MACOMB COUNTY JURY ROOM OFFERS WIRELESS INTERNET
Broadcasting from high atop the Macomb County courthouse, it’s… the jury room. Jury duty just got better for county residents because the Clerk / Register of Deeds launched free wireless Internet service for jurors. Jurors with laptops or palmtop computers may now use E-mail, surf the web or even work remotely while waiting in the jury room. The Macomb County Clerk’s proposal is believed to be among the first of it’s kind in Michigan. The Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved Sabaugh’s proposal in mid-December and she already has it up and running.
"We want to let jurors quietly stay in touch with work or family while waiting to be picked for a case," said the Macomb County Clerk. "This is a real-world example of the benefits of wireless Internet service, which I hope will help Mount Clemens and other initiatives."
"We’re reducing the inconvenience and boredom of jury duty," said Macomb County Chief Judge Antonio P. Viviano. "Our increasing caseload requires more and more jurors and Clerk Sabaugh’s service is another positive change."
The system was launched last week for the first jurors of 2006. The entire project has a one-time cost of approximately $500 and a monthly cost of approximately $65. Over 20,000 county residents will have contact with the jury room this year. Juror wireless Internet access is completely separate from the county’s computer network, ensuring security of county data. Jurors wishing to use the service are given a password. Jurors are not permitted to use the service in a courtroom or if they are assigned to a case.
The Macomb County Clerk recently made other juror improvements. She pushed for a one-day/one-trial system that started this month shortening jury duty to one day for most jurors and saved money for the county. She started a program with the Suburban Mobile Authority for Regional Transport (SMART) providing free bus tickets to jurors and also partnered with the Mount Clemens Public Library letting jurors request books on the Internet to be delivered to the jury room upon jurors' arrival. Both programs were done at no additional taxpayer cost.
Photo Editor’s note: The jury room, 5th Floor, 40 North Main, Mount Clemens, MI 48043, has jurors Tuesdays - Fridays and it is possible to get a photo of the county clerk with a juror using wireless Internet on a laptop computer. Call 586-469-5844 on any given day to confirm if a juror is using the service and is available for a photo.
Out of State: 310-575-5035