Rockdale County courts are thanking jurors this week in what has been dubbed Juror Appreciation Week while introducing a new online jury duty form.
Juror Appreciation Week started Monday and will go through Oct. 28. The week-long event will be complete with snacks, discount coupons, and other gifts for jurors.
Roughly 3,000 Rockdale County residents are called up for jury duty in a year. Not every one of those thousands will be used for trial, as some cases can be settled before a jury trial. However, court officials said they recognized the contributions jurors make and the importance of jury service. The purpose of Juror Appreciation Week is to "formally thank those who serve on jury duty and educate the public on the importance of jury participation," according to a recent statement from the Clerk of Courts office.
"The right to trial by jury is one of the core values of American citizenship and the obligation and privilege to serve as a juror are as fundamental to this country's democracy as the right to vote. Additionally, the courts depend upon citizens to serve as jurors and service by citizens as jurors is indispensable to the judicial system," the Clerk of Courts Office statements said.
Besides Juror Appreciation Week, the Rockdale County Clerk of Courts office said it is rolling out a new online jury duty form. The form will allow residents to request their jury duty date to be rescheduled or canceled. In the past, residents who could not serve their jury duty had to call and leave a phone message or physically come to the court house.
"It's fast. It's convenient. It's more efficient," Rockdale County Clerk of Courts Ruth A. Wilson said of the online form.
The online form can be accessed and used at http://rockdaleclerk.com/.
Wilson encouraged local businesses to be sponsor for Juror Appreciation Week.
"We feel this is an excellent way to support the Shop the Rock campaign and to promote local businesses," Wilson said.
Interested businesses should contact Chief Deputy Clerk Joy Wright at 770-278-7863 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local businesses who are already sponsors include Bank of North Georgia, Beasley's, Cowan Ace Hardware, Dairy Queen, Hedrick & Dodson Family Dentistry, Hooters, Publix, Rockdale Medical Center, Sandwich Factory, Sigman Mills Furniture, Starbucks, Wendy Bear State Farm, and Lewis Carr State Farm.