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Riverside County jurors warned to stay away from social media

Prospective and selected jurors reporting for duty at Riverside County courthouses next week will be reminded about the need to avoid sharing information on cases via social networking sites.

“With the growing use of social media, the court is directing jurors not to `tag,’ `friend’ and `tweet’ about anything that takes place in the courtroom,” said Riverside County Superior Court Presiding Judge Sherrill Ellsworth.

“We want jurors to be aware that researching and disseminating trial-related information is prohibited.

“As we move forward with the many accomplishments in the jury system, drawing attention to social media restrictions will allow jurors and litigants to continue to benefit from impartial and fair trials,” Ellsworth said.

May 14 to May 18 is Juror Appreciation Week, and this is the 15th year it will be observed in Riverside County, according to court officials. In past years, jurors have received pens and other items in recognition of their service.

According to court officials, the social networking phenomenon was addressed last year with the passage of Assembly Bill 141. The legislation requires judges to explain that the “prohibition on research, dissemination of information and conversation (about cases) applies to all forms of electronic or wireless communication.”

More than 200,000 Californians serve on juries each year, according to the state Judicial Council.

KESQ News Team

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