empty jury box


Right to Be Judged by Your Peers Not Possible Without Jurors

Juror Appreciation Week this year is May 13–17, one way California courts recognize citizens for making the justice system work. Learn about initiatives to improve the jury system in California.
May 13, 2024

Every year in California:

  • Nearly 12 million people are summoned for jury service, or 1 in 4 people statewide
  • More than 4.5 million people complete jury service, either in-person, on call, or standby
  • Approximately 98,000 are sworn in as trial jurors

In 1998, the California Legislature designated the second full week in May to honor the sacrifices and contributions of citizens who devote their time and effort to "making the cherished right of trial by jury a reality and to raise awareness about their contribution to our courts."

Juror Appreciation Week is one way the Judicial Council of California and the state’s trial courts shine a spotlight on these citizens for helping to bolster democracy by ensuring the justice system guarantees that right for everyone.

Making the Jury System Better for Jurors
In addition to Juror Appreciation Week, the California courts show their appreciation for jurors all year round. Following are some recent statewide initiatives to improve jury service in California:

  • Increased Juror Pay: Starting on or after July 1, seven superior courts will implement a pilot program to see if increases to juror pay improves juror diversity and participation. In those courts, the juror fee will increase from $15 a day to $100 per day and the mileage reimbursement will increase from $0.34 to $0.67 per mile roundtrip.
  • Speeding up Juror Payments: Stanislaus Superior Court is part of a pilot project to test the feasibility of paying jurors via Zelle. More than 150 participants have used this option in lieu of receiving a paper check, shortening the time for jurors to get paid at the conclusion of their service, and reducing administrative costs for the court.
  • On-Call Options for Jury Service: Courts continue to increase the use of telephone standby and on-call options for jury service. In many instances, individuals can check the night or even the week before whether they will be asked to come to court in person.
  • Jury Portals: Courts continue to improve their online jury portals where individuals can check dates of service, request postponements and excusals, and sign up for reminders. Additional features include the ability to contact jury department staff with concerns, get information about court procedures, and obtain proof of service for employers.
  • Expanding Number of Source Lists for Calling Jurors: To increase the size and diversity of jury pools, courts now use three source lists, supplementing those from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and local Registrar of Voters (ROV) with state tax filers newly obtained from the Franchise Tax Bureau (FTB).

Additional Improvements to Jury Service Over the Years
Following are a few more ways California courts have made the civic right and obligation of jury service more convenient for its citizens:

  • One Day or One Trial Jury Service: California has one-day or one-trial jury service. If not chosen for a jury panel after one day of service at the courthouse, a juror’s service is done for at least one year. If you are selected to serve on a jury, after the trial is over your service is also completed for at least a year and often longer. The majority of people who report for jury service serve for just one day.
  • Postponement Allowed: California courts allow summoned jurors to postpone jury duty at least once. Rule 2.1004 of the California Rules of Court states that if the request is made under penalty of perjury in writing and in accordance with the court's local procedure, the jury commissioner should not require the prospective juror to appear at court to make the request in person. Further postponements may be granted at the court's discretion.
  • Mileage Expenses Reimbursed: Jurors get reimbursed for mileage expenses both to and from court—and courts can partner with local public transit to provide low-cost or no-cost roundtrip transportation during jury service.

Resources for Learning More About Jury Service

More information about jury service