Jury Duty

The United States Constitution outlines the right to a jury trial in the Sixth and Seventh Amendments and in Article III, Sec. 2.  The Ohio Constitution also provides for a right to trial by jury in Article 1, Section 5.  U.S. citizens are granted the right to a trial by a jury of their peers in both criminal and civil matters. 

Toledo Municipal Court hears misdemeanor criminal and traffic cases and civil cases involving requests for money damages up to $15,000.  Criminal and traffic misdemeanor offenses must be punishable by up to six months in jail for trial by jury.  Civil jury trials involve disputes regarding money, property, or contracts. 

Jurors are randomly chosen to receive a jury summons from lists compiled from voter registrations.  Jurors must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and a resident of the court’s jurisdiction.  After a juror is summonsed to report for jury duty, prospective jurors answer questions posed by the attorneys representing both parties.  Questioning continues until eight jurors and one alternate juror have been selected to serve.

The role of the jury is to serve as an equal partner in the administration of justice.  Juries hear and see the evidence presented in a trial, deliberate, and follow the law in deciding the outcome of a trial.  Juries foster public trust in the justice system by providing fair and impartial trials for those accused of crimes and determining civil liability and damages in civil cases. 

Click here to view a video about the Ohio jury system

REPORTING INSTRUCTIONS

If you received a jury summons, please follow the instructions listed on the summons.  Jurors must be available and ready to report when instructed.  All jurors are on standby status for the two days shown on the summons and must call a recorded message that provides instructions regarding the need to report to Toledo Municipal Court.

Please call (419) 213-4288 after 5:00 p.m. both evenings before your service dates.

A recorded message will state which group numbers are to report the following day and the time they are needed to report.  If your group number is not called on the first day, you will need to call that evening for your second day of reporting instructions.  If you are not instructed to report on either day, your service is completed.  If you are directed to report to jury duty, please report to the Toledo Municipal Court at the time stated on the recorded message.

If you are requesting an excuse from jury service or need to reschedule, please follow the instructions on the back of your Summons for Jury notice. 

For additional information, please contact the Office of the Jury Commission at (419) 213-4790 or by clicking here.

Jurors will need to bring their jury summons with them as it contains a juror badge to wear while serving on the jury.  If a juror forgets to bring their summons, a badge will be provided by the court.

Click here to view a copy of a jury duty summons

Failure to report as instructed may subject you to a penalty for contempt of court.

PARKING

Toledo Municipal Court is located at 555 N. Erie Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604.  There are multiple pay lots in the downtown area.  Jurors will need to pay for their own parking.  Please park carefully-the parking authority actively tickets on the streets around the courthouse.  Click here for a map that lists available parking options in downtown Toledo. 

COURT SECURITY

All court users and jurors are required to pass through security when entering Toledo Municipal Court.  Weapons, including guns, knives, etc. are not permitted in the courthouse.  All purses and bags will be x-rayed.  Building regulations for the court are outlined here

PROPER ATTIRE FOR JURY DUTY

There is no dress code for jury duty; however, the court suggests jurors wear comfortable clothing that is suitable for the courtroom.  Temperatures vary so please consider bringing a sweater or light jacket.

WHAT TO BRING

Jurors are permitted to bring snacks and drinks with them to the courthouse.  Drinks must have a secure lid.  Since there will be waiting periods throughout the day, it is also recommended to bring reading materials.

CELL PHONE USE

Cell phones must be turned off or put on silent while in the courtroom and in the jury assembly room.  If an emergency arises and a juror needs to use their phone, the juror must notify a court staff member.

Please remember while performing jury service the following is prohibited:

  • Texting
  • Checking/updating social media accounts
  • Playing games
  • Headphones or earbuds

Video recording in the courthouse is strictly prohibited. 

SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

If jurors require special accommodations (interpreter, hearing amplification equipment, accommodations for limited mobility, breastfeeding mothers, etc.), jurors should contact the Court Services Assistant Commissioner at 419-245-1995 at least one week in advance of jury service.  The Toledo Municipal Court makes all reasonable efforts to ensure that everyone has equal access to the court. 

BREAKS

Breaks will be given to jurors, including a lunch break.  Jurors will be notified of the time they are to report back to the court after lunch.  There are several restaurants within walking distance of the courthouse. 

Restaurants in Downtown Toledo

UPON ARRIVAL AT TOLEDO MUNICIPAL COURT

  1. There will be signs near the entry directing jurors where to report.
  2. Jurors will check in for jury duty at a kiosk in the jury assembly room.
  3. Jurors will receive information and instructions from a court staff member.
  4. Jurors will be escorted to a courtroom where further instruction from a judge will be provided.

Jurors will go through the jury selection process and will either be excused or chosen to serve on the jury.  Eight jurors and one alternate juror will be selected.

TIPS TO MANAGE JURY TRIAL STRESS

Serving on a jury can be stressful, whether it’s finding parking, not knowing what to expect, or how the day will unfold.  Toledo Municipal Court would like jury duty to be a pleasant experience for all.  Below are some tips to help reduce stress and anxiety when preparing to serve:

  • Plan ahead. Cancel any appointments that may be on the same day as the jury trial.  Make any necessary arrangements for childcare or eldercare.
  • Arrive at the courthouse early. Running late or rushing can be a source of stress and anxiety.  The jury assembly room opens 30 minutes prior to your scheduled arrival time.
  • Pack items to bring (snacks, drinks, reading materials, Summons for Jury form) the night before.
  • Get a good night’s rest before reporting for jury duty.
  • Ask questions. If serving on a jury is causing feelings of anxiety or stress, talk to court personnel regarding the jury process.  Knowing what to expect may help to reduce anxiety and/or stress.