Part of our obligation to our community is the responsibility to serve on a jury when called. Fortunately, Harris County has excellent facilities making the jury assembly process very organized and comfortable.
The qualifications for jury service are contained in Government Code, Section 62.102 they are:
*at least 18 years of age;
*is a citizen of the state and the county where the jury sits;
*is constitutionally qualified to serve;
*is of sound mind and good moral character
*can read and write;
*is not recently served (as defined in the act); and
*is not been convicted of misdemeanor theft or a felony and is not under indictment for the same.
There are exemptions for jury service and they involve the elderly, legally custody and caring for children under 12 years old, students, certain governmental employees, primary care givers of invalids and members of the military forces. For specific exemptions please refer to the government code or the Harris County District clerk website. http://www.hcdistrictclerk.com/Common/juror/general_info.aspx
Parking is available and if you park in specific lots you can park at a discounted rate of six dollars for the day which just happens to be your allotted jury fee. There is little question that serving as a juror is probably very inconvenient for everyone. Nevertheless, jury service is an extremely important and valuable service to our community and necessary for the administration of justice whether civil or criminal.
If you get a jury summons in the mail and the date is not one in which you are available you can contact the Pierce County District clerk to reset your jury service date. It is noteworthy that the jury assembly area includes wireless Internet availability for your convenience while waiting for a courtroom. The jury selection process and the allocation to courtroom involves quite a bit of waiting for the prospective jurors. Bringing an Internet capable device with Wi-Fi or a book or magazine to read can help pass the time.
Each member of a jury should be commended for their service to the community and the importance of serving as a juror cannot be overstated. Certainly, our jury fee should be increased by at least three times for the reasonable expenses of jury service.