Updated, Cost-effective Jury Management System Available
By Court Operations Executive Director Diane Pawlowicz

Juror's bench

A centralized jury management system that is being used by 14 jurisdictions in Maryland is now available to other courts in the state system. Based on requests from several jurisdictions wishing to upgrade their jury management systems, State Court Administrator Pamela Harris has announced that other jurisdictions can now take advantage of the cost savings inherent in the centralized system.

In September 2010, the Circuit Court for Cecil County switched to a new jury management system called Jury Plus, by Jury Systems, Inc. The system was subsequently installed in an additional 13 jurisdictions, including Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Somerset, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, St. Mary’s, Charles, Washington, and Allegany counties, and finally, Baltimore City, where jurors started using the new system in April 2012. The system replaced legacy systems that had been supported by Judicial Information Systems (JIS), and allowed courts to better manage juries through technology.

The system is centralized, which means the jury database is housed on a central server at JIS. A centralized system is easier to manage and support. For instance, a new release of software is installed once, instead of separately on many servers throughout the state.

FEATURES INCLUDE

  • A Web-based questionnaire that jurors can complete and submit online to determine their qualification to serve

  • An online option for jurors to request a one-time postponement

  • A one-step combination qualification/summons, which saves postage and staff time

The database is compartmentalized, meaning a jury commissioner from one county does not have access to information about jurors in another county. The database is updated real-time, either from information entered by court staff, or from a potential juror filling out a qualification form online.
The system has proven to be convenient for potential jurors and cost-effective and time-saving for courts.

By offering the solution to multiple jurisdictions, there are substantial cost savings for licenses and other
services compared to county-by-county installations.

For more information, call Diane Pawlowicz, 410-757-4416.

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