Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Masks are not required for entry into the Courthouse and Service Center buildings. Common Pleas Judges will continue to have discretion to determine whether they will/will not require the use of masks in their individual courtrooms by court and non-court personnel as well as the public.
No. Pennsylvania law prohibits an employer from terminating or otherwise penalizing an employee because the employee serves as a juror.
All courtrooms are accessible. If you have a hearing, sight or mobility concern, please advise the Jury Division prior to your service date by calling (610) 478-6208 ext. 5704.
While serving on Jury Duty, the County will pay for parking in the Reed & Court Street Garage. Do not pay for parking when entering the garage. Bring your license plate number with you when you enter the building. Additional information can be found under Parking & Directions.
Under Pennsylvania Law, an employer is not required to pay persons during their period of jury service. However, ask your employer what the company policy says. We will provide you with a letter which verifies your service with the Court.
Yes, a snack shop and vending machines are located on the 2nd floor of the Services Center near the Jury Assembly Room. Online orders are also being accepted with credit card payment. For additional details and menu, click here.
The Jury Division receives a list every year in October from The Department of State. The required number of jurors for a particular day are randomly selected by computer and summoned to appear for jury duty.
You will be required to serve as a juror for one day, or if selected to sit on a trial, you will be required to serve for the duration of that trial.
If a person serves for one (1) or two (2) days, they need not serve again for a period of one year. If service is for three (3) or more days, the exemption period is three years.
In case of inclement weather, please listen to radio stations, WEEU (830 AM), WRFY (102.5 FM), WRAW (1340 AM), and TV station WFMZ, to find out if you should report. You may also check the Jury Services Home Page for Office Closings/Emergency Information.
Jurors who are defined by the Centers of Disease Control as high-risk if they contract Covid-19 will be released from reporting for jury duty, if requested. The requests should be made in writing and these prospective jurors will not be required to report.
Pennsylvania Law allows for exemption from jury duty. Valid exemptions include, but are not limited to: (1) persons in active military service, and (2) persons who demonstrate undue hardship or extreme inconvenience. If you have any questions regarding exemption from jury duty, please contact Jury Services, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., by calling (610) 478-6401.
You may be required to appear in court and you could be held in contempt and fined. However, by making jury service as flexible as possible, we hope to avoid using this power.
If you have any symptoms of illness, please DO NOT report. However, you must contact jury staff as soon as possible.
You should bring the summons portion of the questionnaire with you.
Business casual attire is appropriate in the courtroom. Jurors may not wear shorts, tank tops or halter tops.
In general, there are two Courts in Berks County in which jurors serve. The first is the Court of Common Pleas - Criminal, in which persons are charged with crimes, and the second is Common Pleas Court – Civil, in which parties come to court to have their disputes resolved.
The number of jurors needed by the court changes daily. When you call (610) 478-6400 you will hear a recording stating if you will be needed for duty the next day.
As mentioned earlier, 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.
No. Jury service is a civic obligation that we all have. No one is automatically excused because of their occupation. Many doctors, lawyers, dentists and schoolteachers have served as jurors in Berks County.
A jury is occasionally detained after normal court hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) when the judge deems the action necessary because of the nature of the trial. If this occurs, jurors will have the opportunity to communicate with their families.
Yes. Jurors are paid $9.00 a day for the first three days of service. Beginning on the fourth day, the rate increases to $25.00 per day. Jurors also receive mileage of 17 cents per mile for each day of service. You will receive a check in the mail after your jury service is complete.