The court is located in downtown Columbus at 375 South High Street - on the Northwest Corner of Fulton and High Streets. It is a white building that is 18 stories in height with an elevated bridge running across High Street. Please look at the printable map link here.
The jury assembly room room is located at 375 South High Street; Columbus, Ohio on the 9th floor. Signs are posted directing you to the Jury room when you get off the elevator.
Currently, your first day you can arrive anytime between 8:00 and 10:15, the orientation starts at 10:20 that morning. You have these options as to when you can report because of the traffic and parking problems close to this courthouse.
Starting from the second day forward you can check in anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Arrangements can be made to report later in the day if you have a valid reason. If you are impaneled (sworn) on a jury, the judge will let you know what time to reconvene the following day as this time may be different than your regular reporting times.
Any information you need concerning bus routes can be obtained from COTA. Their general information number is (614) 228-1776. You can set a trip planner of COTA routes at the following link:
The Jury Commission will provide free one day bus passes to anyone interested in taking a bus to the courthouse for jury service. These passes are provided by the Franklin County Municipal Court in cooperation with COTA.
The Jury Commission will reimburse any juror serving in the Franklin County Municipal Court if you park in an approved location. These locations are listed below. You must bring the garage ticket to receive a voucher for parking. You will also receive $15.00 compensation for each day you are in attendance. (There is no provision for payment of this fee ($15.00) for attendance on any day that you are excused from service).
The Franklin County Municipal Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanors, criminal and traffic. We also hear civil actions involving no more than $15,000.00. Cases that most often go to trial are OVI (operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both) and domestic violence.
A civil case for which a jury is involved is generally a dispute between two or more parties that does not involve a criminal matter. In a civil matter, in order for a plaintiff to win a case, it is only necessary for the plaintiff to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence.
In a criminal matter, the defendant has a right to a trial by jury. The defendant is also constitutionally entitled to be presumed innocent of the charges until the jury finds otherwise. More proof is required to find a person guilty of a crime than to return a verdict for a plaintiff in a civil case. In order to return a verdict of guilty in a criminal trial, the charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
In both a civil and criminal case, the judge instructs jurors on the standards to be applied in the case. In most civil cases, eight jurors sit to hear a matter. In all criminal cases, eight jurors are impaneled. To accommodate situations in which additional jurors may be needed, such as if a juror needs to be excused after the trial has begun, more than the required number of jurors are initially selected in both civil and criminal trials. These individuals serve as alternate jurors. They do not participate indeliberations but may be asked to remain at the courthouse until deliberations are completed. Those selected as alternate jurors perform a valuable function by participating at trial and being available to replace excused jurors, if necessary. In a civil trial, two thirds are needed to return a verdict in favor of one party or the other. In a criminal case the verdict must be unanimous.
You will be called to take part in a voir dire exam (selection of the jury) only if the defendants (or litigants in a civil case) decide to exercise their constitutional right to a jury trial. Many potential jury trial cases are decided without jurors being needed, but the court needs a qualified pool of jurors in the event cases do not settle. This court has an average of 110 potential jury trial cases each day, Monday through Thursday. You may be required to report on Friday if you are on a case or if one of our courtrooms has a jury trial set that day. Even with this high potential for trials, you will only see 3 to 6 cases that will actually need jurors in a given two week period. This is why we bring a minimum number of jurors each day. We rely on statistical data to show us trends that dictate how many jurors we will need according to the time of year, rotation of the judges and prosecutors. We will be glad to show you how we compile this data and how we use it to discover new correlations.
There are several locations close to the courthouse where you can eat while you are on jury duty. There is a cafeteria located at 373 South High (located right next door to the Municipal Court) on the 16th floor that has a full range of menu items that are highly recommended by our jurors. Keep in mind, you will have 90 minutes to eat so you can leave this building or even the downtown area for lunch if you prefer.