Frequently Asked Questions ... With Answers
1. What Kind of Case Is It?
There are two types of cases heard by a jury in the Sylvania Municipal Court:
A civil case will involve two or more parties who have a dispute concerning money or property. The party suing is called the "plaintiff" and the party being sued is called the "defendant." A municipal court is limited to $15,000 for a lawsuit. A verdict in a civil case requires that three-fourths of the jury agree. A total of eight (8) jurors are seated and one (1) alternate juror. Therefore, in a civil matter, six (6) of the jurors must reach a verdict.
A criminal case will involve a person charged with a crime who is called the defendant. The plaintiff in a criminal case is known as the State of Ohio. Cases heard are misdemeanors (driving under the influence of alcohol or shoplifting, for example). In a criminal case, all eight (8) jurors must agree upon the same verdict.
2. Why Did I Get Summoned?
To be eligible to serve as a juror, you must be a resident of the court's jurisdiction. The territorial boundaries are the State of Michigan to the north, the City of Toledo on the east, the Fulton County line on the west and the Ohio Turnpike on the south. If you received a jury summons and do not feel you live within the jurisdiction, please contact the court at 419-885-8985.
Jurors are randomly picked by a computer list of registered voters, persons 18 years of age or older and residents of Lucas County.
3. How Long Will I Have to Serve?
You are only asked to serve for one jury trial. Jury trials usually last only one day, but it is possible that the trial may go beyond the first day. Should that occur, we will have you come back the following day.
You should receive your jury summons about three weeks prior to the actual date you have been summoned to serve. Once received, note the group number listed in the top right-hand corner. All jurors are to call a special answering unit at 419-885-8980, beginning five (5) days before the actual jury trial date. At that time you will be advised by group number of one of the following:
- The jury trial has been canceled; you need not report for the trial, OR
- The jury trial is scheduled to proceed and it will be necessary for you to report for the jury trial.
The jury answering unit is updated daily.
4. Do I Really Have to Be There by 8 a.m.?
Yes, we really do start promptly at 8 a.m. The first half hour you are here will be an orientation session. The Judge will explain the jury process and give you an overview of the case. After a short recess, court will reconvene and the process of introducing you to the attorneys and selecting a jury will begin. It will take approximately two hours to question and select eight jurors and an alternate. If you were not selected as a juror, your service is complete and you may leave.
If you are selected as a juror or alternate, you will be given access to a phone to contact your family and/or employer. There will be a one hour recess for lunch, usually from noon to 1 p.m. You are free to leave the building and do whatever you wish during that timeframe. In the afternoon, breaks will be taken as needed. We try not to have you sit for more than about one and a half hours at any time, with two hours being the maximum.
5. How Long Will I Be There?
6 p.m. is used as the benchmark to decide whether or not a case can be concluded within one day. If jury deliberations start prior to 6 p.m., the case usually is concluded within one day. Jury deliberations can continue into the evening hours. If you are deliberating over a meal hour, then we will provide that meal for you.
6. Do I Get Paid for Jury Duty?
You will receive $10 for a half day and $20 for a full day. If your employer requires verification of your service, letters are provided at the Clerk of Courts office upon request. You will receive payment in the form of a check by mail approximately 30 days after you have reported to court or served as a juror.
7. Excerpt of Jury Orientation
Please click here for selected portions of jury orientation instructions concerning jury trial procedure.
MUNICIPAL COURT HOURS
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Except the 1st and 3rd
Tuesdays of each month
8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Civil/Small Claims Division
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Court Holiday Schedule