Under direction of state Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady, Florida Courts are pursuing a safe-steps return to more traditional operations. Sixth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Anthony Rondolino recently instructed courts in Pasco and Pinellas Counties to begin preparations for Phase 2 functions, clearing the path toward restarting trials with in-person jurors.
A modest schedule of trials is on the calendars at the courthouses in east and west Pasco beginning Nov. 2. Accordingly, the Office of Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller has issued its first summonses for prospective jurors since COVID-19 concerns suspended trials in March.
To optimize the safety of all who come to the West Pasco Judicial Center or Robert Sumner Judicial Center, deputy clerks are taking every precaution recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These steps include:
In addition to being required to wear face coverings, prospective jurors will undergo health screenings before they enter the Jury Assembly Room.
Excusals for potential jurors adversely affected by coronavirus are available and detailed by clicking Postponements and Excusals on the Jury Services page of the Clerk’s website. These automatic excusals include:
Prospective jurors adversely affected financially by COVID-19 may, under penalty of perjury, request a postponement of up to six months (pending judicial approval). These persons include:
Juror summonses are sent, via U.S. Mail, randomly to Pasco residents who are U.S. citizens and have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card. Recipients are encouraged to read their summons carefully for dates, times, and reporting locations.
Prospective jurors may – and are urged to – register online. Once registered, updates regarding their service will be delivered automatically to the contact point they provided.
Jury service, a duty specified in the Constitution, is among the highest callings any citizen can perform. The Jury Team at the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office looks forward to resuming its roles as hosts and safeguards for those who fulfill their service to the nation's judicial system.