City of Seneca, South CarolinaWednesday, December 13, 2017
Location: Departments » Municipal Court » Jury Duty   

Contacts

STAFF

Municipal Judge
Danny Singleton

Assoc. Judge / Office Manager
Susan Harris

Clerk of Court
Anna Smith

OFFICE INFO

Hours:
Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm

Telephone:
(864) 885-2731

Fax:
(864) 885-2708

Mailing Address:
225 East North First Street
Seneca, SC 29679

Municipal Court Jury Duty

The general statutes of South Carolina provide:

Any person to be tried in a municipal court may, prior to trial, demand a jury trial, and such jury when demanded, shall be composed of six persons drawn from the qualified electors of the municipality and drivers license and ID card holders in the manner prescribed herein. The right to a jury trial shall be deemed to have been waived unless demand is made prior to trial. (§14-25-125).

The jury list is composed of all names on the official list of qualified voters of the municipality merge with the list of South Carolina drivers license and identification cardholders, which list is furnished to the municipality by the State Election Commission each year.

§ 14-25-165 provides that if a municipal court has experienced difficulty in drawing a sufficient number of jurors, the court may receive prior approval from South Carolina Court Administration to draw "at least one hundred (100) names, but not more than a number determined sufficient by Court Administration to serve one week only. " (§ 14-25-165(b)(3).) § 14-25-165(b)(4) provides that "[i]mmediately after the jurors are drawn, the judge must issue a writ of venire facias for the jurors requiring their attendance on the first day of the week for which they have been drawn. This writ must be delivered to the chief of police or may be served by regular mail by the clerk of court."

§ 14-25-170 provides for the drawing and summoning of jurors by computer. "In lieu of the manner requested by this chapter, jurors for municipal courts, at the discretion of the governing body of the municipality, may be drawn and summoned by computer in the manner the Supreme Court by order directs."

A juror should not be chosen if he is known to be closely related to either side of the case, or if he is a county official, or if he has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year, or if he is incapable by reason of mental or physical infirmity to render efficient jury services, or if he is incapable of reading or writing (or understanding) the English language. (§§14-7-810 and 820).

§ 14-7-840 provides:
No person is exempt from service as a juror in any court of this State except men and women over sixty-five years of age. A person exempt under this section may be excused upon telephone confirmation of date of birth and age to the clerk of court or chief magistrate. Notaries public are not considered state officers and are not exempt under this section.

Please note that this is an "exemption," not a "disqualification," from jury service. Many individuals over the age of 65 wish to serve on a jury and are constitutionally entitled to that duty. These individuals are entitled to serve and must be issued a juror summons if a court draws their name.

A student or school employee selected for jury service during the school term may request a postponement to a date that does not conflict with the school term. (§14-7-845). § 14-25-180 provides that "[u]pon furnishing an affidavit to the clerk of court requesting to be excused from jury duty, a person either may be excused or transferred to another term of court by the municipal judge if the person performs services for a business, commercial, or agricultural enterprise, and the person's services are so essential to the operations of the business, commercial, or agricultural enterprise that the enterprise must close or cease to function if the person is required to perform jury duty." § 14-7-860 provides that a person who is the primary caretaker of a person 65 years of age or older or a severely disabled person who cannot care for himself or cannot be left unattended may be excused from jury duty by the presiding judge.

If a juror who has been summoned for jury duty in a municipal court should fail to appear at the designated time and place and fail to supply to the municipal judge within forty-eight (48) hours sufficient reason for such failure to appear in obedience to the venire issued, the juror may be punished for contempt. He should be given an opportunity to appear before the municipal court at the time he is sentenced for contempt, however. Such appearance may be obtained through issuance of a Rule to Show Cause. If the Rule to Show Cause is ineffective, you may then issue a bench warrant. (See §14-25-185).

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