The implementation and oversight of these rules shall be the responsibility of the Administrative Judge. Oversight shall include, but not be limited to:
A. A periodic review of the jury source list for its appropriateness and sufficiency to meet the demands of the courts and the ends of justice, and
B. A periodic review of the procedures used in selecting, notifying and utilizing jurors to assure that jurors are being utilized efficiently and without unnecessary inconvenience.
Goals of the Jury Management Rules
These rules are intended to ensure the following:
A. Qualified Wood County residents meet their obligation to serve as jurors when summoned.
B. Person will not be excluded from prospective jury service because of improper or illegal discriminatory practices including, but not limited to, those matters related to race, national origin, gender, sex, or age.
C. Every reasonable accommodation shall be made to secure the comfort and peace of mind of the jurors, including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Prospective jurors shall be informed of their duties and responsibilities prior to a call to service.
2. Jurors shall be summoned as necessary for the administration of justice.
3. The Court will provide special accommodations for prospective jurors with disabilities
Procedures for Obtaining Annual Jury List
A. In the month preceding the annual jury year, as deter¬mined by the Court from time to time, the Jury Commissioners, pursuant to R.C. 2313.01, shall select such number of prospective jurors as the Court may determine is needed for the following annual jury year by using the key number system pursuant to R.C. 2313.07 - .08. Pursuant to R.C. 2313.21(C) the court authorizes and directs the Commissioners of Jurors to conduct the drawing of the jurors by the use of automated data processing.
B. Deputy Jury Commissioners are appointed by the Jury Commissioners and approved by the Court and may perform any duties or class of duties which a Jury Commissioner may perform and as assigned to the Deputy by the Jury Commissioners may administer an oath or affirmation in relation to any matter embraced in R.C. 2313.01 to 2313.47 inclusive.
C. The names of potential jurors shall be randomly obtained from a list provided by the Board of Elections containing the most recent names and addresses of registered voters in Wood County, Ohio. The procedure shall provide for the retention of names of persons selected but not used as jurors, the printing of venires containing the names and addresses of the persons drawn, and reasonable safeguards against unlawful tampering or activation of the automated system. The list of required number of persons eligible to serve as jurors shall be compiled by the Jury Commissioners and shall be known as the Annual Jury List.
D. The original Annual Jury List shall be certified by the Jury Commissioners and filed in the office of the Clerk of Common Pleas Courts. The Jury Commissioners may, by order of the Court, add to said list or enter on a supplementary list the names of persons who shall thereafter be qualified to serve as jurors.
Procedures for Summoning Jurors
A. Appropriate management techniques shall be used to adjust the number of individuals summoned for jury duty and the number assigned to jury panels.
B. The Commissioners of Jurors shall each quarter, randomly draw from the annual jury list the names of sufficient jurors to satisfy the needs of the Court for the subsequent quarter. The names selected shall be divided into a grand jury list and a list of sufficient number of prospective jurors for each three week period during the quarter.
C. The Jury Commission Office over the signature of the Wood County Sheriff shall notify by ordinary mail prospective jurors of their selection for jury service and their requirement to respond. The notice to prospective jurors shall specify the three-week period for which the juror was selected and inform the prospective juror that a subsequent notice will be sent seven days before the prospective juror will actually have to appear at the Court. Each prospective juror shall receive a Juror "Dear Citizen Letter," Sheriff's Summons, Juror Questionnaire with an Excuse/Postponement Form duplexed on the back, and a postage-paid return envelope, to be completed and returned immediately to the Jury Commission Office. The Questionnaire shall be reasonably understandable by an individual unfamiliar with the legal and jury systems and shall request information appropriate for the purpose of voir dire. The prospective jurors shall be given a telephone number to obtain answers to any question and a trial verification number to use the day before the juror's court appearance. The questionnaires may be provided to counsel prior to trial. The questionnaires shall not be duplicated by counsel and shall be returned to the Court upon completion of jury selection. The questionnaires shall not be disclosed as public records (State Ex Rel. Blankenship vs. Baden, Clerk, et al., 115 Ohio App. 3d 127).
D. A notice shall be sent by the Jury Commission Office ten days before a scheduled trial with the date, time and location of the juror's required attendance at the Court, parking facilities, and telephone access.
E. Departures from the random selection procedures may occur only when by reason of challenges or other causes, not enough jurors to make up a jury panel are present. Talesmen then may be summoned for said panel until the deficiency is made up. Further, the Court may defer a prospective juror called for service to a date or dates certain if it is found that requiring the prospective juror to serve when initially called would create a substantial hardship.
F. Persons summoned for jury service shall be paid a reasonable fee for each one-half or full day. Each judge presiding over a jury trial shall determine the appropriate compensation for any particular trial.
G. Following each jury trial and period of Grand Jury service, the Court shall notify the Deputy Jury Commissioner of those who have served on a trial jury or Grand Jury whose names will then be deleted from potential jury service through the next calendar year following their period of service.
Excuses and Deferrals From Jury Service
A. The only excuses from jury service are those set forth in the statute and pursuant to R.C. 2313.16.
B. Eligible persons who are summoned for jury service may be excused from jury service upon presenting a letter from a physician stating the reason why the individual is not mentally or physically capable of jury service. Excuses or deferrals from jury service because of an unusual continuing hardship to themselves or others may be granted by the Court. Any such deferral from jury service may be to another period or to other specific dates within the same jury year.
A. To reduce the time required for voir dire, returned jury questionnaires will be available to counsel of record or pro se litigants prior to the day of jury selection. All prospective jurors should be questioned and all challenges should be disposed of by the judge.
B. The trial judge may give the jurors preliminary instructions before the voir dire examination.
C. The trial judge shall conduct a preliminary voir dire examination and then counsel shall be permitted to question the panel for a reasonable period of time set by the judge. To ensure that the privacy of prospective jurors is reasonably protected, voir dire regarding personal or sensitive matters may be conducted in camera.
D. Voir dire examination shall be limited to matters relevant to determine whether a particular juror could be fair and impartial. Counsel shall not be permitted to inquire of the jurors as to any legal issue, ask jurors argumentative or hypothetical questions, or elicit assurances other than being attentive, unbiased or impartial.
Satisfaction of Jury Service Obligation
Once a juror has completed three consecutive weeks on call for jury service or has served as a juror, the juror is discharged of all obligation for the balance of that jury year. A person who has served on a jury in a jury trial or as a member of the Grand Jury in any court of the state is thereafter prohibited from jury service through the calendar year following the day of his/her last service pursuant to R.C. 2313.34.
Prospective Juror Privacy
A. To preserve the privacy and confidentiality of prospective jurors, when deemed advisable by the judge, lists of potential jurors submitted to counsel may be identified only by number, and other identifying data, i.e. telephone numbers, addresses, etc., may be withheld and sealed. Counsel shall make no copies of juror questionnaires and shall return said questionnaires to the Court upon completion of jury selection.
B. The Court may order that identifying data of prospective jurors and information contained on juror questionnaires provided counsel shall not be disclosed by counsel to litigants, or defendants or others not directly associated with counsel's professional office.
C. This rule shall apply to both potential grand and petit jurors.