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Montgomery County updates jury managment system

It used to be, if you lived in Montgomery County, you would receive a form in the mail to determine if you were qualified to sit on a jury and then another form with the actual summons. Starting Monday, however, the jury process in Montgomery County Circuit Court will get more streamlined and technologically savvy.

Prospective jurors will now receive only one form in the mail and have the option of responding online if they choose, according to announcement Friday from the Maryland Judiciary. Residents also will be able to request online a one-time postponement of jury service. Once at the courthouse, jurors will be able to check-in at new self-serve kiosks.

The changes will allow the courthouse staff to prepare for current jurors and collect information to improve the process for future jurors, Administrative Judge John W. Debelius III said in a statement.

“We are continually striving to streamline the juror experience for Montgomery County citizens, whose participation as jurors is crucial to our judicial system,” he said.

Jury staff will still be on hand at the courthouse, and the county will still have its “one-day, one-trial jury service,” which means jurors only have to serve for a day if they are not selected for a case that goes to trial, according to the Judiciary.

The county becomes the 19th in Maryland to have updated its jury management system. Funding for the project came from the Judiciary’s Administrative Office of the Courts as part of a statewide technology improvement effort.

Last year, the Rockville courthouse opened a new South Tower, part of a $140 million circuit court makeover.