Jury Service

A Responsibility & Privilege of Citizenship

We Rely on Your Participation

Serving on a Jury

Serving on a jury is a responsibility and privilege of citizenship. Juries are critical to our legal system, and we rely on your participation! While the Court acknowledges being a juror may require some adjustment of your normal schedule, we hope you will enjoy the opportunity to see your Courts in action and learn more about the judicial system. Thank you for your service!

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
– Thomas Jefferson, 1788


Jury Duty

Please listen to the Jury Duty Information Center recording for the most current trial information.
The final update is posted on Friday at 4:30 P.M. for Judge Ondrey’s Court and on Monday at 4:30 P.M. for Judge Paschke’s Court.

Judge Paschke’s Court

Judge Paschke’s Jury Information Center Recording Line:
440-279-2266 – Juror Questionnaire (click to view/print)

Beverly Modic, Jury Administrator
100 Short Court Street, Suite 1-A
Chardon, OH 44024

Judge Ondrey’s Court

Judge Ondrey’s Jury Information Center Recording Line:
440-279-2255 – Juror Questionnaire (click to view/print)

Anita Comella, Jury Administrator
100 Short Court Street, Suite 2-A
Chardon, OH 44024

It is essential that you include your cell phone number when you return your Questionnaire to authorize receipt of text message updates regarding our jury duty service. Please return the completed Questionnaire to the appropriate Court.

Get answers to your questions about jury service

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Juror Terms of Service?

A juror term lasts four months, but each juror is usually scheduled for only a one or two-week period therein. Jurors for individual cases are randomly selected from the jurors in their group. Therefore, even if you are instructed to come to Court, you may not be selected to serve. You should know by 11:00 A.M. the first day of trial if you are selected to serve as a juror.

How long do trials last?

Trials generally last two to three days; however, a trial may last longer. On the first day of trial, you will be advised by the Judge of the anticipated duration of the case. The hours for jury trials are normally 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

How was I selected for jury duty?

In Geauga County, jurors are randomly selected from a list of registered voters in Geauga County.

How much advance notice will I receive when I’m scheduled for jury duty?

If you have not already received a Group Number assignment and report date along with your questionnaire, you may be assigned a report date with two weeks advance notice.

What is the dress code?

While there is no strict dress code, we request you please wear clothing that is appropriate in a court of law and reflects the seriousness of your duty as a juror. We recommend comfortable, casual business attire. Because the temperature in the Courtroom fluctuates, we suggest bringing a sweater or a jacket as an extra layer. Hats are not permitted inside the Courtroom.

What can I bring into the Courthouse?

All purses, packages, or backpacks should be left in your vehicle. If brought, you will be asked to return the item to your car or it may be temporarily confiscated by security and given back to you at the end of the day.

Are meals provided?

The Court is unable to provide meals for jurors. However, you will be given an hour for lunch to go to one of the local restaurants, and you may bring your own lunch. There are multiple dining options within walking distance from the Courthouse in Chardon square. You are not permitted to eat in the Courtroom.

Will I be sitting in trial for the entire day?

No, you will not be in the Courtroom for the entire day. You will be given breaks and time to eat lunch during the trial. There may also be a waiting period before the trial begins, so we recommend bringing a book, your phone, or some form of entertainment to help pass the time.

Is the Courthouse handicap accessible?

Handicapped parking spaces are located on the east side of the Courthouse, and a ramp will lead you to the basement entrance. An elevator will then take you to your desired Courtroom level. Please call in advance so we can assist you further.

What if I moved and do not live in Geauga County anymore?

You must live in Geauga County to serve as a juror for the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas. If you moved outside of the county and still received a jury summons, you are excused from jury duty. Please correct your residence address on the questionnaire and return it to the Court, so we may update our records.

Will I be compensated?

You will be paid $25.00 a day for your service as a juror. You will be paid via check a few weeks from your last day of service.

Where do I park as a juror?

Jurors are permitted to park in the Geauga County parking lot located on the east side of the Chardon Square, across the street from the Courthouse (on East Park Street, near Park Auditorium). Jurors may also park around the town square or on Short Court Street, which bisects the square. Please be sure you do not park in an area marked as a one-hour zone. You should prominently display your Juror Notice on the dashboard of your vehicle to avoid a parking ticket.

What security measures are in place?

For your safety, a sheriff is located at the entrance. Everyone will pass through a metal detector. All purses, packages, or backpacks should be left in your vehicle. Please do not bring weapons, pepper spray, knives, or sharp objects, as they will be confiscated. Any legal, confiscated item will be returned to you as you leave the Courthouse at the end of the day.

Will I get any proof of attendance as a juror?

Upon request, the Court can give you a letter to verify your service.

What is the difference between Grand Jury and Petit Jury?

There are two types of jurors in Ohio: petit and grand jurors. The top of your jury summons will indicate whether you were chosen for petit or grand jury service. While petit jurors decide a defendant’s guilt or innocence, grand jurors decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to bring felony charges against a person who allegedly committed a crime (the defendant). There are nine jurors on a grand jury and five alternate grand jurors. Seven must vote in favor of indictment in order to charge the defendant. Grand juries begin every felony case, so your service as a grand juror is vital to the legal system. Grand Jury service is very different than petit jury service. Generally, your session will convene on Friday mornings for several hours, depending on how many cases the Prosecutor’s Office needs to present. Once the Grand Jury is selected and sworn in, the Geauga County Prosecutor controls the sessions.  Further details will be provided on the afternoon of the impaneling session. The Supreme Court of Ohio created this video to provide more information about grand juries: http://www.ohiochannel.org/video/grand-jury-duty-in-ohio

Expectations & Requirements

Juror Eligibility & Expectations

To be eligible for jury duty, you must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the county in which you are called to serve. You must also be able to communicate in the English language. The expectations for jurors are as follows:

Be on time. The trial proceedings cannot begin without all jurors present.
Pay attention to what is happening in the Courtroom and to what everyone is saying, including the Judge, parties, attorneys, and witnesses.
Do not talk about the case matters to anyone while the trial is still occurring. You may only speak to other jury members about the trial after all evidence is presented, attorneys make closing arguments, and the Judge gives you instructions.
Do not speak to any party, attorney, or witness, even if it is not about trial matters.
Do not try to acquire outside information about the case. Only consider the evidence presented in Court, during the trial.
Turn off your cellphone and other devices while in the Courtroom. You may use them during breaks.
No food or chewing gum is permitted inside the Courtroom. Only bottled water is permitted.


You may request a postponement of jury duty if you have a current conflict but will be able to serve at a later date. You may be eligible for a postponement if you have vacation plans, your work requires a one-time change of service date, or you have other out-of-town commitments.
Your initial appearance for jury duty may be postponed if you have not previously been granted a postponement and if you and Jury Commission Staff agree to a specified date on which you will appear for jury service.
The Geauga County Court of Common Pleas may grant a second or subsequent postponement of jury service in the event of an extreme emergency, such as a death of a family member, a sudden illness, or a natural disaster or national emergency in which you are personally involved. Before receiving a second or subsequent postponement, you must agree to a specified date on which you will appear for jury service. The specified date must be one on which the Court is in session and is not more than six months after the date of the postponement.
State your date change request in writing on your questionnaire, along with an explanation for the request. Submit it immediately to the appropriate Court. You will receive your response in writing.


Requests for excusal from jury duty are governed by Ohio Revised Code 2313.14. Fill out the questionnaire and explain, in writing, your request for excuse. Submit the completed questionnaire immediately to the Court to whom you are assigned, and you will receive a written response.

You will be excused upon properly returning your questionnaire indicating if one or more of the following applies:
You are no longer a resident of Geauga County.
You are over 75 years of age, and requesting to be excused.
You are not a citizen of the United States.
You are unable to communicate in English.
You are a cloistered [kept away from the outside world; sheltered] member of a religious organization.
You are an active member of a recognized Amish sect.
You have a felony conviction in Ohio or elsewhere and are currently on probation or community control.
You have served as a juror within the past year. Specifying when and where.
The potential juror is deceased.

Information for Employers

As governed by Ohio Revised Code 2313.19, employers must allow time off for employees to serve on a jury.
No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, or take any disciplinary action that could lead to the discharge of any permanent employee who is summoned to serve as a juror pursuant to Chapter 2313. of the Revised Code if the employee gives reasonable notice to the employer of the summons prior to the commencement of the employee’s service as a juror and if the employee is absent from employment because of the actual jury service.
No employer shall require or request an employee to use annual, vacation, or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury duty, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or for time spent actually serving on a jury. Nothing in this division requires an employer to provide annual, vacation, or sick leave to employees under the provisions of this section who otherwise are not entitled to those benefits under the employer’s policies.

The Trial Process

Selection of a Jury
All prospective jurors will take an oath and/or agree to answer questions the Judge and the attorneys will ask. The questions asked will be used to determine if it might be difficult for certain jurors to remain impartial during trial. Please be truthful. You will be given a description of the case and the opportunity to tell the Court about anything that might impact your ability to be a juror.
Opening Statements
Opening statements are made by the attorneys of each party, starting with the prosecution/plaintiff. This is where both sides will introduce the case and provide and overview to the Judge and jury about what they can expect to hear during the trial.
Evidence and Witness Testimony
The prosecution/plaintiff’s case is presented first, and the defense’s follows. Each side may call witnesses to the stand and ask questions of their own witnesses through direct-examination. An attorney from the other side may also ask questions through cross-examination. Evidence may be admitted to the Court as part of the prosecution/plaintiff or defense’s cases, such as documents and photographs
Attorneys may object to questions during direct and cross-examination, as well as to the admission of certain pieces of evidence. Objection argument are made to the Judge and are questions of legal technicalities. The Judge will instruct you, if needed, to disregard specific pieces of information based on the outcome of objection arguments. Whether the Judge overrules and objection does not mean he or she favors one side over the other. The Judge’s rulings on objections reflects how he or she is applying the law in regards to which questions and pieces of evidence are permissible in Court.
Closing Arguments
Closing arguments are made by each party, and both sides summarize the cases they made in Court to persuade the jury to rule in favor of their party. The prosecution/plaintiff has the opportunity to open and end closing arguments because they bear the burden of proof.
Charging the Jury
When charging the Jury, the Judge gives instructions to the jury on how to reach a verdict. This is where the Judge explains the law and how it is applied. The Judge will also define the issues to decide.
Jury Deliberation
After the attorneys make closing arguments and the Judge charges the jury, jurors go to the deliberation room to discuss the facts of the case and the evidence presented in Court. This is when the jury decides on a verdict. Before beginning deliberation, the jury will elect a foreperson to lead an orderly discussion about the trial. The foreperson will ensure each juror has an opportunity to participate and all issues brought up in trial are thoroughly covered.
Verdict Announcement
Once the jury decides on a verdict, the jurors must notify the bailiff. The Judge will then read the verdict in the Courtroom, and the Jurors will be dismissed.