When the pandemic hit Florida a year ago, no one expected the suspension of jury trials to last longer than a couple of months. As COVID-19 continued to spread jury trials remained on hold for almost a year. With the improving health conditions in our circuit, the courts meet the strict criteria for transitioning into Phase 2 and on March 15, Citrus County resumed jury selection.

To ensure the health and well-being of jurors, citizens, and personnel, we will be summoning smaller groups more frequently. For the weeks of April 13, April 23, May 11, May 17, June 8 and June 14, 100 jurors will be summoned each day of the week, Monday through Friday, to report for jury selection.

The circuit, along with Citrus County government and the clerk’s office, is taking every precaution necessary to safeguard everyone entering the courthouse including health screening, temperature checks, social distancing, and wearing a mask.

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Jury duty is one of the most important tasks that a citizen can perform to ensure our free society. Jury participation is crucial for restoring court services and ensuring access to justice. The entire court system has implemented safety measures to protect jurors’ health while fulfilling a civic duty. Working together, we can safely ensure access to justice for everyone.

In addition to the standard excusal and postponement request criteria, the courts have added additional criteria specifically for COVID-19 matters:

* The potential juror is on leave pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

* The potential juror is at higher risk for severe illness because of COVID-19 infection as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

* The potential juror must care for a child or relative whose regular-care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19

* The potential juror recently returned to work after being unemployed due to COVID-19

* The potential juror suffered a financial or personal hardship as a result of COVID-19

If you are selected to serve as a juror, please be assured that your health and well-being remain our first priority. Information regarding jury duty, jury summons, and court cases may be found on the Clerk’s website at citrusclerk.org/jury. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Jury Team directly at 352-341-6405.

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and support as we work to transition back to full, in-person operations at the courts.

Angela Vick is the Citrus County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller.

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