Jury - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a jury?

A jury is a body of qualified citizens temporarily selected and sworn to impartially decide disputed issues of fact in a civil or criminal trial according to the law and the evidence presented in court.

When I receive a jury summons, what do I do?

Upon receiving a jury summons, fully read the information and instructions of the summons carefully. The summons contains your juror number, information about when and where to report, and more. There is a questionnaire attached to the summons. Please complete the questionnaire prior to arrival and bring it with you on your day of service. If you need to request an excusal or postponement, you may make a request online by visiting https://circuit8.org/alachua-jury-excusal-form/ or by mailing the request portion of the summons back to the court at least 10 days prior to your day of service. The court will review the request and respond back to you with their decision. Prior to your day of service, call the phone number provided on your summons or check online at www.alachuaclerk.org to ensure your number has not been called off. If you have not been called-off or excused/postponed, report for service at the day, time, and location as directed on the summons.

Who do I contact if I have a disability?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in a proceeding, you are entitled to be provided with certain assistance at no cost to you. Please contact the ADA Coordinator, Alachua County Family and Civil Justice Center, 201 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 (352-337-6237) at least 7 days before your scheduled court appearance, or immediately upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than 7 days. If you are hearing or voice-impaired, call 1-800-955-8770 via Florida Relay Service.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing and require an ASL interpreter or an assisted listening device to participate in a proceeding, please contact Court Interpreting at interpreter@circuit8.org

Additional information can be found at https://circuit8.org/americans-with-disabilities-act-ada-information/.

What should I wear?

The dress code of the court is general business attire. Please do not wear shorts, tank tops, flip flops, or hats. The temperatures in the courthouses can fluctuate between hot and cold. You may want to bring a sweater, light jacket, or other layers for your comfort.

Where do I park?

Free juror parking is available upon validation in the Southwest Downtown Parking Garage. The entrance for this garage is located on SW 2nd Street. Parking Garage Map (Google Maps). To have your parking validated by Clerk staff, please write down your license plate number and bring it with you to jury check-in. Your tag number will be collected from you and entered into the parking system for validation.

Please note, there are two large parking garages downtown. The garage west of Main Street is the correct one and offers free parking upon validation for jurors. The other parking garage, east of Main Street (adjacent to the Civil Courthouse), is not available for validation. If you park in the garage east of Main Street, you will have to pay for your parking and the cost cannot be reimbursed. Please see the map in your summons to locate the Southwest Downtown Parking Garage which provides parking we can validate.

How long will I serve?

Jury selection typically lasts a full business day (8:00 am – 5:00 pm). Please plan to be at the courthouse for the full day with a possible mid-day break for lunch. You may want to bring snacks and/or money for any breaks. If you are selected for a trial, you will likely be required to return for any additional days the trial requires. If you are not selected, your service will be concluded.

If selected for a trial, most trials last one additional day after selection. Some trials, however, may last multiple days. Please plan to be at the courthouse for the full day for trials. Lunch will be provided for jurors serving on trials, but you are welcome to bring any additional snacks with you. Occasionally, the trial or jury deliberations may run late, and jurors could stay at the courthouse past normal business hours and into the evening/night. This does not always happen, but please know it is a possibility.

Twice a year jurors are selected to serve on the grand jury which will require a longer commitment.

Where do I go for jury service?

Please check your summons carefully to verify which of the following locations you have been summoned to:

  • Judge Stephan P. Mickle, Sr. Criminal Courthouse, 220 S. Main Street, Gainesville, Florida 32601
    • Call (352) 264-7099 after 5:00PM the day prior to your report date for final instructions regarding any call-offs.
  • Alachua County Family & Civil Justice Center, 201 East University Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32601
    • Call (352) 374-3620 after 5:00PM the day prior to your report date for final instructions regarding any call-offs.


What do I do if I've lost my jury summons?

Call (352) 338-7345 during business hours to speak with a Deputy Clerk in the jury department for assistance. If you call after-hours, please leave a message and your call will be returned.

What reasons are there for being excused from jury service?

The following persons are disqualified and not permitted to serve on a jury:

  • Persons who are under 18 years of age
  • Persons who are not U.S. citizens
  • Persons who are not residents of Alachua County
  • Persons presently under prosecution for a crime
  • Persons who have been convicted in this state, any federal court, or any other state, territory, or country of bribery, forgery, perjury, larceny, or any other offense that is a felony in this state or which if it had been committed in this state would be a felony, unless restored to civil rights. ​
  • The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, any Cabinet officer, Clerk of Court, or Judge.

The following persons are permitted to serve, but may be excused from jury service upon written request:

  • Persons 70 years of age or older.
  • Full-time federal, state, or local law enforcement officers or such entities’ investigative personnel.
  • Expectant mothers.
  • Any parent who is not employed full time and who has custody of a child under 6 years of age.
  • Persons who were summoned and who reported as prospective jurors in Alachua County within 1 year of summons date. (Federal jury service does not qualify)
  • Any person who, because of mental illness, intellectual disability, senility, or other physical or mental incapacity, is permanently incapable of caring for himself or herself.
  • Any person who is responsible for the care of a person who, because of mental illness, intellectual disability, senility, or other physical or mental incapacity, is incapable of caring for himself or herself.
  • A full-time student between 18 and 21 years of age, inclusive, who is attending high school or any state university, private postsecondary educational institution, Florida College System institution, or career center.
  • A judge may, in their discretion, excuse a practicing attorney, a practicing physician, or a person who is physically infirm.
  • A judge may, in their discretion, excuse a person upon a showing of hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity.

To request an excusal or postponement of jury service based on any of the above reasons, you may make the request online or by returning the excusal request portion of your summons to the Clerk’s Office. The court will review your request and notify you of their decision. Excusal/postponement requests should be made at least 10 days prior to your day of service to allow the court enough time to review the request.

To request an excusal or postponement online, please visit: https://circuit8.org/alachua-jury-excusal-form/.

What do I do if I am unable to attend due to an emergency?

If you have an emergency situation which will prevent you from service, contact Jury Administration at (352) 337-6238 or online at https://circuit8.org/alachua-jury-excusal-form/.

I submitted a request to be excused/postponed but haven’t heard back, what do I do?

Allow 10 days for the court to review the request. Court Administration emails the court’s decision to the email address provided with the request. Check your email and/or spam inbox to see if the court’s decision is there. If not, call Court Administration at 352-337-6238.

What should I expect when reporting for jury service?

After parking in the designated parking garage, you will walk to the courthouse you were summoned to. Please make sure you write down and bring with you your tag number so your parking can be validated. You will first pass through security. Please make sure to not bring with you any weapons, including pocket knives, or you will be required to take them back to your vehicle. After security, you will go to the jury check-in station. The Clerk’s Office will check you in. It is here you will deliver your juror questionnaire and tag number. A line can often form during check-in. Please make sure to arrive on time or early to ensure you do not miss qualifications. After checked-in, the jury pool will be shown an orientation video explaining what it is to be a juror. Following the video, a judge will take the bench to qualify the jurors. Once qualifying is complete, you will often get a short break. After the break, jurors are assigned to courtrooms where they will be asked questions by the judge and attorneys on the case. This process can often be lengthy. There may also be frequent times of waiting as the court addresses matters that must be done outside the presence of the jurors. Please plan on being at the courthouse for the full day. Lunch is not provided during jury selection. You may want to bring a lunch and/or money for food for any mid-day breaks the court may take during selections. You may also want to bring snacks, a book, medication, or other items you may need during the day. Following questioning, a jury will be selected for the trial. If you are selected you will either begin the trial immediately or be told to report back a later day in the week. If you are not selected, you may be reassigned for another selection that day or your service will be concluded.

What is the difference between Petit and Grand Juries?

A petit jury is the ordinary kind of jury by which issues of fact are generally tried in civil and criminal cases. Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, governments, government agencies, or other organizations. Criminal cases are brought by the state against persons accused of committing a crime.

A grand jury is an investigative jury. The grand jury has broad powers to investigate a wide range of criminal offenses and to examine the performance of public officials and public institutions. Its deliberations are conducted confidentially, in conjunction with the State Attorney.

What are some general rules of conduct I should observe as a juror?

Jurors should observe the following general rules of conduct:

  • Be on time for court. The trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present.
  • Sit in the same seat in the jury box. This allows the clerk, judge, and lawyers to identify you more easily.
  • Listen carefully. It is important that you hear every question asked and every answer given since your verdict will be based on the evidence given. If you do not understand any portion of the trial, you should ask the judge to explain.
  • Do not talk about the case until it is concluded. You should not talk with anyone about the case. This includes the clerk, lawyers, judge, bailiff, and other jurors, unless you have retired to the jury room for deliberations. If anyone tries to talk to you about the case or attempts to influence you as a juror, you should report it to the judge immediately.
What happens if I do not report for jury service?

Jurors not reporting for service may be held in contempt of court. Being held in contempt comes with the possibility of being sentenced to jail time and/or fines.

Do I get paid for jury service?

Jurors are only paid if they are not paid by their employer during the first three days of service. For those not compensated by their employer, the State of Florida has established a pay rate of $15.00 per day for the first three days of service. After three days, all jurors, including those compensated by their employer, are paid $30.00 a day.

Jurors may voluntarily elect to donate any payment they are due to the local Guardian Ad Litem program and the local domestic violence shelter Peaceful Paths.

What do I give my employer to document the time I spent at jury service?

At the conclusion of your service, the Clerk’s Office can provide a verification letter to you upon request.

Can I be fired from my job for serving on a jury?

No. Florida law prohibits any employer from firing an employee who is serving jury service.

How are jurors picked from the general population?

A randomized computer draw is done of all residents of Alachua County who either possess a Florida Driver License, Identification Card, or have filed an affidavit with the Clerk’s Office requesting inclusion in the draw.

What do I do if there is a fire alarm or other emergency while at jury service?

Follow the directions of court security and/or staff.

What do I do if Alachua County is threatened by a tropical weather system or other inclement weather?

Jurors can call the standby telephone number on the summons for updated reporting instructions in the event of inclement weather. Jurors summoned to the Judge Stephan P. Mickle, Sr. Criminal Courthouse should call (352) 264-7099. Jurors summoned for the Alachua County Family and Civil Justice Center should call (352) 374-3620. The recorded instructions will be updated as needed as weather conditions change.