Serving on a jury is more than a civic responsibility. It is how each and every one of us provides access to justice for all.
"Serving on a jury is more than a civic responsibility—it is how each and every one of us provides access to justice for all," said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.
This year, California celebrates the 19th anniversary of Juror Appreciation Week. In 1998, the California Legislature designated the second full week in May each year to honor the important contributions of citizens who devote their time and effort in "making the cherished right of trial by jury a reality and to raise awareness about their contribution to our courts."
There have been numerous positive changes to jury service in California over the years. Some notable improvements are the one-day or one-trial system that makes jury service more manageable, plain-language jury instructions that make jury service more understandable and most recently, expedited jury trials an alternative, streamlined method for handling civil actions intended to be quicker and less expensive than a traditional jury trial. With an expedited jury trial, the jury is smaller, choosing the jury is faster, and parties will use fewer peremptory challenges
Each year, the Judicial Council of California and the superior courts team up to recognize the millions of Californians who answer the call to serve their communities and put into practice the fundamental American ideal of justice.
Why celebrate Juror Appreciation Week?
Why participate in jury service?
You have the opportunity:
Did you know?
Statewide, Californians participated in jury service in the following ways:
When I speak with jurors, they sometimes ask whether I have ever been called for jury service. The answer is yes, many times. I’ve been summoned for service and served as a juror while working as an attorney, as a trial court judge, as an appellate justice, and as Chief Justice of California. Even Chief Justices are called to serve, and we do.
Serving on a jury is more than a civic responsibility—it is an opportunity for us to participate directly in our system of justice and contribute to our communities. Jury service enables each and every one of us to provide access to justice for all. Trial by jury is one of the fundamental ideals of American democracy; serving as jurors reminds us that these ideals exist only as long as individual citizens are willing to uphold them.
Still, no matter how worthwhile, jury service makes demands on our time, and our courts continue to make improvements to jury service to make it as convenient and manageable as possible.
Whether this is your first time being summoned or you are an experienced juror, you may have questions about jury service; this web site answers some of the most commonly asked questions. Please check your summons for detailed instructions on service in your local court or visit your local court’s website.
If you are selected to serve, my hope is that you will find your service to be interesting and rewarding, as most jurors do.
Thank you for your service.
Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Chief Justice of California