Scott County residents will soon be the first in Southeast Missouri to stay updated on jury qualifications and summons online.
On October 3, the Scott County Circuit Court launched Show-Me-Jury, a live jury notification system that allows users to fill out and submit forms at their fingertips, and receive text or email updates about jury summons. The system uses eJuror, a website utilized nationwide for live jury systems.
Scott County Circuit Clerk Christy Hency says considering their previous means of contact - by mail and by phone - Show-Me-Jury should increase convenience for both workers and jurors.
“Back in the day we actually picked up the phone and we dialed all those numbers,” says Hency. “And all the court business went to a halt until all the jurors were notified.”
Hency says it’s also not uncommon for a juror to miss jury duty by waiting to pick up their mail for an extended period of time, or for a summons to catch up to a forwarding address late. Additionally, according to Hency, mailing jury summons can cost anywhere from $60-$120 for postage - a cost that the electronic system is expected to slash significantly.
The city of St. Louis was the first circuit court in Missouri to utilize Show-Me-Jury in 2017, and 16 counties have followed suit since.
“You can kind of see a pattern there - most are in the middle of the state and big metropolitan areas,” says Hency, referring to an implementation map of Missouri. “It’s also my understanding that the map is based on jury trial activity.”
St. Francois and Cape counties will be the next circuit courts in Southeast Missouri to adopt the system in 2019, with surrounding counties to implement it by 2020.
Hency says they understand the electronic platform may pose an issue in rural areas lacking adequate internet, but the county clerk’s office is willing to help with accommodations and allowing residents to use their public access station.
Hency says Scott County prepped their first set of qualifications on Oct. 4.