The main duties of the Jury Services Office are to select and process potential jurors. First, the staff selects and processes jurors before they appear in the courthouse. Then they select and process jurors who report to the courthouse. The Superior Court supplies jurors for civil and criminal Superior Court trials; for criminal Court of Common Pleas trials; and for landlord tenant trials in the Justice of the Peace Courts. The Superior Court also provides jurors for the Grand Jury process.
The jury manager is responsible for the statewide jury system. The jury manager is responsible for maintaining the Master List from which all jurors are summoned. The Master List is required to be as representative in gender, age and racial ratios as those of the U.S. Census. The jury manager is also responsible for the policies and procedures for the summoning, excusing and postponement of jurors. Procedures are governed by the Petit Jury Plan, Grand Jury Plan, the Capital Murder Jury Plan and the Special Jury Plan. When the jurors term of service is over, the jury manager oversees the payroll process.
When jurors report to the New Castle County Courthouse, the assistant jury manager assists those who have problems, while other jury clerks check in jurors for service. In New Castle County, jurors serve for the length of one day, or one trial. Jury staff provide orientation daily for the jurors.
In Kent County and Sussex County, the jury staff summon jurors, process qualification questionnaires, and excuse and postpone jurors. In Kent and Sussex counties the jury staff also does orientation, but only once every two weeks, when their new jurors report.
Statewide Jury Services receives many, many phone calls, and the staff answer them and assist our citizens who call about their jury duty.
When jurors report to the courthouse, the jury staff check them in, update juror information, and process and track jurors through the jury selection process. Lastly, the jury clerks distribute the Juror Appreciation Certificates to jurors at the end of their service.