Court s in Session: Jury Trials for Clerks OBJECTIVES. About having a Jury Trial? Texas Municipal Courts Education Center.

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1 Court s in Session: Jury Trials for Clerks Texas Municipal Courts Education Center Spring 2016 OBJECTIVES Participants will be able to: Identify the statutes and authorities pertaining to the impaneling of a jury; Discuss different methods to comply with the laws and establish an efficient process; and Summarize methods to properly summons and impanel a jury. Are you feeling like this.. About having a Jury Trial? Don t Worry Be Happy!!!

2 What do you need to know? When is the jury trial to be held? Does the defendant have an attorney? Do you summons a jury panel manually or is it an automated process? Article 1.24, C.C.P. The proceedings in all courts shall be public. Article 1.05, C.C.P. Defendants have a right to a speedy, public trial by an impartial jury.

3 Article 1.12, C.C.P. The right to a jury trial shall be inviolate. (may not be violated) Section , Government Code To be eligible to serve on a municipal court jury, including a municipal court of record, a person must be a resident of the municipality for which the court is established. SUMMONING PROSPECTIVE JURORS Judge signs writ of venire for random selection of jurors manually or electronically

4 PROSPECTIVE JUROR SOURCES Voter registration, Property tax listing, Driver s licenses, Utility billing account listing, Combination, thereof. Print juror summons juror questionnaire requesting certain personal information Print and Keep a List of the venire panel Regular Mail 3 to 4 weeks before date In the meantime.. Review Case file Prepare Complaint Mail a copy of Complaint to Defendant or Attorney

5 In the meantime. Make a copy of case file for prosecutor, including complaint Pull or have prosecutor pull necessary reports Section , Government Code A person summoned for jury duty may request a postponement by contacting the clerk in person, in writing, or by telephone before the date of the trial. Section , Government Code If a person provides false information in a exemption request or excuse from jury service person is subject to contempt action Fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1000

6 HEARING IMPAIRED Section (4), Government Code Prospective juror notifies the court that he or she is hearing impaired and wants to serve on the jury The clerk must.. Notify the judge Appoint an interpreter Or Provide some type of auxiliary equipment ON PRINTED LIST OF THE VENIRE PANEL.. Mark out the names of the jurors claiming: Exemptions Returns due to bad addresses or just returned

7 Clerk must also keep a list of prospective jurors, names and addresses, who claim an exemption because of lack of residence in the county Send copy to the County voter registrar on a monthly basis PREPARE: Excuse letters to be handed out after jury service for jurors to take back to work Copy the juror information forms for the prosecution, defense, judge and courtroom clerk, if mailed in PREPARE: List of jurors for prosecution, defense, judge and courtroom clerk Prepare a verdict form

8 Trial Day. Have the final draft of the prospective jurors you expect to see come in to serve Trial day Have jurors sign in Assign a seat to each juror give to each juror the information handout this is required reading Trial Day. Make sure the jurors are properly seated Challenge to the array, may occur Article 35.09, C.C.P.

9 Trial day A jury shuffle may be requested one time Article 35.11, C.C.P. Trial Day. Judge, Clerk or Bailiff may administer oath to prospective juror panel Voir dire Trial Day.. Peremptory strikes 3 each First 6 jurors not struck comprises jury panel Re print the jury list with the 6 juror names only

10 Trial Day.. Pick up juror information sheets from Defense and Prosecution Do not discard Trial Starts Judge shall administer oath to the jury panel (6 members) hearing the case Trial Ends.. Hand the Judge the verdict sheet to give to the jury with the jury charge If verdict is guilty assess $3 fee Art , C.C.P.

11 Trial Ends.. If you pay the jurors, no statutory requirement to do so, verify names and addresses before they leave Trial Ends. Process payment for jurors Court or finance processes checks Trial Ends.. Judge needs to make a decision whether or not to hold jurors who fail to appear for jury duty in contempt Fine up to $100 Article , C.C.P.

12 Trial Ends Summons jurors in to court may reschedule them or assess contempt Article , C.C.P. COMPLETE PAPERWORK.. Collect all jury information Include venire lists, Information and reply forms Returned and undeliverable jury summons Retention period 1 year Where to find: Juror Information handout State Bar of Texas Provided Free of charge Sample Forms: TMCEC forms Book Network with other courts

13 Questions?

14 COURT S IN SESSION JURY TRIALS FOR CLERKS November 9, 2015 Bianca Bentzin Chief Prosecutor City of Austin LEGAL RESOURCES - Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 35: Formation of the Jury - Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 36: The Trial Before the Jury - Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 45: Justice and Municipal Court - Government Code Section 62: Petit Juries BASIC PRINCIPLES - A defendant in a criminal case has the right to a speedy trial by jury (if the defendant elects trial by jury). (CCP 1.05 and 1.12; U.S. Constitution 6 th Amendment) - Defendant must affirmatively waive right to trial by jury. (CCP 1.13) - Attorney can appear for the defendant at the trial. (CCP 33.04) - Keep records of everything: jury lists, requests to be excused, juror questionnaires, etc. When the trial is over, copies of all documents are returned to the county. - A copy of the TMCEC Forms Book will be a lifesaver. IMPANELING A JURY - Judge issues a writ of venire which is a court order to the clerk to impanel a jury. (CCP ) - List of potential jurors is created. Large cities: usually done by a county official with juror names being pulled from voter registration, property tax listings, driver s license records. Smaller cities: usually utility records are used (this increases the change that the juror will reside within the city limits

15 - Names selected for juror list must be random. Counties typically have a computer program to create a random list. For smaller cities, this is usually done by hand. This website can be used to create a random list: To use this tool, assign each potential juror a number and the program will select a list of random numbers. The jurors assigned to the randomly selected numbers will be summoned for jury service. - Need enough potential jurors to allow for a 6 person panel. Recommend requesting between names to allow for disqualifications and juror strikes. (CCP 33.01) - Send out juror summons at least 3 to 4 weeks before the trial. JURY DISQUALIFICATION AND EXCUSES - Jurors must be at least 18, be qualified to vote, not have any felony convictions and is a resident of the municipality where the court is in short, live within the city limits. (Govt. Code and ). - If a potential juror asks to be excused from jury service, The court's designee (the clerk) may discharge the prospective juror or postpone the prospective juror's service to a date specified by the court's designee, as appropriate, if the clerk deems the excuse sufficient and the juror submits a statement citing the reason the juror is unable to serve or is not qualified to serve. (CCP 35.03; Govt. Code ) - All jurors who report for jury duty must complete a juror questionnaire. A list of what must be on the juror questionnaire can be found at Govt. Code Section ) PREPARE CASE FOR TRIAL - Issue the complaint and make sure all parties/attorneys have a copy or access to a copy. Sample complaints can be found here: Alternatively, feel free to City of Austin at we have complaints for almost any charge. - Locate jury charge (which must be approved by the judge). Sample jury charges can be found here:

16 - Locate verdict forms. Sample copies can be found in the TMCEC Forms Book. TRIAL DAY - If possible, have two clerks to assist with the jury trial. One to assist the jury and one to assist the judge. - Have the judge welcome the potential panel. - Have the jurors complete the questionnaire. - Have the jurors read the juror information handout. A copy available for use can be found at under the tab For Lawyers and then the tab Judiciary. Select Texas Uniform Jury Handbook. - Potential jurors must be seated in the courtroom in the order listed on the jury list. This is an error which could disqualify the panel and require a new panel. (CCP ) - The judge or clerk may administer the oath to the prospective jurors. (CCP 35.02) - One clerk stays in the courtroom to assist the judge with the trial, marks evidence, and gives the jury charge to the judge. - Judge can order no cameras or recording devices in the courtroom VOIR DIRE - The judge and the parties will question the potential jurors. - Jurors may be struck for cause or during a peremptory strike. A strike for cause usually occurs because a juror is deemed to not be able to be fair and impartial or service would create a hardship. Each side is permitted 3 peremptory strikes. The strikes cannot violate Batson. - The first 6 jurors who remain after the strikes is the panel for the trial. - Collect the juror questionnaires but do not discard. - Create a new juror list with the names of the 6 jurors

17 DELIBERATION AND VERDICT - Jurors must have a private room for deliberation. - Jurors must be walked to and from the courtroom and deliberation to ensure no one interferes with the jury. - Clerk must ensure the jurors stay together in the deliberation room during deliberation. - If the jurors have questions during deliberation, the questions must be in writing and given to the clerk who will deliver the questions to the judge. - Issue to consider: Personal electronic devices in the deliberation room (cell phones, tablets, etc.) Judge can order that these items not be allowed in the deliberation room. This is highly recommended. POST TRIAL - If jurors are to be paid, verify address before they leave. - Keep a record of the case: Each clerk of a court of record having criminal jurisdiction shall keep a record in which shall be set down the style and file number of each criminal action, the nature of the offense, the names of counsel, the proceedings had therein, and the date of each proceeding. (CCP 33.07) - 4 -

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