What You Should Know

1. How are Jurors Selected?
2. What are the Requirements for being a Juror?
3. What are the different Types of Juries?
4. How Long does a Juror have to Serve?
5. What Happens when I Appear for Jury Service?
6. Is it possible that I might Report for Service but not sit on a Jury?
7. What Rules do Jurors have to Follow?
8. How does a Jury Decide a Case?
9. How Many Jurors must Agree on a Verdict?
10. What are the Benefits of Serving on a Jury?
11. Are You a Juror with Disabilities?
12. How do I file a Petition of Refinalization of a Foreign Adoption?
13. How do I obtain a marriage license in Delaware County?
14. What information is needed for name changes?



How are jurors selected?
In Delaware County persons are selected at random for jury service from the Board of Elections. If you have spelled your name differently or if the information at the Board of Elections is not up-to-date, you may receive additional summons. If you have received a summons for a deceased relative, please indicate that person is deceased, sign the summons and return it in the envelope provided. We will attempt to not send further summons; however, if the name of a deceased person remains on the source list, you may receive additional summons. The only way to ensure that this does not continue is to contact the Board of Elections and have the name removed from their list.
In some counties and in federal courts, the list of registered automobile drivers may be used. Jury trials are held in the United States district courts, the common pleas court of each county, municipal courts and county courts.


What are the requirements for being a juror?
To serve on a jury in a particular court, you must be a resident of the geographical area served by that particular court. Ohio jurors must be at least 18 years of age and they must not have lost their right to serve on a jury by having been convicted of certain types of crime. Beyond that, everyone is given the opportunity to be a juror regardless of age (if at least 18) and regardless of occupation.
If you are 75 years of age or older, you may request to be excused from jury duty.


What are the different types of juries?
Petit Jury:
If you are selected to serve on a "Petit Jury," you will hear a case which is criminal or civil. A criminal trial will involve a felony (a more serious type of crime). The law requires twelve (12) jurors to be seated in a criminal case, only eight (8) jurors are required in a civil case. In a criminal trial, the jury must find a defendant guilty ornot guilty by unanimous vote. In civil cases the law requires a vote of at least three-fourths of the jury to reach a verdict. Most jury trials will seat an alternate juror(s), in the event sickness or unforeseen circumstances arise in which one of the regular jurors are unable to attend some portion of the trial. The alternate juror hears the trial, in its entirety, but does not participate in jury deliberations.
Grand Jury:
A Grand Jury hears evidence about crimes and decides whether or not a person should be indicted and tried for committing a crime. The grand jury does not decide guilt or innocence.


How long does a juror have to serve?
In Delaware County, you may expect to be on call for five (5) or six (6) dates when called for a Petit Jury. Your report dates are printed on the back of your map located in your original packet. During your term of service you may be asked to report to the court more than once. Each time you are asked to report, a different case will be involved. The average jury trial is approximately two (2) to three (3) consecutive days. On the other hand, a complex trial that involves many witnesses may last for several weeks. Lengthy trials are somewhat rare and prospective jurors are advised of the expected length of the trial before they are actually selected.
At the end of a typical jury day, jurors are dismissed to return to their homes and return to court the next day if the trial is not over. In extremely rare, high profile instances, where the judge believes there is a risk that jurors could be contacted by outsiders about the case, the judge may order jurors to be sequestered or separated from others while the trial is going on. Should a judge so order, then the court will arrange and provide security and hotel accommodations.


What happens when I appear for jury service?
When you arrive at the courthouse, please report to the jury assembly room on the third floor to sign in. We provide a brief orientation talk and video to help acquaint you with the system. Then the jurors are taken to the courtroom for a selection process called voir dire. All prospective jurors take an oath or affirm that they will truthfully answer questions posed to them by the judge and the attorneys during the selection process.
The purpose of this questioning is to find out if there is some reason why it might be difficult for a prospective juror to be fair and impartial in the case to be tried. As a prospective juror, you are introduced to the parties and the attorneys in the case and given a list of probable witnesses. If you have some relationship to one of these persons, it might be difficult for you to consider the case impartially and you should inform the judge immediately.
You are told a little about the facts of the case so that the court can determine if any past experience or prejudice might make it hard for you to be fair. You also have an opportunity to tell the court about anything else that might impact your ability to sit as a juror.
Generally, each side in a case has the right to ask that a certain limited number of jurors be excused without giving a reason (called a peremptory challenge). Each side can also make an unlimited number of challenges for cause(for a good reason). When attorneys make these challenges, it is not their intent to personally attack potential jurors, but to ensure that they select jurors who can evaluate the case as fairly as possible for their clients.


Is it possible that I might report for service, but not sit on a jury?
Yes. The parties involved in a case usually try to settle their differences and avoid the time and expense of a trial. Sometimes a case is settled only minutes before the trial begins. Therefore, even though many trials are scheduled each day, some of them will not actually go to trial and therefore, those cases will not need juries. However, your time spent waiting to serve is not wasted; your presence encourages settlement.
Additionally, when we receive the names of jurors from the Board of Elections, everyone is assigned a number. Jurors are always called in numerical order. Since the judge only needs a limited number of jurors to actually sit on a panel, those jurors not seated will be excused until their next report date.


What rules do jurors have to follow?
After the jury has been selected, the jurors must stand and take an oath or affirm that they will well and truly try the particular case for which they have been chosen, that they will wait until all the evidence has been heard before making up their minds and that they will follow all of the judge's instructions.
Jurors must pay attention throughout the trial and do their best to determine the credibility of each witness. Jurors are not permitted to discuss the case among themselves or with anyone else until all the evidence has been presented, the attorneys have made their closing arguments and the judge has instructed the jurors about the law that applies to the case. Jurors may not do any independent investigation of the matters involved in the lawsuit and they may not discuss the case with anyone outside the courtroom until after they have deliberated in the jury room and arrived at a verdict. Even then, they do not have to discuss the case with anyone, although they are allowed to do so after the case has been decided.


How does a jury decide a case?
After the attorneys have presented their evidence and made their closing statements, the judge instructs the jurors about the law that applies to the case. Jurors must decide cases based on the laws as they are and not as the jurors might like them to be.
Following this instruction, the jury goes to the deliberation room to consider the case and reach a verdict. The jury first elects a foreperson who sees to it that discussions are conducted in a sensible and orderly fashion, that all issues are fully and fairly discussed and that every juror is given a fair chance to participate. If the jurors have a question during their deliberation, they may write it down and ask the bailiff to deliver it to the judge.</p>
When a verdict has been reached, the jurors agreeing to the verdict sign a form and notify the bailiff. The verdict is read by the judge and the judge then dismisses the jurors.


How many jurors must agree on a verdict?
The type of case determines the number of jurors who must agree on a verdict.
A civil case is usually between two or more persons, companies or corporations who have a dispute concerning money or property. The party suing for compensation is called the plaintiff. The party being sued is called the defendant. In a civil case, the jurors must decide if and/or how to compensate the plaintiff for any damages. In civil cases, six (6) jurors (three-fourths of the eight jurors) must agree on a verdict.
In a criminal case, the defendant is a person charged with a crime. A crime is a violation of a law enacted by the legislature to protect our basic rights. Because crimes are considered acts against the state, and because the state is responsible for legally enforcing the laws of the people, the State of Ohio prosecutes these cases as the plaintiff. In a criminal case, twelve (12) jurors determine if an accused person is guilty or not guilty of a charge, and the verdict must be unanimous.


What are the benefits of serving on a jury?
It is understandable that persons may be apprehensive about being called for jury duty. They may fear that their time will be wasted or that the experience will be negative.
However, most jurors find that the experience is positive. They have the opportunity to learn a great deal about the legal system and about the particular subject matter of the lawsuit. They may also make some good friends during the course of their service.
Court officials are careful to treat jurors courteously and professionally. They know how important jurors are to the task of achieving fair and just results for those who come before the court. The benefits to individuals who serve as jurors is significant, but most significant are the benefits of jury service to the entire community.


Are you a juror with disabilities?
Disabled jurors who drive an automobile, but who have difficulty walking long distances will find parking spaces available at the back door of the courthouse.
Unfortunately, Delaware County is not able to provide transportation for disabled jurors.
Wheelchair Accessibility
The Delaware County Common Pleas Court House and court rooms are fully accessible.


New Instructions for Filing Petition for Re-Finalization of Foreign Adoption as of July 1, 2009 (Revised as of September 1, 2009)

  • Petitioner(s) must have previously adopted a child(ren) in a foreign country and are seeking to “re-adopt” for the purpose of obtaining a birth certificate(s) issued by the State of Ohio.
  • The petitioner(s) must be a Delaware County resident(s) and a current photo ID(s) is/are required.
  • Petitioners must have been married for at least one (1) year prior to filing the paperwork.
  • You and your child(ren) will be required to attend a court hearing.
  • A copy of the foreign birth certificate(s) with a certified English translation of the same is required.
  • A copy of the foreign adoption proceeding(s) with a certified English translation of the same is required.
  • Forms must be returned to the Delaware County Probate Court either typed or neatly printed in ink.
  • The filing fee is $506.00 (cash or check only).
  • The new procedure will follow the same process as a step-parent adoption. There will be a home visit by a Delaware County Probate Court Adoption Assessor.
  • If the Petitioner(s) decides to employ an Attorney, the Attorney should have the necessary forms, if not, the Attorney or the Petitioner(s) may contact the Delaware County Probate Court for additional forms.

Information regarding name changes:

  • The applicant must be a Delaware County resident for at least one year prior to applying for the name change.
  • Photo identification of the applicant is required.
  • A certified copy of the birth certificate of the person who’s name is being changed is required at the time of filing the application.
  • All forms must be typed or printed neatly in blue or black ink.
  • If this is a minor’s name change, both birth parents must consent. If one birth parent is the applicant, a signed and notarized consent form from the other birth parent must be filed. If the address of the other birth parent is unknown, additional information will be provided to you by the Probate Court at the time of filing the application.
  • The forms must be filed in person.
  • The filing fee is $104.00, payable to the Delaware County Probate Court on the day of filing. Cash or check only, please.
  • A case number will be assigned and a hearing date will be set. The hearing date will be approximately six (6) weeks from the filing date.
  • A publication notice will be prepared for you. This is to be taken immediately to the Delaware Gazette newspaper (40 N. Sandusky Street, Suite 202downtown Delaware, Ohio) where it will be advertised one time before the hearing date. The publication fee is $32.00 and is to be paid directly to the newspaper.
  • On the hearing day, please check in at the Probate Court office prior to the hearing. You will be asked to have a seat in the waiting area. The Judge will call you into the courtroom at the scheduled hearing time. If the name change is approved, the Judge will sign the entry approving the name change. You will be escorted back to the Probate Court office where the entry will be time stamped. You will be provided with four (4) certified copies. Additional copies may be requested for a fee of $1.00 each.

Additional Information:

Instructions to notify Social Security regarding the name change will be provided upon request and may also be accessed at the Social Security Administration’s website www.ssa.gov



Application for Change of Name of Adult

Application for Change of Name of Minor

Consent to Change of Name