Juror Services Frequently Asked Questions
Juror Services Frequently Asked Questions
Free parking is provided for jurors at the Race Horse Alley Parking Plaza located at 30 North Stratton Street in specified spaces only. When entering the garage proceed to the top level, you must park in any space 125 through 229.
If you choose to park elsewhere, you will be responsible for all parking costs.
Possibly. In Adams County, if you appear for jury selection and are not chosen, you may be considered again for random jury selection after one year. If you are selected and impaneled to serve on a jury, you may be considered again for random jury selection after three years.
If you served on a jury anywhere else within the last 3 years and you request to be excused after you have received notice to appear for jury selection, your request can be granted if you provide documented proof of service to Court Administration from the court for which you appeared for jury service.
Such as a (doctor/lawyer/dentist/police officer/teacher/private business owner/other profession).
Jury service is a civic obligation that we all have regardless of one’s occupation. Persons of various occupations have served as jurors in Adams County.
A jury considers all of the evidence that has been properly admitted, determines the factual background of the case and applies to those facts the law, as explained by the Judge, in order to arrive at a verdict. During the course of a trial, the lawyers may confer with the Judge outside the jury's hearing to determine questions of law. These conferences are held to ensure that only proper evidence is presented to and considered by the jury. Sometimes the Judge will instruct the jury to disregard what has been said because the consideration of that evidence would be improper.
A juror must be able to follow the Judge’s instructions. The jury is the sole judge of the facts. In determining what the facts of the case are, the jury will have to decide what testimony to believe and the weight and effect of that testimony. Jurors should use common sense and knowledge of life in assessing credibility or believability of witnesses.
A juror's job begins the moment a witness takes the stand because the way a witness looks, testifies and conducts himself/herself may be important in your decision whether to believe or disbelieve the witness's testimony, in whole or in part. Additionally, you should assess a witness's accuracy of observation and recollection, apparent candor, fairness and any interest in the outcome of a case. The Judge will give you guidelines to aid you in accessing credibility.
Jurors may not take notes in criminal cases and may only take notes in civil cases where permitted by the Judge; therefore, it will be important for you to be alert and attentive because a verdict must be based upon a consideration of all the evidence. If a juror's recollection of the testimony differs from that of the lawyer's or that of the Judge, the jury is to disregard those recollections and proceed on his/her own recollections. The Judge's instruction as to the law, however, is binding on the jury and must be followed.
The Court expects a juror to be sincere, honest, fair and impartial. If there is anything about a case that would make it difficult for you to render a fair and impartial verdict based solely on the evidence as presented in Court and in accordance with the instructions given by the Court, we expect you to tell the Court before you are selected for a case.
If you are selected, it is expected that you will avoid any outside influences and will report any attempts to wrongfully influence your decision. It is very important that any verdict be based only on properly admitted evidence. During your absence from the Courtroom before your final deliberations, do not speak to anyone (including fellow jurors) about the case or allow anyone to speak to you or in your presence about the case. Do not read anything in the newspaper about the case, listen to anything on the radio, watch anything on television or research the case on the internet. Avoid any situation which might call into question your ability, impartiality or fairness. Do not talk to the lawyers, parties or witnesses involved in a case until the trial is completed. Do not allow yourself to arrive at any premature conclusions about your verdict until you have been sent out by the presiding judge to deliberate.
While deliberating, be courteous and open minded. Consider the viewpoints of your fellow jurors. Exchange ideas. If you are convinced that your view is wrong, do not hesitate to change your mind. However, do not surrender an honest conclusion just because someone else has a different opinion or merely to finish your work and return with a verdict.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, do not do so before or while serving as a juror. You may not be affected, but the mere fact that you smell of an alcoholic beverages may cause others to question your ability to serve competently.
There are two types of cases that you may hear: civil and criminal cases.
Civil cases involve disputes between parties in which a party is seeking some kind of legal relief. Although many civil cases involve matters of great community interest, a civil case essentially involves a private dispute between two or more parties. The burden of proof in a civil case is generally upon the plaintiff to prove entitlement to recovery by a fair weight or preponderance of the evidence. From time to time that burden will shift between the parties depending upon the issue being presented. Occasionally, in special cases a higher burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence is required. A jury in a civil case may enter a verdict when 5/6 of the jury agree on the outcome.
A criminal case always involves a charge that the defendant violated a law. The case is prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The burden of proof in a criminal case is upon the Commonwealth to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A defendant is presumed innocent and therefore is not required to prove innocence. A jury in a criminal case may only enter a verdict (guilty or not guilty) when all twelve jurors agree on the outcome.
Parking is provided for jurors at the Race Horse Alley Parking Plaza located at 30 North Stratton Street. The parking garage can be located as follows:
Coming south on Rte. 34: approaching the Square in Gettysburg you will cross the railroad tracks near Subway. Engage your turn signal and turn left into Race Horse Alley located between the Majestic Theatre and The Gettysburg Hotel. The parking plaza is on the left behind the theatre.
Coming west on the York Road (Rte. 30) or Hanover Road (Rte. 116): you will pass through a traffic light at York and Hanover Streets. At the next traffic light make a right turn onto Stratton Street. Immediately engage your turn signal and turn left into Race Horse Alley. The parking plaza is straight ahead and to the right a short distance after you enter the alley.
Coming north on Business Rte. 15 and the Baltimore Pike: you will pass through a traffic light at the 1863 Inn. After proceeding through two more traffic lights you will reach the Square. Proceed around the Square half way and follow Carlisle Street. Upon entering Carlisle Street immediately engage your turn signal and turn right onto Race Horse Alley located between the Majestic Theatre and The Gettysburg Hotel. The parking plaza is on the left behind the theatre.
Coming east on the Chambersburg Road (Rte. 30): you will proceed to the Square, go three-quarters of the way around the Square and follow Carlisle Street. Immediately engage your turn signal and turn right onto Race Horse Alley located between the Majestic Theatre and The Gettysburg Hotel. The parking plaza is on the left behind the theatre.
Adams County Court Administration
Adams County Courthouse
117 Baltimore Street, 4th Floor
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Selection is a random process. As such, there is always the chance that a person may never be called while another may be called several times.