New Jury Management System Qualifies for Duty
February 29, 2008 by Cindy Collier
Indiana’s trial courts conduct more than 2,000 jury trials each year. To make this happen, local clerks and jury administrators must create random, representative jury pools, notify jurors when to report, determine how many jurors to call on a certain day, assign panels for civil and criminal trials, keep track of those who cannot serve or need to be called in the future, and finally, compensate jurors for their service. A cooperative effort by the Division of State Court Administration, the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee, and the Indiana Judicial Center resulted in the development of an automated Jury Management System (JMS) to help in this process.
County clerks and jury administrators access the JMS application through the INcite (Indiana Court Information Technology Extranet) website which is the home of several other automated state court programs. There, they begin the jury selection process by using a Master Jury Pool Lists compiled through another model cooperative project between the judicial and executive branches of government. The Master Jury Pool Lists are county-specific, scrubbed compilation of names residing in the databases of the Indiana Department of Revenue and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The new JMS is now being used in 19 counties: Clay, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Fountain, Hendricks, Howard, Jennings, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Monroe, Parke, Posey, Scott, Shelby, Steuben, Union, and Warren.
The Jury Management System can:
- Select jurors randomly
- Assign panels
- Manage panels
- Ensure juror information is searchable and up to date
- Merge juror and trial information into appropriate documents
- Prepare claim information for compensating jurors
- Print labels and summonses and merge information into orders and other documents
Planned future functionality will included a website that lists panel cancellations by ID number. This will enable citizens to check if they are needed via the Internet instead of calling the courthouse.
Monroe County Jury Administrator, Lisa Abraham, will begin using the Jury Management System in 2008. “The advantages of the system are quite numerous. The application will ensure that people aren’t called for more than one panel. And, because all the data is searchable, it will only call eligible jurors. For example, someone identified in the system as a law enforcement officer would not be called for a criminal trial or someone who served in June would not be called again in August,” Abraham said.
If you are interested in using the JMS or want more information contact Jill Russell at (317) 234-2734 or email@example.com.