If you received a summons to appear, you are to report to the Court, located at 166 East High Avenue, New Philadelphia, Ohio in the Memorial Municipal Building (do not go to the Tuscarawas County Courthouse). Although you have been summoned for three dates within a one-week period, you may not be required to serve as a juror on each date listed. Whether the parties involved in the trial will change their minds about proceeding to trial is something the Court cannot control.
To find out if you are needed to appear, refer to the Jury Trial Status section below, the Jury Trial Status page, or call 330-343-6797 and press #3, on the evening or night before the scheduled trial. Jurors are reminded to check this website frequently as case status may change.
Failure to comply with your summons can result in sanctions provided for under Ohio law.
Jury Trial Status
Jury Year: 2013 The jury trials set on Monday, December 9th and Tuesday, December 10th have both been cancelled. Jurors do not have to report. Thank you!!
Parking & Entering
Jurors are to report not later than 9:00 a.m. to the New Philadelphia Municipal Court, located in the Memorial Municipal Building at 166 East High Avenue, New Philadelphia, Ohio. Parking is permitted on East High Avenue, as well as on Second Street. Jurors should enter through the front entrance of the building.
Where to Go Upon Arriving
You should enter through the front door of the Memorial Municipal Building on East High Avenue. You will pass through security and be directed to the Clerk's Office on the first floor to sign in. From there, you will be directed upstairs to a waiting area. Coffee will be available in the waiting area.
The State legislature has repealed all previous exemptions, including the over 70 age exemption. Currently, Ohio law only allows excusal for the following reasons:
- Absence from the county
- Physical inability to serve
- Recent death of the juror's spouse or recent death or dangerous illness of a close relative of juror, or of the juror's spouse
- Prior service within the same jury year
- Material harm to the interests of the juror or public
- The juror is a member of a cloistered religious organization
- The juror has moved outside of the New Philadelphia Municipal Court jurisdiction
If you believe that one of the above exemptions applies to you, you may request to be excused from jury duty by filing an affidavit alleging one or more of the above grounds. Current Ohio law does not allow the judge to excuse you unless the request is made under oath by the juror, or another acquainted with the facts. If you prefer, you (or "another acquainted with the facts") can fill out an affidavit form (provided by the clerk) in the Clerk's Office.
The request should include as many details as possible, with applicable documentation. For instance, if you are traveling out of the jurisdiction, you might enclose a copy of your travel itinerary or plane tickets, including dates and places of travel. If you are seeking a medical excuse, a note from your physician is helpful. Include a daytime phone number so the Court may contact you with its decision. Since jury duty is a constitutional responsibility, requests for excuses are not taken lightly.
You should understand that all requests to be excused from jury duty must be approved in writing before you can consider yourself "released" from jury service.
To Be Rescheduled
Our clerk can reschedule you for jury duty at a later date. This later date must be within the original term that you were selected for.
The terms are as follows:
1st) January – April, 2nd) May – August, and 3rd) September – December. (For example, if you were summoned for jury duty for a date in October and wish to reschedule for a later date, the later date must be within your original term, which is the 3rd term – September thru December.)
If you have a conflict with the week that you have been summoned, you may write to Clerk Julie A. Stamets at:
Jury Selection Division
166 East High Ave.
New Philadelphia, OH 44663
You do not have to send an affidavit, a letter is fine for this type of request. It would be helpful if you tell Ms. Stamets when jury service would be more convenient for you.
All persons are eligible to serve on jury except those who:
- Are less than 18 years of age;
- Are not residents of the New Philadelphia Municipal Court jurisdiction;
- Are not citizens of the United States;
- Are not able to communicate in the English language; or
- Have been convicted of a felony and have not had their civil rights restored
Jurors With Disabilities
All reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate prospective physically handicapped jurors who have special needs. If you need any special arrangements relative to a disability, please contact the Court as soon as you receive your summons.
Types of Cases
The municipal court handles misdemeanor criminal or traffic offenses, and civil lawsuits not exceeding $15,000. You will not be seated on a felony case.
Upon Entering the Courtroom
Because we normally schedule more than one jury trial for each day, the Judge may be in the process of sentencing a defendant who decided not to proceed to jury trial. If this is happening, simply take a seat and she will address you shortly. To begin, all prospective jurors take an oath that they will answer truthfully to the questions posed to them by the judge and the attorneys during the selection process.
The purpose of the questions is to find out if there is some reason why it might be difficult for you to be fair and impartial in the case to be tried. You will be told a little bit about the facts of the case, so the Court can determine if any past experience or prejudice might make it hard for you to be fair. You also have an opportunity to tell the Court about anything else that might impact your ability to sit as a juror including health problems, employment situations, and other obligations in your life.
How Long Will Service Take?
The case will begin with the parties selecting 8 or 9 jurors to hear the case. This initial process usually takes one to two hours. The jurors not selected are excused at this point. Also, the judge will give those jurors selected a recess at this time to make phone calls, if desired.
Most jury trials in municipal court can be completed in one day. A two or more day jury trial is very unusual, but is sometimes necessary. During the initial questioning, the judge will give you all the information she has regarding the expected length of the trial.
Although most one day jury trials end between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., we have concluded jury trials as early as noon, and as late as 10:00 p.m. (although these latter situations are unusual).
Jury Duty & Employment
Your employer is not required to pay you while on jury duty; however, employer are prohibited by law from firing an employee for serving on a jury nor can your job be affected by serving on a jury. If your employer requires, the Clerk of Court can give you a form stating that you were serving on a jury.
Importance of Jury Service
Trial by jury is one of the most important rights that we have as Americans. Trial by jury is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Ohio. Remember, someday you may want the service of a juror to decide a legal dispute of yours. Jury service is both a legal obligation and a civic duty.
Those who participate in a trial must do so in accordance with established rules. That is true of the witnesses, of the lawyers, and of the judge. It is equally true of jurors.
- Judge and Counsel – The lawyers present the evidence according to the rules. The judge enforces the rules and determines what evidence may be admitted.
- Jury – You will be the sole judges of the facts, the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be give to the testimony.
The procedure for the trial is as follows: First, counsel outlines what they expect their evidence will be. These opening statements are not evidence, but they are a preview of the claims of each party, designed to help you follow the evidence as it is presented. Then the state or plaintiff offers its evidence. The defendant may, but need not, offer evidence. If the defendant presents evidence, the state or plaintiff may present rebuttal evidence. The trial concludes with the arguments of counsel and the instructions of law by the Court. Thereafter, you deliberate on your verdict.
Jurors must arrive promptly to court. A trial cannot begin until all jurors are present. Jurors are required to give their undivided attention to the proceedings. Jurors must listen closely to the judge, witnesses, and attorneys. Jurors must consider the evidence presented and make an intelligent decision based on the evidence presented in court. Remember, the outcome of the case in extremely important to the parties that are involved. Jurors cannot let television, radio, newspapers, or other publicity concerning the case influence their decision. A verdict must be based solely on the evidence presented during the trial.
While Trial Is In Progress
While a trial is in progress, members of the jury must not discuss the case with friends, family, relatives, or other trial participants. If you are approached about the case, you need to report the incident to a court official immediately. If it is necessary, jurors will inspect a scene as a group under the court's supervision – not independently. Jurors must be impartial and refrain from comments or expressions during the trial which convey their opinions regarding the case.
Nervous About Jury Service
It is understandable that you may be apprehensive about being called for jury duty. However, we will try to accommodate your needs. Your service is essential to achieve justice, and we recognize this.
After serving on a jury, most jurors report that they enjoyed learning about, and experiencing first hand our legal process. Also, you can take satisfaction in doing your duty as an American citizen to see that people get a fair trial.
What to Wear
Wear comfortable clothing. Casual pants are perfectly acceptable. You will be sitting most of the day, but it is possible that we may go on a view of a scene. Therefore, you should where comfortable shoes. Also, some feel the jury room is cold, so you may wish to bring a sweater.
Lunch, Snack, Smoking
The Judge usually breaks for lunch as close to noon as possible. The jury is released to go to lunch wherever they choose. Jurors will not be required to eat as a group. (If you wish to go home, you may.) The Judge will usually discuss with the jury before the lunch recess whether they wish to take a 30, 45, or 60 minute lunch.
Coffee will be provided. The building has vending machines containing soft drinks, bottled water, and snacks.
The City has designated the building that the Court is in (The Memorial Municipal Building) as a non-smoking building. You will be permitted to smoke outside the front entrance where ashtrays are located. When the Judge gives the jurors breaks, they will be permitted to step outside the building to smoke