Substitute Senate Bill No. 58

Public Act No. 00-116

An Act Concerning Jurors.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 51-217 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) All jurors shall be electors, or citizens of the United States who are residents of this state having a permanent place of abode in this state and appear on the list compiled by the Jury Administrator under subsection (b) of section 51-222a, who have reached the age of eighteen. A person shall be disqualified to serve as a juror if such person (1) is found by a judge of the Superior Court to exhibit any quality which will impair [his] the capacity of such person to serve as a juror, except that no person shall be disqualified on the basis of deafness or hearing impairment; (2) has been convicted of a felony within the past seven years or is a defendant in a pending felony case or is in the custody of the Commissioner of Correction; (3) is not able to speak and understand the English language; (4) is the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller or Attorney General; (5) is a judge of the Probate Court, Superior Court, Appellate Court or Supreme Court, is a family support magistrate or is a federal court judge; (6) is a member of the General Assembly, provided such disqualification shall apply only while the General Assembly is in session; (7) is seventy years of age or older and chooses not to perform juror service; or (8) is incapable, by reason of a physical or mental disability, of rendering satisfactory juror service. Any person claiming a disqualification under subdivision (8) of this subsection must submit to the Jury Administrator a letter from a licensed physician stating the physician's opinion that such disability prevents the person from rendering satisfactory juror service. In reaching such opinion, the physician shall apply the following guideline: A person shall be capable of rendering satisfactory juror service if such person is able to perform a sedentary job requiring close attention for six hours per day, with short work breaks in the morning and afternoon sessions, for at least three consecutive business days.

(b) The Jury Administrator may determine, in such manner and at such times as [he] the Jury Administrator deems feasible, whether any person is qualified to serve as juror under this section and whether any person may be excused for extreme hardship.

(c) The Jury Administrator shall have the authority to establish and maintain a list of persons to be excluded from the summoning process, which shall consist of (1) persons who are disqualified from serving on jury duty on a permanent basis due to a disability for which a licensed physician has submitted a letter stating the physician's opinion that such disability permanently prevents the person from rendering satisfactory jury service, (2) persons seventy years of age or older who have requested not to be summoned, and (3) elected officials enumerated in subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of this section and judges enumerated in subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of this section during their term of office. Persons requesting to be excluded pursuant to subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection must provide the Jury Administrator with their name, address, date of birth and federal Social Security number for use in matching. The request to be excluded may be rescinded at any time with written notice to the Jury Administrator.

Sec. 2. Section 51-219a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Jury Administrator, who is appointed in accordance with section 51-10 and subject to supervision by the Chief Court Administrator, shall be responsible for qualifying, summoning, selecting, managing and utilizing jurors in the Superior Court.

(b) The Jury Administrator, subject to the approval of the Chief Court Administrator, shall have the authority to study and to implement procedures for the improvement of jury administration, for the reduction of costs of selection and management of jurors, and for the more effective utilization of jurors.

(c) The Jury Administrator shall have the authority to cancel the service of any juror for good cause, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) The town in which the juror resides is reassigned to a different judicial district than that to which the juror was originally summoned, or (2) there is a reduction in the need for jurors. When jury service is canceled due to a reduction in the need for jurors, individuals shall be selected on a random basis for cancellation of jury service.

(d) The Jury Administrator shall have the authority to receive a list of deceased persons from the Department of Public Health and to delete the names of such persons from the lists compiled pursuant to section 51-222a, as amended by this act. The Jury Administrator may exclude the names of additional deceased persons if supplied with a death certificate or other proof satisfactory to the Jury Administrator.

Sec. 3. Section 51-222a of the general statutes, as amended by section 38 of public act 99-268, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Annually, upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall supply the Jury Administrator with the latest updated file of licensed motor vehicle operators for the state. Upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall supply the Jury Administrator with the most recent updated list of residents of this state who have a permanent place of abode in this state and who filed a return on personal income under chapter 229 in the last tax year, and the Labor Commissioner shall supply the Jury Administrator with the most recent updated list of residents of this state who are recipients of unemployment compensation under chapter 567. In addition, upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the registrars of voters of each town shall supply a list of all electors from their town, except that in lieu of such list from the registrars of voters, the Jury Administrator may obtain the list of all electors from a central repository, or if such list is not available, may contract for the creation and purchase of such list. The registrars of voters shall provide lists of electors to the contractor at the request of the Jury Administrator. Annually, upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the Commissioner of Public Health shall supply the Jury Administrator with the most recent updated list of deceased persons. The lists supplied to the Jury Administrator under this subsection shall be in the format prescribed by the Jury Administrator and shall include, at a minimum, the name, address and, if available, date of birth of each person on such list or the reason for the unavailability. The lists supplied by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, the Commissioner of Revenue Services, the Commissioner of Public Health and the Labor Commissioner to the Jury Administrator under this subsection shall also include the federal Social Security number of each person on such list or the reason for the unavailability. The lists of electors supplied to the Jury Administrator by registrars of voters or the Secretary of the State under this subsection shall not include federal Social Security numbers of persons on such lists.

(b) The Jury Administrator shall compile a list of names of electors, residents of this state appearing on the most recent updated list of operators of motor vehicles licensed pursuant to chapter 246, residents who filed a return on personal income under chapter 229 in the last tax year and recipients of unemployment compensation under chapter 567.

(c) Annually the Jury Administrator shall combine the names from the lists compiled under subsection (b) of this section. The Jury Administrator shall delete, where possible, duplicate names in order to insure that names occurring on any list are given only a single chance to be selected and shall delete, where possible, the names of persons who may be excluded from the list compiled pursuant to subsection (c) of section 51-217, as amended by this act, and the names appearing on the list of deceased persons supplied by the Commissioner of Public Health.

(d) The Jury Administrator shall select, by random from the list compiled as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the number of names required by section 51-220. These names for each town in the state and the names of persons whose jury service was continued from the previous jury year shall constitute such town's final list of prospective jurors for service starting the next succeeding September. The final list for each town shall contain the name and street address of each prospective juror. In the event that a new master file is unavailable or defective, the Chief Court Administrator may authorize the Jury Administrator to continue to summon jurors from the list compiled pursuant to subsection (c) of this section during the previous year.

(e) If the Jury Administrator determines at any time that there is a need to supplement the number of names on the final list of jurors for each town within a judicial district, the Jury Administrator, so far as he or she is able, shall select in proportion to the population of each town, by random, from the names not selected pursuant to subsection (d) of this section such number of prospective jurors as the Jury Administrator determines is necessary.

Sec. 4. Section 51-222a of the general statutes, as amended by section 38 of public act 99-268 and section 3 of this act, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Annually, upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall supply the Jury Administrator with the latest updated file of licensed motor vehicle operators for the state. Upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall supply the Jury Administrator with the most recent updated list of residents of this state who have a permanent place of abode in this state and who filed a return on personal income under chapter 229 in the last tax year, and the Labor Commissioner shall supply the Jury Administrator with the most recent updated list of residents of this state who are recipients of unemployment compensation under chapter 567. In addition, upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the registrars of voters of each town shall supply a list of all electors from their town, except that in lieu of such list from the registrars of voters, the Jury Administrator may obtain the list of all electors from a central repository, or if such list is not available, may contract for the creation and purchase of such list. The registrars of voters shall provide lists of electors to the contractor at the request of the Jury Administrator. Annually, upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the Commissioner of Public Health shall supply the Jury Administrator with the most recent updated list of deceased persons. The lists supplied to the Jury Administrator under this subsection shall be in the format prescribed by the Jury Administrator and shall include, at a minimum, the name, address and, if available, date of birth of each person on such list or the reason for the unavailability. The lists supplied by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, the Commissioner of Revenue Services, the Commissioner of Public Health and the Labor Commissioner to the Jury Administrator under this subsection shall also include the federal Social Security number of each person on such list or the reason for the unavailability. The lists of electors supplied to the Jury Administrator by registrars of voters or the Secretary of the State under this subsection shall not include federal Social Security numbers of persons on such lists.

(b) The Jury Administrator shall compile a list of names of electors, residents of this state appearing on the most recent updated list of operators of motor vehicles licensed pursuant to chapter 246, residents who filed a return on personal income under chapter 229 in the last tax year and recipients of unemployment compensation under chapter 567.

(c) Annually the Jury Administrator shall combine the names from the lists compiled under subsection (b) of this section. The Jury Administrator shall delete, where possible, duplicate names in order to insure that names occurring on any list are given only a single chance to be selected and shall delete, where possible, the names of persons who may be excluded from the list compiled pursuant to subsection (c) of section 51-217, as amended by this act, and the names appearing on the list of deceased persons supplied by the Commissioner of Public Health.

(d) The Jury Administrator shall select, by random from the list compiled as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the number of names required by section 51-220. These names for each town in the state and the names of persons whose jury service was continued from the previous jury year shall constitute such town's final list of prospective jurors for service starting the next succeeding September. The final list for each town shall contain the name and street address of each prospective juror. In the event that a new master file is unavailable or defective, the Chief Court Administrator may authorize the Jury Administrator to continue to summon jurors from the list compiled pursuant to subsection (c) of this section during the previous year.

(e) If the Jury Administrator determines at any time that there is a need to supplement the number of names on the final list of jurors for each town within a judicial district, the Jury Administrator, so far as he or she is able, shall select in proportion to the population of each town, by random, from the names not selected pursuant to subsection (d) of this section such number of prospective jurors as the Jury Administrator determines is necessary.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 51-232 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Such summons or notice shall also state the fact that a juror has a right to one postponement of [his] the juror's term of juror service for not more than [one year] ten months and may contain any other information and instructions deemed appropriate by the Jury Administrator. If the date to which the juror has postponed jury service is improper, unavailable or inconvenient for the court, the Jury Administrator shall assign a date of service which, if possible, is reasonably close to the postponement date selected by the juror. Such notice or summons shall be made available to any party or [his] the attorney for such party in an action to be tried to a jury. The Jury Administrator may grant additional postponements within or beyond said ten months but not beyond one year from the original summons date.

Sec. 6. Subsection (c) of section 54-82h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) Alternate jurors shall attend at all times upon trial of the cause. They shall be seated when the case is on trial with or near the jurors constituting the regular panel, with equal opportunity to see and hear all matters adduced in the trial of the case. If, at any time, any juror shall, for any reason, become unable to further perform [his] the duty of a juror, the court may excuse [him] such juror and, if any juror is so excused or dies, the court may order that an alternate juror who is designated by lot to be drawn by the clerk shall become a part of the regular panel and the trial or deliberation shall then proceed with appropriate instructions from the court as though such juror had been a member of the regular panel from the time when [it was begun] the trial or deliberation began. If the alternate juror becomes a member of the regular panel after deliberations began, the jury shall be instructed by the court that deliberations by the jury shall begin anew. A juror who has been selected to serve as an alternate shall not be segregated from the regular panel except when the case is given to the regular panel for deliberation at which time [he shall] such alternate juror may be dismissed from further service on said case or may remain in service under the direction of the court.

Sec. 7. This act shall take effect September 1, 2000, except that section 6 shall take effect October 1, 2000, and section 4 shall take effect September 1, 2002.

Approved May 26, 2000