The Charlotte County Clerk of Court is the first in the state to roll out a new application, allowing jurors to check in for jury duty using a cell phone app. The new technology has cut jury check-in time in half, according to Clerk of Court Roger Eaton.
"We value the public's time," Eaton said. "We want to make sure we're efficient as possible." The system is called Jurymark, created by Pioneer Technology Group, and it allows jurors to get notifications by text when their number is called, much like many restaurants that text patrons when their table is ready.
"It's relatable," Eaton said. "In the private sector, it's been going on for years." When jurors get to the courthouse, they can scan a QR code on their phones or a barcode on their jury summons' at two kiosks installed in the Jury Management Office. The kiosks were installed in May, and the app went live a few weeks ago for both the App Store and Google Play. Jury Clerk Jessica Burrows says jurors have been impressed with the system. One man she recalled in particular had done jury service before and remembered the two-hour check-in before the new technology. Jurors used to be required to arrive at 7:30 a.m. and often wouldn’t get up to the courtrooms until 9:30 a.m. Now, they come in at 8 a.m. and are generally up in the courtroom by 9 a.m. "He was very, very pleased with it," Burrows said.
Other benefits for jurors include same-day pay, so jurors can immediately get their $15 in cash. The money saved on postage fees and other costs associated with mailing out paper checks will be around $10,000 annually, Eaton said.
Those without the phone app can check in on the clerk’s website instead, or call the office in the more traditional style. Eaton stressed that customer service is still a priority, and there’s always someone to assist jurors and answer questions.
"I'm always looking to be as innovative as humanly possible," Eaton said.