MARCH 24, 2020 UPDATE:
Smith County is suspending jury duty through May 1 to follow guidelines announced by the Texas Judicial Branch - Office of Court Administration.
Jurors who have received a summons to appear in court on any day in March or April, do not have to appear at the Smith County Courthouse. The jurors will be rescheduled and will receive a new summons.
Grand jury service has not been cancelled. Grand jurors are still to report when scheduled.
“Smith County is following the Office of Court Administration guidelines on judicial activities, suspending non-essential activities at the Smith County Courthouse in light of the concerns for Coronavirus, unless directed by each specific court” Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran said.
Certain essential judicial functions will continue. Each District Judge, County Court-at-Law Judge and Justice of the Peace in Smith County are in charge of their own dockets and attorneys and litigants should contact their specific court with any questions regarding non-jury court activities.
For additional information regarding the OCA guidelines, please visit: https://www.txcourts.gov/media/court-procedures-for-the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/
As the official charged with the responsibility of the jury system for County and District Courts in Smith County, I want to thank you for your interest in jury service. The system of justice in place in our country is the finest in the world and one in which we should all take pride. Inherent to this system of justice is the right of an individual to be heard by a group of his/her peers -- the jury. Without you, the citizen, our system of justice would not work.
Thank you again for your contribution to this system.
--Penny Clarkston, District Clerk
Smith County has cancelled jury duty for Wednesday, April 10, 2019.
Jury Visitor Information
This information is provided as a courtesy for visitors to the Smith County courthouse and other county buildings. The information contained herein is not intended to conflict with established rules of any individual court or county office. In the event of a conflict, the established rules of the individual court or county office take precedence.
Rules of Decorum
Each court may have its own rules for courtroom conduct. This information is intended to prepare visitors for typical rules that may be common to all courts.
The following information may not apply in the central jury room which is the general assembly room for all jurors. Vending machines are provided within the central jury room. Please follow the specific instructions given to you by court personnel.
If you are selected for jury duty, typical courtroom rules are as follows:
- No tobacco use;
- No chewing gum or candy;
- No reading of newspapers or magazines while court is in session;
- No bottles, cups, or beverage containers except water pitchers and cups used by jurors or court personnel and participants;
- No edibles of any kind;
- No propping of feet on tables or chairs;
- No noise or talking that interferes with court proceedings, including but not limited to cellular phones and digital pagers.
- Dress appropriately for court. Typical court rules prohibit the following attire: shorts, capri pants, tank tops, mini-skirts, or inappropriate t-shirts.
- Men should remove hats or ball caps before entering the courtroom.
The following items are not allowed in the Smith County Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, or other county buildings:
- Knives (Pocket knives, dinner knives, etc.)
- Blades (Scissors, glass scrapers, box cutters, etc.)
- Defensive Sprays (Mace, Pepper Spray, etc.)
- Electronic Shock Devices (Tasers, Stun-guns, etc.)
- Tools (Screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.)
- Any object with a sharp point (forks, combs, etc.)
- Any object not mentioned here that is deemed inappropriate or dangerous by a staff member or law enforcement officer of that building.
WARNING: Any object may potentially be deemed as a prohibited item by security. You may not leave prohibited items with security personnel. All weapons, illegal items, and suspected stolen property carried into a county building will be confiscated by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and may be used in further investigations. If you have any of these items in your possession, please return them to your vehicle.
Any person showing a deliberate, reckless, or negligent disregard for safety or instructions given by Sheriff’s Deputies or Staff Members will be subject to Texas Penal Code Section 30.05 (Criminal Trespass) and will be removed from the property regardless of purpose of entry.
Video surveillance, metal detection devices, body scanners and other security devices are in use in and around all county facilities to ensure security of staff, participants, and visitors.
All persons and property entering county facilities are subject to search and will be required to proceed through security checkpoints (with law enforcement approval) as a condition of entry.
Smith County Sheriff Deputies are in charge of security. Any verbal or physical resistance, attempts to enter with prohibited or illegal items, or failure to pass through security checkpoints (with law enforcement approval) may result in refusal of admittance to county facilities and/or criminal prosecution.
For more information about Smith County Jury Duty, please call 903-590-1700.