Jury Duty

Importance of Jury Duty

Our Constitution calls for the protection of life, liberty, and property by the government of the United States. The Judicial Branch of government exists in order to protect these rights. After a conflict occurs, the Judicial Branch ensures that such conflict is settled peaceably and justly. It is your service as a juror that furthers this endeavor.

"I've been selected for jury duty, what do I do?"
Jury duty at the Tulsa Municipal Court usually lasts the length of one trial, normally 1 day.

Please call the jury line at (918) 596-7795 after 5 p.m. the day before your scheduled service date. A pre-recorded message will tell you if you are to report, if you have been placed on stand-by, excused, or if you have been reassigned.

For your convenience, the recording is in operation between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.

If you must report for jury duty, please arrive at the court promptly at the designated time. Late arrivals are subject to rescheduling without pay. Failure to appear or notify the court may result in your being fined $100 for contempt of court. Further, please do not bring children, relatives, or friends with you on the day you report for jury duty.

The laws of the State of Oklahoma provide that citizens of the United States, residing in this state, having the qualifications of electors of this state, who are of sound mind and discretion and of good moral character are competent to serve on all grand and petit juries within their counties; provided that:

The Following persons are not qualified to serve as jurors:

  • Justice of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals;

  • Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals or the District Court;

  • Sheriffs or deputy sheriffs;

  • Jailers or law enforcement officers, state or federal, having custody of prisoners;

  • Licensed attorneys engaged in the practice of law;

  • Legislators during session of the Legislature or involved in state business;

  • Persons who have been convicted of any felony or served a term of imprisonment in any penitentiary, state or federal, for the commission of a felony; provided, any such citizen convicted, who has been fully restored to his civil rights, shall be eligible to serve as a juror; and

  • Persons NO LONGER residing within Tulsa City Limits

Persons over 70 years of age and persons who have served as a grand juror or petit juror during the last two (2) immediately preceding calendar years shall not be compelled to serve as jurors.

What to wear for jury duty
Attire should reflect the dignity and professionalism of the Court. Business casual clothing is preferred. Please refrain from wearing shorts, tank tops, sweats, and t-shirts with any printed matter.

The People Involved in the Trial
The Judge sits at the front of the court and controls proceedings. He or she controls the trial and decides questions of law, rules on objections, and instructs the jury on the law.

The Parties will be present with their counsel.

The Deputy Court Clerk sits at the front of the court, immediately below the judge.  He or she swears in the jury and calls the name of the prospective jurors.

Attorneys, also known as counsel, are present to argue the case for their client.  The defendant's counsel is the defense attorney. The City's attorney is the prosecutor.

Court Reporters ensure all proceedings are accurately recorded. The Municipal Criminal Court of Tulsa is a court of record and requires the stenographer to record everything. This record may be used if the case goes to appeal. Generally, no transcript of the proceedings will be immediately available for review by the jurors.

The Trial Process Opening Statements
After the jury is sworn, opening statements may be made by each party. The opening statement is a road map of what the attorney expects the evidence will be in the trial to prove their claim.

Evidence
Anything that tends to prove or disprove a claim about the facts is called evidence. Evidence may be something in writing, or it may be an article such as a photo or the like; in which case it si called an exhibity. Evidence may also be the statement of a person, in which case it is called testimony.

Examination of Witnesses
A lawyer who has called his or her witness proceeds with direct examination. In so doing, the lawyer asks question to bring out the facts he or she wishes to show.  The lawyers may make objections to the questions asked of a witness. The Judge may rule on any objection by sustaining the objection, which means that the question cannot be answered. If the question is proper, the objection is overruled, and the answer is given. When the direct examination is finished, the lawyer on the other side may cross-examine by asking questions. When cross is finished, the first lawyer may ask questions on redirect examination to clear up points on cross examination. Each juror should pay close attention to the witness who is testifying. If you can not hear plainly, do not hesitate to interrupt and let the Judge know you cannot hear.

Resting the Case
When the plaintiff has put in all its evidence, the plaintiff will rest its case. When the defendant is through, he also rests.

Instructions
The Judge will give you the instructions that state the law to apply to the case.

Arguments
After all the evidence has been given, each lawyer will make an argument to the jury, giving the reasons why he or she thinks they should prevail.

Arriving At A Verdict
The Judge will conclude the proceedings by giving a charge to the jury. The Judge will state the points of law that related to the issues in the case and explain the procedures in reaching a verdict. The jurors must decide the case in accordance with the Judge's interpretation of the law.

Following the Judge's charge, the jury will retire to a private room for deliberation.  They will first elect a foreman to preside over the deliberations and present the verdict to the court. The jurors will then discuss and evaluate the evidence.  All jurors should have the opportunity to express ideas and opinions on the case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I tell anyone I have jury duty?
It should never be a problem to tell others you have jury duty if you wish to do so.  The Court will not release your name or personal information.

Can I have someone serve in my place?
A jury summons cannot be transferred to anyone else. Please understand if you do not attend cour, the judge may issue a warrant for you arrest. You may be held in contempt if:

You ignore the summons; You leave during jury service without permission from the Court;You arrive unfil for jury service because of your use of alcohol or drugs; or You arrive unfit for jury service because of inappropriate dress.

How long do I have to serve?
You are scheduled to serve for one day. However, the judges are very conscious of your time and do not want you to remain at the courthouse unnecessarily. Every effort is made to get jurors seated for trials as quickly as possible. As soon as a determination is made that no more jurors are needed for any trials, the Court will authorize your release.

Does my employer have to pay me while I am serving as a juror?
Oklahoma law does not require your employer to pay you during your jury service.  Many employers, however, do support jury service with paid benefits; so be sure to ask your employer if any options are available. Many jurors choose to take paid time off or vacation when their employer does not provide paid jury leave.

Where do I go for jury duty?
You should report to the Jury Assembly Room located on the 2nd floor of the Police/Courts Building at 600 Civic Center.

Please remember:

Your Jury Service is essential!

You cannot be dismissed from your job or disciplined for serving as a juror.

If you are a student, your school cannot take any adverse academic action against you for serving as a juror.

Terms of Service

Compensation

Jurors who are chosen for jury duty receive $20 per each day of service, plus a one-way mileage fee of .55 cents per mile for each mile driven from the address on record with the Department of Public Safety. Payment is mailed to the address on your summons and you should receive it within four weeks of your service.

Parking/Court Access:

Jurors should park in the Free parking provided at the Civic Center Parkade, 500 West 3rd Street, which is located approximately one block east of 3rd and Houston Avenue. Please identify yourself as a Municipal Court Juror and show your summons to the parking attendant.

The City of Tulsa Municipal Court is committed to providing accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you have any special needs or accommodations, please contact the Municipal Court at (918) 596-7794, prior to the date you are summoned to appear.

Security

Everyone who enters the court must pass through a metal detector and may be subject to a search. Purses, briefcases, and the like must be passed through the X-ray machine as well. Weapons, which include everything from pocketknives to personal protection devices, are strictly prohibited in the Court.

Postponements:

If you are unavailable to report for jury duty on the date you were summoned, you may request a postponement by writing a short factual summary of the details on the reverse side of your summons and return it by mail. Since by law each jury panel must be randomly selected, we are not able to honor a request to delay your service to a later date. You must report the day for service unless notified by the Jury clerk that you have been determined to be disqualified or have been excused or dismissed by the telephone verification message.

 

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