Postcards from Orange County Jury Services

by Marlene Martineau, Project Manager, Justice Solutions, Xerox

No, I’m not talking about a picture of a historic court house with a penned letter from a traveling friend. These postcards are from California’s Orange County Jury Services letting citizens know their number has been called to serve.

I know, some may not look forward to jury service, but they don’t have to dread the summons process – at least not in Orange County, California.

The county has switched to using postcards instead of mailing a long form jury summons with a detachable affidavit questionnaire. This has made it easier for citizens to respond and fill out the questionnaire, as well as cut costs, streamline operations and improve office efficiency for the county. Although this may seem like a small or insignificant change, postcards have completely transformed the way the county contacts jurors, checks them in when they report, and enters jury data.

And according to Robyn Samuelson, jury services manager for Orange County, “We are definitely not going back to the full summons! Our staff and citizens love this new process.”

The county was able to legally transition to a postcard summons process because California law requires all jury summons to be sent via first class mail service but doesn’t specify the form length of the summons.

Only the essential information can be included on the new postcard, so Orange County Jury Services worked with Xerox to customize an eJuror portal that would account for the remaining information. The enhanced portal also allows jurors to update their personal information, respond to all questionnaires and request an excusal, disqualification or exemption. All without making a single call.

A bar code was also incorporated into the postcard that is scanned at the courthouse to keep the check-in process quick and easy. You can read more details about how Orange County Jury Services ensured success when switching to jury summons postcards and overcame challenges like making the postcards stand out among other mail in this case study.

Response to the postcard has been outstanding. Ninety-three percent of the approximate 7,000 jurors who report monthly, complete the biographical questionnaire before check-in, resulting in a seventy-two percent decrease in the number of paper affidavits processed monthly. This means the number of mail pieces delivered daily to the courthouse has dropped from 806 to 281.

The new postcards also dramatically reduced costs, with Orange County Jury Services receiving an annual savings of $130,000 in printing and postage.

Are you interested in a transformational change like Orange County Jury Services? Drop me a line at Marlene.Martineau@xerox.com, I’d love to chat about it!

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