Friday evening if your scheduled date is on a Monday. The recorded message will provide instructions for those who are required to report for jury duty.
Circumstances sometimes arise at the last moment cancelling the need for a jury to appear as ordered.
An automatic answering device will give you further instructions on whether to report for jury duty.
This may save you an unnecessary trip to the courthouse. Any time between 5:00 P.M., the day before
your scheduled appearance and 8:00 A.M., the day you are ordered to appear, PLEASE CALL (440)576-6641
to see if you need to appear for jury duty. As there may be instructions for other juries on the tape,
ignore all instructions except those instructions for your assigned Judge. Jurors who fail to call the
above number will not be reimbursed for reporting if their jury service was cancelled the day before the
scheduled appearance date.
RESTROOMS - For the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas and Eastern County Court: restrooms are located on the first and second floors. Once jurors are checked in at their assigned courtroom they must use the restrooms that are located in the court’s jury room.
For Western County Court: restrooms are located on the second floor outside the jury room.
FOOD/BEVERAGE - Located in the lobby area of the courthouse is a break room with vending machines
where you may purchase coffee, soft drinks, sandwiches, and snacks. You may want to use these facilities
at the lunch break. No food or beverages are allowed in the courtroom. Tables and chairs are provided
in the break room. When you are released for lunch break, you are on your own. There are several restaurants and fast
food establishments in Jefferson. Most are located within a block or two of the courthouse, on North
and South Chestnut Streets, or you may wish to pack your own meal or use the facilities in the break room.
For Western County Court: Coffee will be provided for jurors but this court does not have vending machines available in the building. However, there are several locale eateries within walking distance.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES - Each court may have different rules regarding cell phones, at a minimum, phones should be turned off during court proceedings or they may be confiscated. A court may collect phones or any other device capable of recording (ie: tablets, i-pads, etc…) during trial and return them to you on breaks and after court has finished for the day. It is important that, while in trial, jurors do not post information on social media their participation in this process or any information surrounding their jury duty. It is also important that jurors refrain from looking up or referring to Google and similar web searches on the internet to research information on the law or specific information surrounding the case they are hearing during trial.
PARKING - - The parking lot for Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas and Eastern County Court is located on the west side of the building with entrances to the lot off of West Walnut Street or West Jefferson Street. You may enter the courthouse lobby through the west door from the parking lot, or you may enter the lobby from the east door, which is near Chestnut Street.
The parking area for Western County Court is at the rear of the building.
SECURITY - You may be required to pass through a security check point before you will be allowed to
proceed to the courtroom. All persons entering the courthouse are subject to a search of their person,
packages, or other items. A metal detector is in operation as you enter the courthouse. Any person
causing the alarm to sound will be searched with a hand-held detector to locate the metal object.
LOCATION - The Ashtabula County Common Pleas courtrooms are located on the second floor and Eastern County Court is located on the first floor of the Ashtabula County Courthouse on 25 West Jefferson St. in Jefferson, Ohio.
Western County court is located on the second floor of the courthouse at 117 West Main St. in Geneva, Ohio; an elevator is available and is handicap accessible.
CHECK-IN - Proceed to the assigned courtroom, after passing through security, to check in with
the Bailiff/staff and to complete any paperwork needed. Once you have checked in at your assigned court you must remain in the courtroom until excused by the Judge.
On behalf of the Ashtabula County Court System, the attorneys in these cases, the citizens
of this County, and the parties involved in these cases, the Courts express appreciation for your services
in performing this important public function.