Jury duty in Ventura County is not so bad! Ventura County Jury service consists of one jury trial or one day of service in Ventura County. If you are not assigned to a courtroom at the end of your first day of appearance, you will have completed your service. Jury service is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you are summoned for duty, the night before your service you will be instructed to check online or to call after 5 p.m. for reporting instructions for the next day. If the "group number" you were assigned is called, you show up the next day. If your group number has not been called by the end of your summoned week, your service will automatically be completed without having to appear. (Yes, this does happen...to me, for one.) If this "call in" process is inconvenient, Ventura County Superior Court will allow you to schedule a firm date of appearance.
Jury trials in Ventura County average four days in length. The trial judge will advise jurors of the expected duration and may excuse prospective jurors from serving on a particular case if the service would amount to an extreme hardship.
Ventura County is one judicial district so all jurors are summoned to the county seat at the Hall of Justice, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura for jury service.
Get there early if you can. There is plenty of free parking but sometime you have to walk a ways to get to the building. When entering the building you will be screened through a security device. Do not bring knives, scissors, handwork needles, metal fingernail files, tools, wallet chains, handcuff keys or any items that may possibly be used as a weapon.
The Jury Assembly Room has plenty of chairs, with some tables, electric plugs, etc. I highly recommend that you bring things to keep yourself busy...a laptop, magazines, newspaper, book, iPad/iPod, etc. They do have a TV available in one room but you'll want to bring something to do. There's also wireless internet access but it isn't particularly speedy. There is an in-house cafeteria as well as a variety of restaurants nearby when lunchtime comes around.
No fees or mileage are paid for the first day of service. $15 per day and 34¢ per mile, one way from the juror’s home to the courthouse are paid for your second and additional days of service (as of December 2014). When I last served, the judge in my courtroom called us back the next day. We showed up and he subsequently cancelled the trial and we were excused to go home (or back to work). Two weeks later I received a check for $15 in jury fees and $7.82 in mileage from the Conejo Valley. YIPPEE!
Jury service is not voluntary, and there is no permanent excuse to serving. Any request for excuse must be submitted in writing. Any request to be excused from serving on a jury trial due to loss of income and/or business closure must be directed to a trial judge, only after you have appeared and have served one day as summoned. Unless notified in writing that your request for excuse is granted, you may assume it has been denied. If the date of appearance is not satisfactory, you may request a postponement to a future date within 90 days. When listing reasons such as medical, job, or dependent care issues, be prepared to receive a postponement and not an excuse.
For more information about Jury Service in Ventura County, visit www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/JuryService.