Lawyers, judges, defendants, and litigants may be the stars of every television courtroom drama, but everyone linked to the United States judicial system knows what gives the process its life and legitimacy.
That’s right: jurors. Since the earliest days of legal proceedings, jurors have provided the foundation of equitable juris prudence, making them the unsung heroes of every trial.
That’s why, where others may set aside the first week of May for the intentional honoring of the necessary and vital work of jurors, Pasco County Clerk of Court Nikki Alvarez-Sowles figures after a week, we’re just getting warmed up.
Accordingly, each day we welcome new jurors this month, prospects will be greeted in ways designed to demonstrate our gratitude. It begins with a welcoming banner in each courthouse lobby near the security checkpoint, and continues with the trademark hospitality for which our juror support staff is rightfully famous.
Throughout May, our teammates’ professional friendliness will be backed up with a Juror Appreciation Month swag bag that includes:
We regret we cannot extend the tradition of specialty snacks and coffees, but the persistent realities of COVID-19 prevent us from offering open-access consumables.
These amount to mere tokens of the esteem with which Clerk’s Office teammates regard citizens reporting to perform their responsibility mandated by the Constitution’s Sixth and Seventh amendments.
In 2019, more than 8,100 Pasco residents responded to their jury summonses; 1,336 were empaneled to serve on 187 jury trials.
Additionally, those who contributed their payments to the Juror Compensation Donation Program have pushed the total collected for Sunrise of Pasco, the local Salvation Army Domestic Violence Shelter, and Pasco’s Guardian ad Litem program to more than $90,400.
The Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office anticipates hosting nearly 700 prospective jurors, total, in May.