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SUPERIOR COURT
Jury Service
Questions Our Jurors Ask
 
NOTICE: Courthouse Entry
New Castle County Courthouse opens for Jurors at 8:30 a.m.
Kent County Courthouse opens for Jurors at 8:15 a.m.
Sussex County Court house opens for Jurors at 8:30 a.m.

 
Question: What should I do if I get a 'Summons For Jury Service' in the mail?
 
Answer:
  Read your Summons carefully and be sure to fill out the 'Juror Qualification Questionnaire' attached to the summons or the ONLINE QUALIFICATION QUESTIONNAIRE.

You must answer every question. Questions concerning race, employment, etc., are not asked because we are nosy, but because we compile statistics from this information to ascertain that our jurors are, indeed, representative of the community.

Your social security number is for the Court's use only. (The ONLINE form does not ask for the SSN, it will be obtained at the Courthouse!) We must have a person's social security number in order to reimburse any jury fees owed that person. No one else has access to this information. When you have completed your Questionnaire, submit it online or detach it from the summons and mail it back to the Court in the self-addressed envelope that came with the summons. (Keep the top half so you'll have the necessary information.)
Question: I lost my Summons. What do I do?
 
Answer:
  You need to call the Jury Services Office:

    New Castle County Jury Services Office: 302.255.0824.
    Kent County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.735.1900, Ext. 58021.
    Sussex County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.855.7055
Question: How much will I get paid to be on Jury Duty?
 
Answer:
  Jurors are not paid, but they are reimbursed for some of the expenses they incur as a result of jury duty. The reimbursement rate is $20 a day.

In New Castle County, if you are not selected for a trial, or only serve on a trial lasting one day, you will not receive reimbursement for this service. Jurors selected for trial lasting more than one day will be reimbursed after the initial day of service.

In Kent and Sussex Counties, jurors receive the $20 a day reimbursement for every day they are required to report for jury service during their two-week term.
Question: How soon after my Jury Service will I receive my reimbursement?
 
Answer:
  Dependent upon the postal service and computer systems, every attempt is made to have the reimbursement to you within approximately two weeks.
Question: How do I get excused from Jury Duty?
 
Answer:
  The court excuses persons from jury service only upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience or public necessity. In lieu of excuse, service may be deferred for a period the court deems necessary, at the conclusion of which the person shall reappear for jury service in accordance with the court’s direction. The jury service of any person residing out of state for business or educational purposes shall be deferred until the person’s return.

First, you MUST return your completed Qualification Questionnaire, along with your written request for excuse or postponement.

Jury Services
New Castle County Courthouse
500 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 199801

Please read your summons for additional information. If you still have questions, please call the Jury Services telephone number listed for your county:

    New Castle County Jury Services Office: 302.255.0824.
    Kent County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.735.1900, Ext. 58021.
    Sussex County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.855.7055

NOTE: No request for excuse or postponement will be acted upon without a completed Qualification Questionnaire returned to the Court with supporting documents as may be required.
Question: What happens if I just don't show up for my Jury Duty?
 
Answer:
  If you fail to appear for jury duty, you'll receive a postcard in the mail telling you that you missed your Summons Date and that you should call the Court. If you call the Court, all will be well, and you'll simply be assigned another date to appear.

If you fail to appear for the Second Time, the court will have a Deputy Sheriff serve a summons to you at your house. If you fail to appear again, a Deputy Sheriff will then serve you with a Rule to Show Cause, where you must come before a Judge of Superior Court to explain why you did not report for jury duty as summoned.

The judge could fine you as much as $50, and imprison you up to three days. If you fail to appear for the Rule to Show Cause, a civil capias is issued.
Question: I no longer live in Delaware, but got a Summons. What do I need to do?
 
Answer:
  You will need to photocopy your Summons and your out-of-state driver's license and send it to Jury Services:

Jury Services
New Castle County Courthouse
500 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 199801
Question: I am a senior citizen who is over 70. Can I be excused from Jury Service? I'm self-employed or the main caregiver for someone who is unable to care for themselves. Can I be excused from Jury Service? Are there groups who can be excused from Jury Duty?
 
Answer:
Perhaps, depending on your age. Age is one of the categories of citizens who can be excused.

Membership in the following groups or occupational classes constitutes a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience or public necessity:

Served on a grand or petit jury within the past two years;
Over 70 years of age;
Jury service would violate deeply-held religious beliefs;
Primarily responsible for the care of persons who are unable to care for themselves;
Essential health care providers;
Full-time police officers or fire fighters;
Active full-time U. S. armed services or Delaware State National Guard;
Active full-time clergy;
Self-employed or paid primarily on commission.

To be excused for age, first, you MUST complete your Qualification Questionnaire, then, along a copy of your driver's license send them with a written request for excuse because of age to:

Jury Services
New Castle County Courthouse
500 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 199801

Please read your summons for additional information. If you still have questions, please call the Jury Services telephone number listed for your county:

  New Castle County Jury Services Office: 302.255.0824.
    Kent County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.735.1900, Ext. 58021.
    Sussex County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.855.7055

NOTE: No request for excuse or postponement will be acted upon without a completed Qualification Questionnaire returned to the Court with supporting documents as may be required.
Question: I have a green card; I'm not a citizen. What do I do with the Summons? Aren't I excused?
   
Answer:
Please read your Summons carefully.

On the Summons, it states that if you have a green card, you still MUST return your completed Qualification Questionnaire along with a photocopy of your green card. Then mail the completed Questionnaire along with a copy of your green card to:

Jury Services
New Castle County Courthouse
500 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 199801

NOTE: No request for excuse or postponement will be acted upon without a completed Qualification Questionnaire returned to the Court with supporting documents as may be required.
Question: How are Jurors selected?
 
Answer:
  Superior Court draws jurors from multiple source files, Voter's Registration, State Identification Cards and Licensed Drivers. The names of all residents in your county who either vote, have a State ID or drive are compiled by a computer in the State's Office of Information Systems in Dover, Delaware.

If you are on more then one source list, you still should only be on the list once because the computer eliminates duplicate names. Only about 5% of Delaware's population do not vote or drive.
Question: Question: How will I know I have been randomly selected to be a Juror?
 
Answer:
  You will receive a Summons from the Court, through the regular, first-class mail, to appear for jury duty.

The summons will tell you, among other things, what date you are to report, the time you are to appear, and the Court's policy concerning requests for excuse or postponement. The summons is the only notice you will receive, so be careful not to lose it, you'll need the information on it.
Question: Is there a plan or document that governs Petit Jury?
 
Answer:
  Yes. The Petit Juror Plan of the Superior Court. The plan governs the selection of petit jurors. View the Complete Petit Jury Plan >>
Question: A family member is no longer living, but I still continue to get Jury Summons in the mail. It is upsetting. What can I do?
 
Answer:
  Please contact Jury Services:

Jury Services
New Castle County Courthouse
500 North King Street
Wilmington, DE 199801
302.255.0824

Also, notify Voter Registration and Motor Vehicle (the Jury Services source lists) so they can remove deceased persons name.

Voter Registration:

Department of Elections for New Castle County
Carvel State Office Building
820 North French Street, Suite 400
Wilmington, DE  19801-3531
302.577.3464

Motor Vehicle:
http://www.dmv.de.gov/
Question: What time do Jurors go home? I have children and need to get out to pick them up. What do I do?
 
Answer:
  You need to be prepared to be here until 5:00 p.m. However, if the juror is not selected, the Court likes to have jurors out around or before lunch. But, on some selection days the process may not end until nearly 5:00 p.m.

If selected for a jury trial, the Court usually goes until 5:00 pm. The Judge, at Voir Dire will ask if anyone has a problem serving on this particular trial?  What their daycare issues are, and the Judge will instruct you on what to do. The judge MUST be notified about any issue before the trial starts.

The best plan is: Be Prepared!

Have a back-up plan just in case you are selected for a jury and the trial goes until 5:00 p.m. The Judge will allow a juror to call someone to initiate the back-up plan.
Question: I want to bring my Kindle or iPad to Jury Duty to pass the time. Can I bring an eBook Reader?
 
Answer:
  No. Because of security no electronic equipment is allowed. Please read the Courthouse Security Information.
Question: I was a Juror. In the courtroom the Judge said we could go. I went home. Now I'm worried I was supposed to go back to Jury Services. What do I do now?
 
Answer:
  You are always expected to report back to Jury Services. You need to call 302.255.0824 as soon as possible and explain.
Question:  I need help in finding a copy of the days I served for my employer. They claim they do not have the records I turned into them. Is there a way to get a copy of the dates I served on Jury Duty with the hours?
 
Answer:
  Yes. You need to call the Jury Services Office and request a work certification:

    New Castle County Jury Services Office: 302.255.0824.
    Kent County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.735.1900, Ext. 58021.
    Sussex County Office of the Prothonotary: 302.855.7055
Question: If I report as summoned, and complete my term of Jury Service, how long will it be before I have to serve again as a Juror?
 
Answer:
 

Jurors who have completed their term of service do not have to serve again for a minimum of two years.

Should you get another summons within two years of serving (you shouldn't but if your name or address changes, it is possible), please:

1) note date of when you served on the Qualification Questionnaire, and
2) ask to be excused because of previous service.

Question: Why can't the Court just use volunteer Jurors, or people who are retired, or not working?
 
Answer:
  The Court is unable to accept volunteer jurors because, by Delaware law, jurors' names must be randomly selected from the Motor/Voter lists. Additionally, Delaware law mandates that the Court's jurors be representative of the community in which they live. To use only retired or unemployed people as jurors would be against the law.