Ashland (OH) Municipal Court
1209 East Main Street, P.O. Box 385, Ashland, OH 44805
Phone: (419) 289-8137 • Fax: (419) 289-8545
DISCLAIMER: The following is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give legal advice, nor is it intended to be an exhaustive list of all legal and procedural matters and requirements for serving as a juror in the Ashland Municipal Court. Court employees cannot give you legal advice. If you have any legal questions about serving as a juror in the Ashland Municipal Court, then you should contact an attorney.
If you need help finding legal assistance or legal information, please visit the websites below:
Ashland County Bar Association (external link): The Ashland County Bar Association's website lists all attorneys that are currently members of the Ashland County Bar Association, including office contact information and areas of practice.
Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (external link): Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. provides legal assistance in civil matters (i.e., collections, evictions, etc.) to eligible low-income individuals and groups in Ashland County, Ohio.
Ashland County Law Library (external link): The Ashland County Law Library serves the legal and law-related information needs of local judges, attorneys, county, and municipal officials, as well as the general public, by making numerous legal resources available to its patrons.
A juror is a very important person in our legal system, because our justice system is based on the belief that a just and fair result in court comes from having disputes settled by our fellow citizens. If you ever have to go to court as a plaintiff or as a defendant, you will want good, honest people to listen to the evidence and to decide your case fairly. Therefore, when you are called to serve on a jury, you have an obligation to your fellow citizens to honor the jury summons and to appear at court.
In the Ashland Municipal Court, people are selected for jury service by random drawing from a list of registered voters that reside in Ashland County, Ohio (a new list of eligible jurors is created each year). Potential jurors in the Ashland Municipal Court are on-call for jury service for three (3) months. Once your name is drawn, you will receive a letter notifying you of your potential jury service, as well as a juror questionnaire that you need to fill out and return to the Court as soon as possible. Do not ignore the juror questionnaire or fail to return it to the Court. If you fail to respond to the juror questionnaire, you may be punished with contempt of court or other sanctions. If you need an additional copy of the juror questionnaire, you may request an additional copy from the Ashland Municipal Court, or you may download an additional copy from the "Resources" page on the Court's website.
To serve on a jury in the Ashland Municipal Court, you must be a bona fide resident of Ashland County, Ohio. You must be at least 18 years of age and you must not have lost your right to serve on a jury by having been convicted of certain crimes (or you must have had those rights restored). Beyond that, everyone is given the opportunity to be a juror in the Ashland Municipal Court, regardless of age (if at least 18), race, sex, color, creed, or occupation.
You may be apprehensive about jury duty; you may fear that your time will be wasted, or that the experience will be a negative one. However, most jurors find that the experience is a positive one. You will gain additional knowledge of the legal system, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to our system of justice that cannot work without people like you. All of Ashland County, Ohio benefits from your jury service.
Our Court staff are careful to treat jurors courteously and professionally; they know that fair and just results for those before the Court cannot be had without fair and impartial jurors.
If any of the following conditions are applicable to you, you may be excused from jury service in the Ashland Municipal Court:
you are a member of a cloistered religious order or of a recognized Amish sect;
you have a mental or physical condition that renders you incapable of performing jury service;
you have a spouse or a near relative that has recently passed away or is seriously ill;
your service on a jury would cause you or someone in your care extreme physical or financial hardship;
your service on a jury would cause you, someone in your care, or the general public harm;
you are older than 70 years of age; or
you are a member of the armed forces currently on active duty.
If you fall within one of the preceding categories, you are not automatically excused from jury service; you must fill out and return a juror questionnaire to the Court that provides an explanation for your excuse, and the Court must approve your excuse. If you are excused by the Court, you will become eligible for jury selection again in the next random jury draw. Similarly, you may also request that your jury service be postponed to a later date; you must fill out and return a juror questionnaire to the Court providing an explanation for your postponement, and the Court must approve the postponement. If you ask to be excused from jury service, or if you ask for your jury service to be postponed, you may need to provide additional information or verification to the Judge, the Clerk of Court, or the Jury Administrator beyond what you may have previously provided in your juror questionnaire.
In the event that you are ordered to serve as a juror in the Ashland Municipal Court, you will receive a jury summons with a particular date and time to report for jury duty. Do not ignore the jury summons. If you fail to report for jury duty, you may be punished with contempt of court or other sanctions. If an unexpected event will prevent you from reporting for jury duty, please contact the Court immediately.
On the evening before the day(s) of your jury service, please contact the Court or consult with this website to determine whether or not the trial will go forward on the date set forth in your jury summons. The parties involved in a case will try to settle their differences to avoid the time and expense of a trial; occassionally, the parties will come to an agreement, making a jury trial and your jury service unnecessary.
Assuming that the jury trial proceeds as scheduled, on the day(s) of your jury service, please arrive at the time provided in the jury summons. You may park, or you may be dropped off, in our free main parking lot located in front of the Ashland Justice Facility. For a map of the Court's location, please refer to the bottom of the "Contact" page on the Court's website.
Upon entering the Court, you (and all other prospective jurors) will be ushered about our facility by the Court's staff. Please follow their instructions closely. At some point, you will be escorted into the courtroom to watch a brief video that helps explain the system. Following the video, the jury selection process will begin. At the onset of the jury selection process, you will take an oath or agree to answer truthfully and fully answer the questions asked by the Judge and the attorneys involved in the case. These questions are designed to determine whether there are any reasons why it might be difficult for you to be fair and impartial in the case to be tried. You will be introduced to the parties and the attorneys in the case and given a list of probable witnesses. If you have some relationship to any of these individuals, you might have difficulty considering the case impartially, and you will likely be excused from jury service for that case.
You will also be told a little bit about the case so it can be determined if any past experiences or bias might make it hard for you to be fair. You will also have an opportunity to tell the court about anything else that might impact your ability to serve as a juror, such as health problems, employment situations, or other obligations. If you wish, you may respond to these questions confidentially to the Judge and the attorneys. Regardless of the manner in which you choose to respond to their questions, you must answer truthfully.
Generally, each side in a case has the right to ask that a certain limited number of jurors be excused without giving a reason (called a "peremptory challenge"). Additionally, each side may make an unlimited number of challeneges for good reasons (called "challenges for cause"). When attorneys make these challenges, their intent is not to personally embarrass potential jurors; rather, their goal is to make sure that the jurors chosen will evaluate the case as fairly as possible.
If you are selected to serve on the jury, you will stand and take an oath or affirm that you will: (1) "well and truly" try the particular case for which you have been chosen; (2) wait until all the evidence has been heard before making up your mind; and (3) follow all of the Judge's instructions about the law and procedures in arriving at a verdict. You, as a member of the jury, will decide the facts from the evidence presented and the Judge will instruct about the law.
As a member of the jury, you must pay attention throughout the trial and you must do your best to determine the credibility of each witness that testifies. You are not permitted to take notes during the trial, and you are not permitted to discuss the case with fellow jurors or with anyone else until all of the evidence has been presented, the attorneys have made their closing arguments, and the Judge has instructed you about the applicable law. You may not independently investigate the matters involved in the case, and you may not discuss the case with anyone outside the courtroom until after you and the other jurors have deliberated in the jury room and have arrived at a verdict. This restriction includes any use of electronic technology to obtain information about the case or its subject matter, or to communicate with anyone about the case. After the verdict, you may discuss the case with others if you so choose.
After the attorneys have presented their evidence and have made their closing arguments, the Judge will instruct you about the laws that apply to the case. You must decide cases based on the law as it is and not the law as you might like it to be. Following the Judge's instructions, you will go to the jury room to deliberate the case and to reach a verdict with your fellow jurors. You will first elect a jury foreperson; the foreperson will make sure that your discussions are conducted in a logical and orderly fashion, that all issues are fully and fairly discussed, and that all jurors have a fair opportunity to participate. If you have any questions during your deliberations, you may write them down and ask the bailiff to deliver them to the Judge.
Once you and your fellow jurors reach a verdict, you will sign a verdict form and you will notify the bailiff that you have reached a decision. Your verdict will be read in open court. The trial will conclude shortly thereafter, and the Judge will dismiss you. You will be paid $15.00/day for each day that you serve on a jury in the Ashland Municipal Court.
The information provided on this "Jury Information" website was adapted from "Jury Service", last updated March 2014, a LawFacts public information pamphlet provided by the Ohio State Bar Association.