What you need to know if you get jury summons in 2023

Jury panels return to courthouse

SAN ANTONIO – The first week of jury panels is ramping back up in 2023 at the courthouse and the justice center, but the flu and COVID-19 are still causing concerns about whether jurors will appear.

“We are concerned, but we are still meeting the requirements needed for a complete panel,” said Chief Central Jury Bailiff Julieta Schultz.

Any given week, about 500 jurors are needed as a court will require about 35 to 75 jurors to complete a panel.

“If they don’t come, courts can’t have jury trials, and if you can’t have a trial, then justice isn’t being served,” Schultz said.

As a reminder, the process in which jury summons takes place is slightly different since the pandemic forced changes.

Once you get a summons in the mail, you must register online. Read those summons closely because you will likely have to report through a Zoom call first, not at the Central Jury Room.

Then on Zoom, you will be told whether you have to go directly to a courtroom on another day.

This process prevents hundreds of people from reporting into one room simultaneously.

If you miss jury duty, you can be fined or found in contempt, but Schultz said she hasn’t seen that happen, and it’s best to reach out to her office.

“It’s not like we’re going to send somebody to look for you. Give us a call, and we will postpone you,” Schultz said.

For more on jury duty, visit the jury services page on the county website or call the Central Jury Room at 210-335-2667.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.