COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT JURY SELECTION PROCEDURE
Below are answers to questions commonly asked about jury duty.
How are jury lists compiled?
The AOC, which is the administrative arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice, compiles a master list of prospective jurors for each of the 120 counties. Juror names are drawn from all people filing a Kentucky resident individual tax return, registered voters and licensed drivers over age 18. The AOC removes the names of deceased individuals by cross-referencing a list from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics. To qualify for jury duty, a person must:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be a United States citizen.
- Be a resident of the county in which the case is to be tried.
- Be able to speak and understand English.
- Not have been convicted of a felony, unless pardoned or had his or her civil rights restored by the governor or other authorized person of the jurisdiction in which he or she was convicted.
- Not be currently under indictment.
- Not have served on a jury within the past 24 months.
Because juveniles under age 18 must occasionally file a tax return, their names may be included on a jury list even though they are too young to serve. When that happens, all they must do is return their juror qualification form after marking the box that states “I am under 18 years of age.” They will then be disqualified for jury duty.
How does the jury summons process work?
District and circuit judges who need jurors for a trial notify the chief circuit judge or his or her designee. This jury administrator then requests a list of prospective jurors from the master list maintained by the AOC. The prospective jurors on the list are mailed a summons requiring them to report for jury service at a specified time and place. State law requires that the summons be issued at least 30 days before they are to report for service. Prospective jurors must fill out the juror qualification form enclosed with the summons and return it to the circuit court clerk’s office within five days of receipt. The information provided on the form determines whether an individual is qualified for jury duty.
How long do jurors serve?
By law a person summonsed to jury duty is required to be available for 30 court days. However, once a jury begins hearing a case, the jury will remain seated for the duration of that case. In some urban areas a person may be required to serve as few as 14 days, while in some rural areas a person may be asked to serve as many as 150 days. The judge will determine the exact length of jury service.
How often do jurors serve?
Jurors cannot serve more often than every 24 months.