WELCOME TO THE CAMP VERDE MUNICIPAL COURT. You have enjoyed the privileges of citizenship and the protection of your liberties. You will now, as a Juror, serve as an officer of the Court, along with myself and the lawyers. As a Juror, you are an important part of the judicial system of our state. Your services as a Juror are as important as the service I am performing. You are obligated to perform this service honestly and conscientiously, without fear or favor.
The purpose of this booklet is to help you understand the procedures of the Camp Verde Municipal Court, and to enable you to better do your part in administering justice. During the trial, I will give you instructions as to the law applicable in this case. This information does not take the place of such instructions.
I hope that your service as a trial juror will be interesting and informative. My Court Staff will make every effort to make your jury service comfortable and pleasant.
Please arrive promptly by 8:00 a.m. There will be at least one mid-morning recess, a one-hour lunch break, and a mid-afternoon recess. If a trial takes more than one day, we will usually stop around 5:00 p.m. If you should need a short recess for some personal reason, please raise your hand and indicate a short recess is needed.
Immediately before commencement of the trial, a Court Clerk will prepare a list of Jurors present for use by the Judge and Lawyers. Therefore, it is important that you sign in promptly upon arrival at the courthouse. The sign-in sheet also contains information needed for payment for your jury service.
Your employer may need proof that you were summoned to serve as a Juror. If you need such verification, please indicate the need when you sign in and a Court Clerk will provide a Jury Service Verification form to you. Some employers pay their employees while they are performing jury service, but employers are not required to do so.
When you sign in at the counter, you will find a box of Juror badges. We ask that you wear one while you are in the courthouse serving as a Juror. This badge will identify you as a Juror to other people and will hopefully prevent you from overhearing any conversation concerning the trial.
Since you, as a Juror, are in effect an “Officer of the Court,” we request that you dress appropriately. Shorts, tank tops, tee shirts or other such informal attire are not considered appropriate in the courtroom setting. Hats should not be worn in the Courtroom.
Each Juror selected to sit on a Jury is paid $12 per day for each day’s trial attendance plus mileage paid at the rate paid to Camp Verde Employees. Payment will be made by mail. If you do not receive a check within several weeks following the trial, please contact the Court.
Your name is included in a list of prospective Jurors randomly selected by the Yavapai County Jury Commissioner. Information you provided indicates you appear to be qualified to serve as a Juror in this Court.
When the trial commences, please be seated in the back of the courtroom. Upon taking an oath or affirmation that you will truthfully answer all questions concerning qualifications to serve as a Juror in the case being tried, the Court Clerk will call the names of prospective Jurors who will then be seated in the Jury Box area.
Each side is entitled to an impartial jury. Questions will be asked concerning your experiences and feelings to determine if you appear to be qualified and unbiased. Even though some questions may seem very personal, it is not intended that any question embarrass you in any way. Questions involving sensitive matters may be asked outside the hearing of other Jurors.
If, upon questioning, it appears that a prospective Juror does not have all the qualifications for jury service, that Juror may be excused “for cause.” Another prospective Juror will then be called to take the place of the Juror who was excused. Therefore, it is important that all of the prospective Jurors listen to all of the questions.
Upon completion of questioning of the jury panel, the Court will take a brief recess. During the recess, both sides have an opportunity to have several Jurors removed without cause. Upon returning from the recess, all Jurors should again be seated in the back of the courtroom. As the Court Clerk calls the names of the Jurors selected, please have a seat in the Jury Box in the order the names are called.
To remain impartial and maintain the appearance of impartiality, you should not talk to any Lawyer, Party, or Witness until the trial is completed. Individuals involved in a jury trial should understand that you are not being unfriendly, and should not initiate any conversation with you. After the trial, you are free to talk to anyone about the trial, but have no obligation to do so.
In performing your jury service, please conduct yourself, in every respect, in such a way that no one can question your integrity. Any judicial officer, whether Judge, Juror, or Lawyer, who acts in such a way as to destroy public confidence in the judicial system becomes unfit to perform their duty. During the trial, you should try not to indicate by exclamation, facial expression or any other reaction, how any evidence or arguments of counsel affect you.
Since the only evidence you can consider is that presented in court, you are not allowed to make an independent investigation or visit any of the places involved in the case. If it is necessary for the jury to visit a site, the Judge will so order and send the jury as a group to see it.
The parties to a trial must take turns in presenting their case. It is sometimes difficult, but Jurors should be careful not to form hasty conclusions or opinions until they have heard all of the evidence and arguments and have received their instructions from the Judge. Do not form or express any opinion of the case until you go to the jury room to decide the case, and you have had the opportunity to carefully and impartially discuss the evidence with your fellow Jurors.
Justice will be done if Jurors base their verdicts solely upon the evidence and upon the Judge’s instructions as to the law, rather than their own notions of what the law is or ought to be. If you observe any improper conduct during the trial by any officer of the Court or other person, please promptly report it to the Judge.
As a Juror, it is your responsibility to . . .
Determine what the facts are to the extent you can do so from the trial evidence;
apply the facts to the law presented by the Judge; and render a just verdict based on the facts and law presented to you.
The Judge is responsible to see that the trial is conducted in an orderly manner according to prescribed rules and laws. The Judge . . .
will conduct most of the Juror qualification questioning;
will rule on trial motions and objections to evidence;
will determine which laws are applicable to the case,
and give the jury verbal and written instructions as to the law involved; and
will provide written verdict forms to the jury.
Jurors should not concern themselves with procedures or reasons for the Judge’s rulings.
Like the jury, the Judge should remain impartial and maintain an appearance of impartiality throughout the trial. The Judge does not intend to in any way indicate any opinion
concerning any fact, and Jurors should not speculate concerning a Judge’s opinion concerning any fact.
In most jury trials, the parties are represented by Lawyers. Lawyers are also “Officers of the Court” and should act accordingly. Because of their training and experience, Lawyers make most trial decisions for their clients. Lawyers . . .
assist their clients in selecting Jurors;
assist their clients in deciding which evidence should be presented and the manner of presentation;
have responsibility to object to evidence which is improper and make appropriate trial motions; assist the Court by providing statutory and case law relevant to issues of law including jury instructions; and have responsibility to argue the facts and law to the jury.
In a criminal prosecution, the Prosecutor is not the representative of an ordinary litigant. The Prosecutor is a representative of a government whose obligation to govern fairly is as important as its obligation to govern at all. The Prosecutor’s interest in a criminal prosecution “is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.” Thus, while a Prosecutor “may strike hard blows, the Prosecutor is not at liberty to strike foul ones.” It is the Prosecutor’s duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction just as it is the Prosecutor’s duty to use all proper methods to bring about a just conviction.
The Court Clerk sits near the Judge and is responsible for operating the equipment which records the trial proceeding, and for preparing a summary of the trial. The Clerk also gives a number or letter to exhibits offered in evidence for easy referral, and keeps a record of the exhibits admitted in evidence. The Clerk also administers oaths or affirmations during the trial.
Courtroom Clerks often act as the Bailiff. The Bailiff attends to the jury and stays near the jury room while the jury is deliberating.
CIVIL CASE – A lawsuit is called a civil case when it is between persons in their private capacity or relations.
CRIMINAL CASE – A lawsuit is a criminal case when the State of Arizona is the Plaintiff, a person or persons on the other side are Defendant(s), and involves a question of whether the Defendant has violated one of the laws defining crimes.
EXHIBIT – An exhibit is a document or other tangible piece of evidence.
MOTION - A motion is a request made by a party to the Judge to obtain an order, ruling or direction in favor of the applicant.
STIPULATION – A stipulation is an agreement by the parties to certain facts or issues which need not be proved during the course of the trial.
VERDICT – A verdict is a formal decision by a trial jury.
1. SELECTION OF THE JURY
2. INITIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO JURY BY JUDGE
3. OPENING STATEMENTS BY ATTORNEYS OR PARTIES
4. PRESENTATION OF TESTIMONY AND OTHER EVIDENCE
5. LAW INSTRUCTIONS TO JURY BY JUDGE
6. CLOSING STATEMENTS BY ATTORNEYS OR PARTIES
7. DELIBERATIONS BY JURY
The Judge tries to resolve as many legal matters as possible before the trial date. However, additional disputes may arise just before trial or during the trial. To avoid prejudicing the jury, some issues must be argued and resolved out of the hearing of the jury. After the evidence is presented, both sides may be entitled to submit additional jury instructions and object to instructions proposed by the other side or the Court. The Judge and others involved sometimes work over the lunch hour to resolve these kinds of issues. Every effort is made to reduce the time Jurors spend “waiting.” Often, the reasons for the delays cannot be explained to Jurors during the trial. Your patience will be appreciated.
Upon retiring to the jury room to deliberate, the jury selects a foreperson. It is the foreperson’s duty to act as the presiding officer, to see that the jury’s deliberations are conducted in an orderly fashion, and to see that the issues submitted for the jury’s consideration are fully and fairly discussed and that every Juror has a chance to say what the Juror thinks about every question. When ballots should be taken, the foreperson should see that this is done. The foreperson should sign any written request made of the Judge. A good foreperson can keep the discussion organized, save time and get efficient results.
Every Juror should listen carefully to the views of the other members of the jury and consider them with an open mind.
A Juror’s final vote should represent the Juror’s opinion. As a result of the discussion with fellow Jurors, a Juror’s opinion may have changed from that which was first held. A Juror should not hesitate to change his/her mind. When differences of opinion arise among jurors, each juror should say what the Juror thinks and why they think it. A Juror should not try to force another Juror to agree with him/her nor should a Juror refuse to listen to the arguments and opinions of the others. A Juror must never shirk his/her responsibility and must never permit any decision to be reached by chance or toss of a coin.
If there is any disagreement or confusion as to the Judge’s instructions, or as to their meaning, the jury (through its foreperson) can ask the Bailiff for further instructions or assistance from the Judge.
Impartiality is the life of justice, as justice is of all good government. Justice is the constant desire and effort to render to every man his due.
The sentiment of justice is so natural, and so universally acquired by all mankind, that it seems to be independent of all law, all party, and all religion
An honest man nearly always thinks justly.