General Overview of Putnam County Jury Service
Chapter 40, Florida Statutes
Pursuant to chapter 40 of the Florida Statutes, jurors are summoned at random from lists compiled by Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV); more specifically, a person is summoned at random based on what Florida’s DHSMV office lists as that person’s residential status. If a person possess a Florida Driver’s License (DL) or Florida Identification Card (ID) which has a Putnam County, Florida address affixed on it, then that person is subject to being summoned at random for Jury Service in and for Putnam County, Florida. This same aspect applies for every county within the state of Florida. Pursuant to chapter 322 of the Florida Statutes, the address that is affixed on a person’s DL/ID is what determines that person’s legal residency within the state of Florida.
Eligibility for Jury Service
Also pursuant to chapter 40 of the Florida Statutes, in order to be considered qualified to be randomly summoned as a prospective juror in and for Putnam County, Florida, you must:
• Be at least 18 years of age.
• Be a legal citizen of the United States of America, and a legal resident of Putnam County, Florida.
• Possess a Florida DL/ID that was issued by Florida’s DHSMV, or have completed an inclusion affidavit as prescribed in Florida Statute 40.011
Jury trials for Putnam County, Florida are conducted at the Putnam County Courthouse, which is located at 410 Saint Johns Avenue in Palatka, Florida. If you fail to report for jury duty and have not obtained an excusal or postponement from a judge prior to the date that you were summoned for, you may, at the discretion of our Judge’s Office, be found in contempt of court. It is in your best interest to make every effort to either appear on the day that you were summoned for, or to request to be excused from having to appear for the day that you were summoned for no less than seven days prior to the day that you were summoned for.
Requests to be Excused or Postponed
Effective November 1, 2017, no verbal requests for excusals or postponements are to be accepted. If you wish to be excused from your randomly scheduled jury service or if you wish to have your randomly scheduled jury service postponed to a later date, you are required to submit a written request for such. This written request may be in the form of a doctor’s referral letter/medical note and/or a brief personal letter explaining your situation. All written requests will be reviewed by a Judge and the Clerk’s Office will notify you of the reviewing Judge’s decision using whatever contact information you provide on your written request (phone number, mailing address, fax number, email address, etc.). No later than seven days prior to the day that you were summoned for, you may submit your written request by:
• Hand delivering your request to the Clerk of Courts Customer Service Center which is located at 518 Saint Johns Avenue, 1E in Palatka, Florida.
• Mailing your request to:
Putnam County Clerk of Courts
ATTN: Jury Management
P.O. Box 758
Palatka, Florida 32178-0758
• Faxing your request to (386) 329-0330.
• Emailing your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you ARE regularly employed and you receive your regular wages from your employer while you are serving as a juror, you will not be compensated for the first three days of your jury service for the term that you are serving. If you either ARE NOT regularly employed, or you are regularly employed, but DO NOT receive regular wages while you are serving as a juror, you are entitled to receive $15 per day for the first three days of your jury service for the term that you are serving. Please note that regular employment includes being employed full-time, part-time, temporarily, and occasionally. Each and every juror who serves four or more days during his or her respective term of jury service will be paid $30 for his or her fourth and subsequent days of jury service for that term, regardless of his or her eligibility for compensation for the first three days of that term. Before reporting for your jury service, please speak with your employer concerning the payment of your regular wages while you participate in your jury service. If you have been summoned for jury service, please complete and bring your jury summons with you to court in order to be marked as present.
Terms of Service
On your jury summons, the day for which you were summoned to appear for is what is considered the “Jury Selection Day” for that particular jury trial week. Just as this name suggests, this is the day that the jury panels are selected for all cases which are scheduled to participate in a jury trial during that particular jury trial week. If you are present for jury selection day and you ARE NOT selected to serve on a jury panel for that particular jury trial week, then the total amount of days that you will be attending your scheduled jury service for that term (including the jury selection day) will be one day. If you are present for jury selection day and you ARE selected to serve on a jury panel for that particular jury trial week, then the total amount of days that you will be attending your scheduled jury service for that term (including the jury selection day) may be two to five days. On average, if you are chosen to serve on a jury panel for that week, you can expect to serve for a total of two to three days; more details will be furnished to you during the jury selection process on the jury selection day that you were summoned for.
Accomodations for People With Disabilities
If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate on jury duty, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. To request such an accommodation, please contact Court Administration in advance of the date the service is needed:
125 E. Orange Ave., Ste. 300
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Hearing or voice impaired, please call 1 (800) 955-8770.
If you have been summoned for jury service, the jury schedule is subject to change prior to reporting time, with little to no notice. In order to avoid possible inconvenience, please confirm your scheduled jury service by dialing (386) 329-0444 within 24 calendar hours (including Sundays and/or holidays) of your scheduled jury service. The message found on this line will inform you of whether or not the jury selection day that you were summoned for is still scheduled as planned. Please feel free to contact the Clerk’s Office with any questions at (386) 329-0444. Trial by jury is a right guaranteed under the United States and Florida Constitutions. It is the duty of every citizen to service when called to do so.