The right to a trial by jury is the privilege of every person in the United States, whether a citizen or not. This cherished right is guaranteed by both the United States and California Constitutions. You may be called to serve if you are 18 years of age or older, a United States citizen, and a resident of the county where summoned. Jurors are selected at random from lists of registered voters and persons who have a valid California driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Alpine County Superior Court schedules jury trials for two weeks each calendar quarter (unless circumstances dictate an extraordinary trial setting). Each jury period begins on that Monday, and should the second week be needed, the trial will begin again on Tuesday of that second week.
Length of Service
Jurors may have to participate in more than one trial during their week of service and more than one trial week per year. This is due to the severely limited jury pool in Alpine County. The Alpine County Superior Court attempts to accommodate juror scheduling preferences and also allow those in snowbound communities (Bear Valley) to participate in the spring/summer when transportation is less difficult.
A person is competent to act as a juror if he or she is:
- A citizen of the United States of the age of 18 years who meets the residence requirements of electors of this state;
- In possession of his or her natural faculties and of ordinary intelligence, provided that no person shall be deemed incompetent solely because of the loss of sight or hearing in any degree or other disability which impedes the ability to communicate or interferes with the person's mobility; and
- Possessed of sufficient knowledge of the English language.
A person is not competent to act as a trial juror if any of the following apply:
- The person does not possess the qualifications listed.
- The persons has been convicted of malfeasance in office or any felony or other high crime;
- The person is serving as a grand juror in any court of this State.
Exemptions from Jury Service
Section 204(b), Code of Civil Procedure.
The court shall excuse a person from jury service upon finding that the jury service would entail undue hardship on the person or the public served by the person.
To request an exemption:
- Submit request in writing.
- Provide specific facts as to the nature and length of the hardship.
- If hardship is not expected to end during the next 12 months, state the reason(s), detailing why alternative arrangements cannot be made. If the excuse is a medical hardship, a doctor's verification must be included with the return of the Affidavit.
Local Rule 3.6 Seasonal Excuse From Jury Duty
During such times of the year, when State Route 4 is closed to vehicular traffic between Markleeville, California, and Bear Valley, California, all trial jurors residing within or west of said closure area shall be excused from trial jury duty on the ground that jury service for such person would entail undue hardship.
Location of Service
Unless otherwise noted on your Summons, you are required to appear at the Courthouse located at 14777 State Route 89, Markleeville.
Notice to Employer: Right to Time Off Section 230(a), Labor Code
No employer shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest or trial jury, if such employee prior to taking such time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer that he is required to serve.
Service as a trial juror is looked upon as an obligation of citizenship, in that a "trial by jury is a cherished constitutional right." (From the Policy Statement of the California Legislature.)