Bedford County, Pennsylvania
Contacting the Jury Office:
How can I reach the Bedford County Jury Office?
The Jury Office is open Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During business hours, jurors may call (814) 623-4812 to speak with a staff member. The Jury Office fax number is (814) 623-3858. The Jury Office address is:Bedford County Courthouse 200 South Juliana Street Bedford, PA 15522
How was my name selected for jury duty?
The list of names is combined with a list from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and the Per Capita Tax. Names are then randomly selected from the master list of these five areas for possible service as a juror.
1. The Department of Human Services - every individual resident in this Commonwealth who receives cash assistance or food stamps pursuant to a Federal or State program through the department except as prohibited by Federal law or regulation.
2. The Department of Transportation - every individual resident in this Commonwealth who has been issued a driver's license pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. Ch. 15 (relating to licensing of drivers).
3. The Department of Revenue - every individual resident who files a return for the payment of taxes imposed by the Commonwealth under Article III of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971.
4. The Department of State - every individual resident who is listed as a registered voter under 25 Pa.C.S. Pt. IV (relating to voter registration).
5. Bedford County Tax Assessment Office - Per Capita Tax is a flat rate tax equally levied on all adult residents within a taxing district.
Will I be automatically excused from jury service because of my profession?
Bedford County tries civil and criminal cases, both of which require juries. The random selection process prevents you from knowing in advance what trial or even what type of trial for which you've been selected. If when you get to a courtroom the judge excuses you, you've fulfilled your obligation for jury service. The Jury staff cannot excuse you as a potential juror because of your profession.
I am unable to judge anyone because of my moral or religious beliefs. May I be excused?
Pennsylvania law does not provide for an excuse from jury service for moral or religious beliefs. You are still required to appear for jury service. When you get to a courtroom, the judge will make that decision.
Who is eligible to serve?
Anyone 18 years of age or older who is a United States citizen and a resident of Bedford County and who has not been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and has not been granted a pardon or amnesty.
Is there an exemption due to my age?
PA law does not exclude people over 18 due to their age. However, the 57th Judicial District is liberal with excusing senior citizens over 74 upon written request.
Will I be paid for serving as a juror?
Under Pennsylvania law, jurors receive $9 per day for the first three days they are required to report and $25 per day after the third day.
Can my employer fire me for performing jury service?
No, the law prohibits any employer from preventing an employee from serving as a juror. The law also prohibits an employer from depriving a juror of benefits because of jury service, such as requiring you to use vacation time to serve.
Is my employer required to pay me while I serve as a juror?
Employers are not required by law to compensate you while serving on jury duty. Please check to see if your employer has a policy regarding juror compensation.
Do you provide childcare while serving as a juror?
No. Jurors are expected to arrange for childcare during their term of jury service. It is impossible to predict when you will be dismissed. Therefore, please make appropriate arrangements prior to coming to jury selection.
What happens if a person ignores a summons or fails to report for jury service?
A jury summons is a court order. Any juror who fails to appear when summoned may be fined and/or imprisoned for contempt of court. 42 Pa. C.S. § 4584.
Where do I park when reporting for jury duty?
The parking garage adjacent to the court house may be utilized for parking. It is free of charge. You may also make use of on-street parking. However, be advised most on-street parking near the courthouse is restricted to two hour increments.
What should I wear to jury service?
Jurors should wear comfortable clothing that reflects respect for the court.
Will I have to go through any security measures when I enter the Courthouse?
Yes. Everyone entering the Courthouse is subject to a security search.
What should I bring when I report?
You should bring a photo ID and the summons that contains your name and barcode. The jury process can require a juror to wait a considerable amount of time. For this reason you should bring reading material to pass the time while waiting, but local newspapers are not permitted.
Can I bring my cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device into the courthouse?
You may bring your cell phone into the courtroom, however, it must be set to silent. Although laptops are not permitted, tablets and e-readers are permitted prior to the beginning of the court proceedings.
Will we take a break for lunch?
Yes, the judges usually break for lunch around 12:00pm. There are a large variety of restaurants within blocks of the courthouse.
How long will I serve?
Our county follows the one day/one trial rule, which means you show up and if you are not selected to serve on a jury, your service ends that day. If you are selected to serve on a jury, your service will last the length of the trial for which you have been selected.
Typically, you will only have to serve one day. Many people who show up for jury duty will not actually be selected to serve on a jury that hears a trial. If you are selected, you must serve for the course of the trial. Most criminal trials last no longer than two to three days, while most civil trials last no more than three to four days. Some trials may last longer.
Are accommodations available if I have a disability?
Access to jury service is available to all persons as required by the ADA Act of 1990. If you are a person with a disability and are in need of accommodations, please call (814) 623-4812 no later than 7 days prior to your appearance date.
What if I do not have transportation?
If you need transportation, please call (814) 623-4812 no later than 7 days prior to your appearance date.
What if I have an emergency on the day that I am to report?
Call the Court Administrator directly, (814) 623-4812 between 8:00 - 8:30 AM, and inform them of your situation. Do not simply fail to appear as you may be subject to penalties.
What happens if there is inclement weather on the day I am required to report?
Please listen to announcements on local radio stations.
What if I have a prepaid trip or doctor's appointment scheduled for that day?
If for any reason you feel that you cannot attend jury service you must provide, in writing, your reason for excusal. You must attach any travel information, notes from your physician or any other pertinent information.
What common court terms should I be aware of?
Legal concepts and court terms can be complex. The infographic below highlights a few of these important court terms or visit www.pacourts.us/learn to see our full legal glossary.