May 10, 2016
The Superior Court of Mendocino County Celebrates Juror Appreciation Week and Thanks the Public for its Jury Service – May 9 – 13, 2016
[Ukiah]— Every week in one or more courtrooms in Mendocino County a jury trial starts. Whether it is a criminal case or a civil case or another type of case, it cannot start without jurors. The judges who sit on the Superior Court recognize the need for an active citizenry that cares fundamentally about ensuring justice is done in our county. The judges gratefully acknowledge the county’s citizens for stepping up to fulfill this responsibility.
“We are very thankful to live in a county where civic duty and participation is taken seriously. Every week we ask people to set aside their other responsibilities and devote their time to a jury trial. We acknowledge the inconvenience of it, but we highlight the importance of it and make every effort to make the experience rewarding and efficient,” said Ann Moorman, Assistant Presiding Judge.
This year the Court also wants to share with the public the recent positive changes to enhance the experience of our jurors. These changes include installation of kiosks to ease and expedite juror check-in. The Court also changed the process through which jurors are summoned to help reduce the time and distance citizens must travel to serve the Court’s Ukiah and Fort Bragg locations.
In 1998, the California State Legislature designated the second week of May as Juror Appreciation Week. “Jurors guarantee that everyone has the right to a trial where they can be heard and judged by their peers,” said Presiding Judge John Behnke. “We recognize that jury service can be challenging due to the geographical expanse of our county. In this last year, we have worked very hard to make jury service less burdensome and more rewarding, by streamlining trial days and enriching the experience that every member of the public can have when they walk through the doors,” he added.
Judge Behnke also pointed out that he recently performed a wedding for a couple who met while serving on the same jury. “While we can’t claim that jury service will always be that rewarding, it does give jurors an opportunity to meet and work constructively with other citizens from all segments of our community.”
Annually, millions of Californians participate in jury service. “Our relatively small population fulfills its jury obligations in an exemplary fashion. Unlike almost all other counties in California, there is next to no backlog in our trial calendars and that translates into significant cost savings for the Court, the parties and the public,” Judge Moorman noted. Ensuring a trial by jury is a fundamental principle around which this country was formed. The Court takes pride in carrying out that constitutional standard every week of the year, and appreciates the sacrifices the county’s citizens make to ensure it continues.
For more information on jury service, contact Jury Coordinator Kim Walker at (707) 463-4663, and see www.mendocino.courts.ca.gov/general_info/jury_service/jury-services.asp, or visit the Jury Service section of the California Courts website.