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Being picked for jury duty is a lot more involved than it might seem.
On Jan. 14, Lancaster City Council members watched as Lancaster Court Administrator/Associate Municipal Judge Cammie Heath loaded the city’s court system with the 2014 Juror Database.
Heath explained that long before any juror subpoenas are mailed out, there is much work to do behind the scenes.
“Each November, I have to request a new (potential jurors) list from the S.C. Elections Commission,” she said. “In January, I load the CD and show council members their names, addresses and date of birth in the database.”
Heath said at this point, she has the official information she needs to proceed with jury trials this year.
The first term for municipal court is set for Feb. 22.
Municipal court officials search records for tickets and arrest warrants. These items then are entered into the city’s Law Track System and court dates are established.
“Once I load that (juror) data, I have every registered voter in the city and the system pops up with 100 names,” she said.
Heath said she takes that list of 100 names and selects potential jurors.
Then, there is a process of elimination which ranges from excusing aged seniors who elect not to serve on jury duty to others with scheduling conflicts who may request to be transferred to another term of court.
Heath said court officials try their best to work with senior citizens, teachers, college students and other residents who present a valid excuse and need to make other arrangements to serve on a jury for that session of court.
“For the majority of people who call in, we simply transfer them to another term,” Heath said.
Contact reporter Denyse Clark at (803) 283-1152