Jury Duty

Jury DutyAdditional InformationJury FAQ's

Juror Selection

The right to a trial by jury is one of the principles guaranteed by the United States Constitution. It is the duty of every citizen to serve as a juror when called to do so. Prospective jurors are randomly selected from the Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s list of driver’s license and identification card holders residing in Okaloosa County. Jurors must be U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age, legal residents of Okaloosa County, and possess a driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The Clerk and Comptroller will add the name of any person who is 18 years of age or older and who is a citizen of the United States and a legal resident of Florida and who indicates a desire to serve as a juror, but whose name does not appear on the Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s list, by requiring such person to execute an affidavit at the office of the clerk.

Online Juror Check-In

Okaloosa County jurors may check-in electronically to request postponements, excusals, and confirm service.  Additionally, we request that you provide your email address and cellular number to receive text messages to keep you informed on the status of your service date. Click on the link below to get started.

Jury e-Response

When to Report

We will provide updates by email, text message, and on our Facebook page.  You may also call 682-3821 in Crestview or 651-6687 in Ft Walton Beach on the evening prior to your appearance date.  A recorded message will tell you whether to report. 

If you fail to appear as directed, you may be fined $100, be found in contempt of court and be ordered to appear for service, per Florida Statute 40.23(3).

Jury Excusal

You may be excused from service as a juror for one of the following reasons:

  • Have served as a juror in Okaloosa County within the past twelve (12) months
  • An expectant mother or a parent that is not employed full-time and has custody of a child less than six years of age OR must care for a child whose regular care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to a natural disaster or global pandemic
  • Person at higher risk for severe illness during a global pandemic as identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • You are 70 years of age or older
  • A full-time law enforcement officer (federal, state or local)
  • Responsible for the care of a person who, because of mental illness, mental retardation, senility, or physical or mental incapacity, is incapable of caring for him/herself or whose regular care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to a natural disaster or global pandemic
  • On leave pursuant to a law enacted in response to a natural disaster or global pandemic
  • A full-time student between 18 and 21 years of age

Excusal requests for any other reason will be sent to the presiding Judge for consideration.

Jury Disqualification

  • Being a convicted felon and not having your civil rights restored
  • Currently under prosecution for a felony
  • You are not a citizen of the United States
  • You are not a legal resident of Okaloosa County

For additional jury related information, click on the link below to view the Handbook for Jurors pamphlet.

https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/pamphlet016/

NOTICE REGARDING THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990

If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact:

Court Administration, ADA Liaison
Okaloosa County
1940 Lewis Turner Boulevard 
Fort Walton Beach, FL   32547   
Phone (850) 609-4700  Fax (850) 651-7725 
ADA.Okaloosa@flcourts1.gov

Additional Information

Electronic Devices

If you are selected to serve on a jury, electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, laptop computers or any other similar technological device capable of making or transmitting images, text or data as well as audio and video recordings must, prior to the start of jury deliberations, be turned over to the courtroom deputy who will keep them while you deliberate.

Payment for Jury Service

You are entitled to a $15 per day payment from the state if you are:

  • Not employed
  • Regularly employed and your employer does not pay your wages while you’re on jury duty
  • Retired
  • Self Employed

Each juror who serves more than three (3) days will be paid $30 per day for the 4th day and for each day thereafter, regardless of your employer’s compensation policy.

Dress

Please dress in appropriate business or business casual attire. Bring a jacket or sweater due to building temperature variations.

Miscellaneous Information

Free wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) is available for those who bring wireless-enabled devices. See the information above regarding electronic devices.

Courthouse Security & Prohibited Items

When entering the courthouse, you will be required to go through security screening:

  • Remove all items from your pockets (keys, coins, etc.) and put in a tray.
  • Everything you bring into the courthouse must be put in a tray and screened – cell phones, laptops, books, magazines, etc.
  • You will walk through a metal detector. If it beeps, security personnel will use a wand to determine the origin of the beep.

Items prohibited in the courthouse include, but are not limited to:

  • Blades (Pocket Knives or Any Other Knives, Razors, Scissors, Shears, Hair Picks, Pins, Corkscrews, Box Cutters, Scrapers, Can Openers, Etc.)
  • Chemicals (Mace, Pepper Spray, Hair Spray, Large Perfume Bottles, Anything Flammable, Etc.)
  • Glass Containers (Glass Water Bottles, Glass Beverage Bottles, Glass Perfume Bottles, Glass Food Containers, Etc.)
  • Guns (Stun, Real, Toy, Lighter, Etc.)
  • Impact Weapons (Knuckles, Club, Hammer, Etc.)
  • Other Potential Weapons (Files, Knitting Needles, Nail Clippers, Letter Openers, Nail Files, Tweezers, Silverware, Flashlights Longer Than 3 Inches, Screwdrivers, Hammers, Pliers and Other Tools)
  • Restraining Devices (Straps, Chains)

Dining

Vending machines are available near the Jury Assembly Room, so remember to bring change. No refrigerator is provided in the juror office. There is a microwave provided in Jury Assembly. Jurors are welcome to bring snacks and/or meals.

Petit & Grand Juries

A petit jury will hear and decide civil and criminal cases. Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, governments, government agencies, or other organizations. Usually, the party who brings the suit is seeking money damages for an alleged wrong that has been done. The party who brings the suit is called the plaintiff, and the one being sued is called the defendant. Civil trials can involve small claims, personal injury, and medical malpractice cases.

Criminal cases are brought by the state against persons accused of committing a crime. In these cases, the state is the plaintiff, and the accused person is the defendant. Criminal trials can involve traffic, misdemeanor, felony, and capital (death penalty) cases.

A grand jury has broad powers to investigate a wide range of criminal offenses and to examine the performance of public officials and public institutions. Its deliberations are conducted in secret, in conjunction with the State Attorney or a designated assistant state attorney.

Important Things to Remember About Your Services

Jurors should observe the following general rules of conduct:

  • Be on time and be prepared to stay until 5:00pm on your day of service. Make any arrangements necessary prior to reporting for duty
  • Sit in the same seat in the jury box. This allows the clerk, judge, and lawyers to identify you more easily.
  • Listen carefully. It is important that you hear every question asked and every answer given since your verdict will be based on the evidence given. If you do not understand any portion of the trial, you should ask the judge to explain.
  • Do not talk about the case. You should not talk with anyone about the case. This includes the clerk, lawyers, judge, bailiff, and other jurors, unless you have retired to the jury room for deliberations. If anyone tries to talk to you about the case or attempts to influence you as a juror, you should report it to the judge immediately.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We are here to assist you in any way that we can.
How are jurors selected?

Jurors are randomly selected from the list of names supplied by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, through our jury management system.

Where will I serve?

Through random selection you may be called to serve at either the Okaloosa County Courthouse in Crestview or the Okaloosa County Courthouse Annex Extension in Ft. Walton Beach.  Your summons will show your specific report location, date and time of service.  Court cases often settle between the time summonses are mailed and jurors are scheduled to report. Therefore, you should check your status via e-Response regularly or call the appropriate number, 682-3821 in Crestview or 651-6687 in Ft Walton Beach after 5:00 P.M. on the day before you are to report, even if this day is a Sunday or holiday, to be informed by a recorded message whether or not your service will be required.

What should I wear?

You should remember court is a serious place and the integrity of the court is serious business. For men, a shirt and tie are appropriate however, at a minimum you should wear nice pants and a collared shirt. For women a dress, skirt or pant suit is appropriate, or at a minimum nice pants and a collared shirt should be worn. T-Shirts, shorts, flip-flops are never appropriate for the courtroom and should not be worn. Wearing them won’t get you out of jury duty but it may get you admonished by the court.

What do I need to do if I misplaced my jury summons and do not remember my report number and service date?

You may call (850) 651-7200 ext. 4307 or email jurymgmt@okaloosaclerk.com to request your reporting information. You will need to provide your full name as it appears on your driver license or identification card and your date of birth.

What if I have travel plans or can't serve on my summons date?

You may request a deferral via e-Response, and even select your date of service. We will make every effort to accommodate your request however, we must weigh the needs of the court in considering any request. You will be contacted about the outcome of your request, or you may log in and check your status.

May a juror be postponed/deferred?

Yes, Florida Statute 40.23 allows postponements of jury service to be made for up to six months. If a juror wishes to postpone their service, he or she may check in online and visit the “Defer” section. Jurors who need further assistance may contact the Jury Coordinator at (850) 651-7200 ext. 4307.

May I serve as a juror even though I’m over the age of 70?

Yes, you may.

What should I bring with me when reporting for jury duty?

When reporting for jury duty, please bring your jury summons out and have your Florida driver’s license or Florida ID card accessible.

Can I bring food?

You may wish to bring a non-perishable lunch and/or a snack. Vending machines are available.

Are electronic devices allowed?

Yes, they are however, please be advised that the following is prohibited per Judicial Administrative Rule 2.451: 

  1. Making or transmitting still or moving photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, or images of any kind of the court proceedings
  2. Transmitting or accessing text or data during the court proceedings 
  3. Transmitting or accessing text or data about the case on which the juror is serving
  4. Researching, transmitting, or accessing information about the case on which the juror is serving
  5. Otherwise communicating about the case on which the juror is serving or 
  6. Otherwise communicating about the jury deliberations 

If you are selected to serve on a jury, electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, laptop computers, or any other similar technological device capable of making or transmitting images, text or data as well as audio and video recordings must, prior to the start of jury deliberations, be turned over to the courtroom deputy who will keep them while you deliberate. 

What if I fail to report to Jury duty?

If you are summoned to report and you fail to attend without being excused or rescheduled per statutory guidelines, you can be fined up to $100 as well as be held in contempt of court. These sanctions are at the discretion of the trial court.

I have been called for jury service several times; I know many people who have never been called. Why is this?

Florida Statute requires the selection to be random and all applicable names are placed back in the random pool yearly. Jurors are selected from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle file; which includes citizens who have a Florida issued driver’s license or Florida issued ID card. Jurors who have served within one year from their last service date may be excused.

I have no transportation for jury duty. What should I do?

It is suggested that, if possible, jurors utilize the Emerald Coast (EC) Rider public transportation service.  Please contact EC Rider to determine the bus service and schedule that serves your community.  Bus service and schedule information can be obtained by calling (850) 833-9168 or by accessing the EC Rider website.

Department Contact
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Jury Management
Okaloosa County Courthouse Annex Ext.
1940 Lewis Turner Blvd., Suite 1-300
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 651-7200, ext. 4307
jurymgt@okaloosaclerk.com
ADA Court Liaison
Court Administration, ADA Liaison
Okaloosa County
1940 Lewis Turner Boulevard
Fort Walton Beach, FL   32547  
Phone (850) 609-4700
Fax (850) 651-7725
ADA.Okaloosa@flcourts1.gov

 

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Don Allgood, D.C., RMO, RMLO, CPM
Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller
1940 Lewis Turner Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
PublicRecords@Okaloosaclerk.com