MORGAN SUPERIOR COURT 2 -- JUROR INFORMATION SHEET
Presiding Judge: Christopher L. Burnham
10 E. Washington St.
Welcome to the Morgan Superior Court No. 2! We thank you for taking time away from your job and family to serve as a juror. We know that juror service can create hardships for potential jurors, and we will make every effort to minimize your time away from job and family. But, please know how important your service as a juror is in our system of American justice. The right to trial by jury is assured to each citizen of this State by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Indiana. Without the public service of citizens such as yourself, the right to trial by jury would be meaningless and unattainable. By your service as a potential juror, you are ensuring that all citizens have access to equal justice under law.
Juror Attire: Please dress appropriately for Court. Please do not report for jury service in shorts, tank tops, cutoffs or muscle shirts. Business attire, or casual business/work attire is appropriate. Do NOT wear any hats or sunglasses inside the Courtroom at any time.
Cell Phones, Pagers, PDAs, Recording and Electronic Devices Prohibited: You are not permitted to carry any cell phones, pagers, PDAs, recording or other electronic devices on your person at any time while you are serving on jury duty. Please lock these items in your personal vehicle, or leave the items at home, or give them to the Bailiff to lock up until the end of the day.
Parking: You may park your vehicle in any available parking space around the Courthouse and in designated parking areas on city streets near the courthouse. Please do not park in unauthorized areas.
Juror Compensation: You will be paid $15.00 per day for jury selection, as well as mileage of $0.34 per mile round trip from your home. If you are selected to serve on the impaneled jury in this trial, you will be paid $40.00 per day, plus $0.34 per mile round trip from your home for each day of the trial until its conclusion. The Bailiff is responsible for preparing claims for juror per diem and mileage at the conclusion of trial, so please make sure that the Bailiff has current and correct information concerning your home address and the mileage from your home to the Courthouse. The Auditor of Morgan County will mail a check to each juror at their home address for juror pay and mileage, normally within two weeks after the conclusion of the trial.
Meals: Meals are not provided for jurors during the trial until the jury begins deliberations. Once the jury begins its deliberation at the end the case, the jurors will be provided meals by the Court during deliberations. If you are selected to serve on the jury, and if you have any special dietary needs, please notify the Bailiff as soon as practical.
Special Needs: If you have special needs (medical or other) that may affect your ability to serve as a Juror in this case, please inform the Bailiff as soon as possible.
Seating and Introduction:
After all of the summoned jurors have arrived and assembled, you will be seated (by order of your juror number) in the courtroom. The Judge will give you a brief introduction about the case scheduled for trial, and introduce the parties involved. The Judge will also inform you of the applicable standards and burdens of proof in the case, the anticipated duration of the trial, and the number of jurors and alternate jurors who will be chosen to serve in this case. You will be placed under oath by the Judge to swear or affirm that you will honestly answer all questions asked of you during jury selection.
The first phase of the trial is jury selection, often referred to as “Voir Dire” [that means: “to see and to speak”]. During this phase of the trial, the attorneys for each party to the case will have the opportunity to ask questions of you. The attorneys will address their questions to jurors seated in the jury box. You should listen to their questions and be prepared to answer similar questions when you are called to the jury box. The questions asked by the attorneys will help the Court and the parties to the case determine if there is anything that might affect your ability to fairly and impartially determine the facts and the verdict in this particular case. Personal information about you that is contained in your written responses on your Juror Qualification Form will not be released to persons other than the Court, the parties to this case and their attorneys. Your Juror Qualification Form will remain confidential, consistent with its intended use and consistent with the constitutional and statutory rights of the parties.
During jury selection, the parties may, by what is known as a challenge for cause, object to the seating of a potential juror because of a conflict of interest of the juror. For example, a juror can be challenged for cause if: the juror is related to the parties, attorneys or potential witnesses; the juror has a special interest in the case or its outcome; the juror was involved in a related case as a party, juror or witness. In addition to challenges for cause, a certain number of potential jurors may be excused by the parties without stating a particular reason. These are called “peremptory challenges.” Peremptory challenges are permitted by law because challenges for cause, alone, may not always ensure that jury panels are free from improper influence in this particular case. Some jurors may be reluctant to reveal their true feelings or certain facts about themselves that may constitute grounds for a challenge for cause. Other jurors may not actually realize how their personal feelings may affect their objectivity, or they may honestly but mistakenly believe that they can put their personal feelings aside in this case. If you are excused during jury selection, please do not take this as any reflection upon you as a person. Excusal only means that, for one reason or another, you were not considered right for this particular case.
You should be open and honest in your answers to questions you are asked during jury selection. If there is anything that either party, in all fairness, should know about you in deciding whether to select you as a juror, please tell the Judge or the attorneys after you are seated in the jury box. After the jury panel has been selected, the selected jurors will be required to take another oath administered by the Judge. The remaining jurors who were not selected will then be released by the Court.
Preliminary Instructions, Opening Statements,
Evidentiary Phase, Closing Argument, Final Instructions:
The next phase of the trial begins with the Court's instructions regarding the law in this case, followed by the opening statements by each of the parties to the case. Opening statements are not evidence, but are presented to give the jury an overview of the case, and what the parties expect that the evidence will be.
Following the opening statements, the parties will begin the presentation of evidence in the form of testimony of witnesses, documents and other tangible exhibits admitted into evidence by the Court.
At the conclusion of the presentation of evidence by the parties to the case, each party to the case will have the opportunity to make closing arguments to the jury. As with the opening statements, the parties' closing arguments are not evidence, but are presented to assist the jury in evaluating the evidence in the case and reaching a verdict. After the parties have presented their closing arguments, the Judge will give final instructions to the jury as to the law of the case.
After the Judge has given the final instructions to the jury, the jury will be returned to the jury room to deliberate on the verdict. Jury deliberations are secret, and no one other than the sworn jurors may be present in the jury room during deliberations. The jurors must remain together in the jury room until a unanimous verdict is reached. The Bailiff of the Court will assist the jury in obtaining meals and refreshments during jury deliberations. When the jury has reached a unanimous verdict, the jury will inform the Bailiff, and the Judge will direct that the jury be returned into open court where the jury's verdict will be reviewed and read by the Judge.
To fulfill your sworn duties as a juror, you must obey the following general rules applicable to every juror:
· You must make your decision on the verdict based solely upon the witness testimony and other evidence presented in the courtroom and admitted into evidence by the Judge.
· You must pay close attention to the evidence as it is presented to you. Display the same attentiveness and concentration that you would want a juror to apply if your own case were on trial.
· You are not an investigator and you are not permitted to seek out information about the case on your own. You must not read, watch or listen to any media accounts about the case.
· You are not permitted to talk to anyone, including family members, about the case until it is over.
· You must listen carefully to and follow the instructions regarding the law which will be given to you by the Judge.
· You must not talk with your fellow jurors about the facts of the case until all the evidence is presented and the Judge instructs you to begin your deliberations.
· You are required to arrive at a fair and impartial verdict by fairly determining the disputed facts at issue in the case.
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