Collin County District Clerk Lynne Finley
announced today that her office successfully launched a new jury manager solution, recently using a comprehensive jury management system to hold its first two in-person grand jury selections, as well as its first virtual jury trial this month.
“Our fast-growing county needed a quick and efficient system for the District Clerk’s jury staff to satisfy the jury needs for the District, County, Probate and Justice of the Peace courts which they serve,” Ms. Finley said. “As requests for jurors began to exceed the maximum capacity of Collin County’s central jury room of 600 people, looking to technology instead of costly infrastructure seemed ideal for the county,” she said.
The District Clerk turned to a technology expert in jury management to minimize taxpayer cost of an expansion, and allow jury clerks to send jurors directly to County, District and Justice of the Peace courts when panel numbers are small enough to be seated in a courtroom. Additionally, the system needed to be able to call jurors for virtual trials.
“We are hopeful that without expanding the jury room while still addressing the growing cases in our county and now the backlog of cases caused during the COVID-19 pandemic, technology will be the answer,” Ms. Finley said.
The launch showed a comprehensive, user-friendly, jury management system that streamlines the jury selection process and provides a better experience for jurors. It also helps share information among court staff to ensure case information is up-to-date.
The jury manager system simplifies the entire jury selection process and the online check-in site. The county can contact jurors through email or text messaging, and remind them of upcoming jury duty. Staff can easily alert jurors of any changes in status, such as weather cancellations, or changes due to COVID-19 safety protocols. And, if a juror gets dismissed early, a real-time text notification can let the juror know before they even make the trip to the courtroom.
For court staff, the solution allows them to see exemptions or restrictions for a potential juror before their scheduled day of jury duty service, speeding up the process for everyone involved.