Local Rule 1.5

 

JURY MANAGEMENT PLAN

 

 

JURY ELIGIBILITY

 

To ensure that the jury pool is representative of the adult population of Crawford County Ohio, all persons are eligible to serve on a jury, except as follows:

1. Persons less than 18 years of age.

2. Persons who are not residents of Crawford County.

All reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate prospective jurors who have special needs.

 

GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR JURY DRAWINGS

ANNUAL DRAWING

 

Potential jurors shall be drawn from a jury source list, which shall constitute a list of all registered voters in Crawford County, by the use of random selection procedures using automated data processing equipment in conformity with ORC 2313.08 and ORC 2313.21.

For jury drawing purposes, the year shall run from September 1 to August 31. Prior to May 1 and after the term selection held in April, the system programmer shall provide and upload into the data processing files for the jury selection program a list, as provided by the State Board of Election, of all registered voters for Crawford County, Ohio.  From this list, a selection process shall take place to compile the prospective jury pool list to be used throughout the next jury year beginning September 1.  The number of prospective jurors selected shall be set forth within a Judgment Entry issued by the Crawford County Common Pleas Court Judge.  This list shall be used by all of the Courts of Crawford County in the jury selection process.

The Jury Commission shall consist of two persons, of opposite political parties. The Commission shall split the list between the two and each will send questionnaires to the prospective jurors on their list. When the questionnaires are returned, each is inspected by the Jury Commission and decisions are made concerning their eligibility to serve as provided by Section 2313.34 of the Ohio Revised Code. After all corrections are made, the names of the eligible jurors are retained in the data processing files. The Jury Commission shall certify to the Clerk of Courts a list of the qualified and unqualified jurors.

 

TERMS OF COURT DRAWING PROCEDURE

 

Three times a year, the Clerk of Courts shall conduct a Term of Court jury drawing. Each Court shall submit to the Clerk of Common Pleas Court the number of persons requested to be drawn for that term. The Clerk shall then conduct the drawing according to that request for that particular term. The term drawing venires shall be filed with the Clerk of Courts and copies forwarded to the proper Courts.

 

In the event that the panels drawn are insufficient to meet the needs for a particular Court in that particular jury year, the Jury Commissioners shall reconvene as necessary to select additional jury panels in accordance with ORC 2313.01.

 

If, in the opinion of the Court, this jury list is not representative of the adult population of Crawford County, additional source lists shall be utilized as authorized by law.

 

Random selection processes shall be utilized to assign prospective jurors to specific panels and for assignment during voir dire.

 

Departures from random selection shall be permitted only as follows:

1. To exclude persons ineligible for service.

2. To excuse or defer prospective jurors.

3. To remove prospective jurors for cause or if challenged peremptorily.

4. To provide all prospective jurors with an opportunity to be called for     jury service and to be assigned to a panel.

 

All prospective jurors shall be notified by regular mail of their requirement of service by the issuance of a summons directing them to appear on the date assigned.

All prospective jurors shall be required to complete a second jury questionnaire and, if appropriate, request an excuse, exemption or a deferral by letter to the Court. Said summons shall be phrased so as to be readily understood by an individual unfamiliar with the legal process and shall be delivered by ordinary mail. Said summons shall clearly explain how and when the recipient must respond and the consequences of his failure to respond. Any person who fails to respond to a duly served summons shall be served with a citation for contempt of court and must appear to answer on said summons or, if appropriate, shall be arrested and detained for examination as to why they failed to attend.

 

SUMMONING OF PROSPECTIVE JURORS

 

Prospective jurors shall be summoned only upon the filing of a written jury demand, if required.

 

Prospective jurors shall be summoned to appear in sufficient numbers to accommodate trial activity. Panels of forty-five (45) persons per jury group shall be summoned for service unless the Court determines that a lesser or greater number is necessary for a particular trial.

 

Every effort shall be made to resolve cases prior to summoning a jury. If a trial is settled on the day of trial, all lawful jury costs shall be assessed against the party who requested the jury.

 

Persons summoned for petit jury service shall receive compensation in the amount of Thirty Dollars ($30.00) per day. Compensation for grand jurors will be Thirty Dollars ($30.00) per day. Such fees shall be promptly paid from the County Treasury as appropriate.

 

EXEMPTION, EXCUSE, AND DEFERRAL

 

All persons except those who exercise their right to exemption are subject to service. Eligible persons who are summoned may be excused from service only if it is determined that their ability to receive and evaluate information is so impaired that they are unable to perform their duties as jurors, or that service upon a jury would constitute a significant hardship to them or members of the public. Persons excused from service shall be deferred and may be subject to jury service at a later time.

 

The following factors constitute a partial, although not exclusive, list of excuses for which a person may be excused or deferred from jury service:

1. Any person who suffers from a substantial physiological or psychological impairment.

2. Any person who has a scheduled vacation or business trip during potential jury service.

3. Any person for whom jury service would constitute a substantial economic hardship.

4. Any person for whom service on a jury would constitute a substantial hardship on their family, clients, or members of the public affected by the prospective juror's occupation.

5. Any person who has served on a jury within the last year.

6. Any person for whom it may be readily determined is unfit for jury service.

7. Any person for whom it is readily apparent would be unable to perform their duty as a juror.

8. Any other valid excuse.

 

No person shall be excused from jury service except by the Judge or an individual specifically authorized to excuse jurors.

 

Once a prospective juror has submitted his request for excuse, the prospective juror must report for service unless otherwise notified by the Court.

 

EXAMINATION OF PROSPECTIVE JURORS

 

Examination of prospective jurors shall be limited to matters relevant to determining whether to remove a juror for cause and to determine the juror's fairness and impartiality.

 

All prospective jurors shall be placed under oath in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. The oath administered shall incorporate an oath to assure the truthfulness of the answers provided on jury questionnaires.

 

Jury questionnaires indicating basic background information concerning panel members shall be made available to counsel one week prior to the day on which jury selection is to begin.

 

Counsel is permitted to record or copy the information contained on the questionnaires, except addresses and telephone numbers, so long as all copies of jury questionnaires are returned to the Court upon completion of the trial. Under no circumstances may counsel or a party retain any jury questionnaire.

Neither counsel nor party will be permitted to question prospective jurors as to matters contained in the questionnaire. Parties and counsel may be permitted to ask follow up questions concerning such information.

 

The Court shall conduct a preliminary voir dire examination concerning basic and relevant matters and counsel shall be permitted a reasonable period of time to question panel members thereafter. Counsel or parties shall conform their voir dire questioning to the following rules:

1. Counsel may not examine prospective jurors concerning the law or possible instructions.

2. Counsel may not ask jurors to base answers on hypothetical questions.

3. Counsel may not argue the case while questioning jurors.

4. Counsel may not engage in efforts to indoctrinate jurors.

5. Jurors may not be asked what kind of verdict they might return under any circumstances. No promises may be elicited from jurors.

6. Questions are to be asked collectively of the panel whenever possible.

7. Counsel may inquire by general questions concerning the validity and philosophy of reasonable doubt or the presumption of innocence.

 

In all cases, voir dire shall be held on the record but may be conducted outside the presence of other jurors in order to protect juror privacy or to avoid juror embarrassment.

 

If it is determined by the Court during the voir dire process that an individual is unable or unwilling to sit in a particular case fairly and impartially, the individual shall be removed from the panel. Such motion for removal for cause may be made by counsel, a party if unrepresented, or upon the motion of the Court. Further, Ohio Revised Code 2313.42 and Ohio Criminal Rule of Procedure 24(B) set forth additional case challenges which may be made against potential jurors.

 

Peremptory challenges shall be exercised alternately as presently established by Ohio Revised Code 2945.23, Civil Rule 47, and Criminal Rule 24 unless, prior to trial, the parties agree on the record to another method.

 

Challenges to the jury array shall be made in accordance with established rules of procedure.

 

JURY ORIENTATION

 

Jurors shall report for service no later than 8:30 a.m. unless otherwise directed. After orientation, voir dire shall commence promptly. All unresolved trial issues must be brought to the attention of the Court twenty‑four hours before trial.

 

Prospective jurors shall be provided with written and audio/visual orientation materials upon their initial appearance and prior to service. The Court shall give preliminary instructions to all prospective jurors, as well as additional instructions following the impaneling of the jury to explain the jury's role and trial procedures of the Court along with other basic and relevant legal principals.

 

Upon the completion of the case and prior to jury deliberations, the Court shall instruct the jury on the law and the appropriate procedures to be followed during the course of deliberations.

 

A final jury charge shall, whenever possible, be committed to writing and shall be provided to the jury for its use during deliberation.

 

Upon appearance for service, all prospective jurors shall be placed under the supervision of assigned personnel and shall direct any questions or communications to such Court personnel for appropriate action.

 

All jury deliberations shall be conducted in the jury deliberation room. Jury deliberation rooms shall include space, furnishings and facilities conducive to reaching a fair verdict.

 

Court personnel shall endeavor to secure the safety of all prospective jurors and shall arrange and conduct all activities so as to minimize conduct between jurors, parties, counsel and the public.

 

Deliberations shall not continue after a reasonable hour unless the trial judge determines that evening and weekend deliberations would not impose an undue hardship upon the jurors and are required in the interest of justice. Jurors shall be consulted prior to any decision.

 

If jury deliberations are halted, jurors shall be permitted to be separated unless, for good cause shown, the Court finds that sequestration is necessary. If a jury is sequestered, the Court shall undertake the responsibility to oversee the conditions of sequestration and the transportation of all jurors.

 

Upon reaching a verdict, all jurors shall return to the courtroom where the verdict or verdicts shall be read in open court. Upon the reading of the verdict, in criminal cases, either party may request the jury be polled.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The Court shall collect and analyze information regarding the performance of this jury management plan to evaluate the representativeness of the jury pool; the effectiveness of the summoning procedures; the responsiveness of individual citizens to jury summons; the efficient use of jurors; the cost effectiveness of this plan, and overall juror satisfaction.

 

 

(Effective August 31, 1995)

(Revised December 31, 2008)