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Frequently Asked Questions -- Jury Service (Part 1)

Why is jury service important?

The U.S. Constitution guarantees all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, the right to trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends to a large measure upon the quality of the jurors who serve in our courts. That is why you are important.

What is my duty as a juror?

As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. Your actions and decisions are the foundation of our judicial system.
What are the eligibility requirements to serve as a juror?
  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Be a resident of Oakland County.
  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Be conversant with the English language.
  • Be physically and mentally able to carry out the functions of a juror. Temporary inability shall not be considered a disqualification.
  • Not have served as a petit or grand juror, in a court of record, during the preceding 12 months.
  • Never have been convicted of a felony.
A person 70 years of age or older may claim exemption from jury service and shall be exempt upon making the request. All other persons are expected to serve and should appear to be interviewed for possible selection. 

How was I selected for jury service?

Potential jurors are selected randomly from the State of Michigan Driver's License list and Personal Identification Cardholder list for individuals residing in Oakland County. The selection method is designed to produce a cross section of the community. Men and women over 18 years of age and from all walks of life have an equal opportunity to be called for jury service.

How much notice will I be given that I am to appear for jury service?

The summons/order to appear for jury service is mailed to jurors approximately one month before they are to appear for jury selection.

Do I have to respond to the summons to jury service?

Yes. The summons to appear for jury service is an official court summons. If you do not respond, you could be held in contempt of court!

How soon must I return the juror questionnaire?

Jurors must return the questionnaire within 10 days of receipt. A self-addressed, postage-paid mailing envelope is provided with the questionnaire.

What if I no longer live in Oakland County?

If you no longer live in Oakland County, please write your new address in the space provided on the front of the questionnaire, answer question number two (2), and return the questionnaire to the Jury Office with a copy of your updated Driver's License.  You may verify your status through our automated juror information system, by calling 248-858-0029, and following the prompts.  You will need your nine-digit participant number; which is located in the upper right hand corner of your summons.

I received a questionnaire for my spouse or relative who is deceased. What should I do?

The questionnaire should be returned with "DECEASED" written next to the person's name. Once we receive this information, he or she will be removed from our list.

Can jury service be rescheduled?

Jurors may be allowed one postponement of their jury service.  To request a postponement, you may access the automated system by calling 248-858-0029 and following the prompts.  You will need your nine-digit participant number; which is located in the upper right hand corner of your summons.  You may postpone for up to three months.  Only Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday dates may be selected.  If there are extenuating circumstances and you will not be available for a longer period, you must call the above number and speak directly to a clerk.
 
If you are a college student, you may request to be postponed to a date either during breaks between semesters or the summer months.  It is important to take into consideration your class schedule, as only one postponement will be granted.
If your jury service is postponed, you will receive a new Juror Summons/Questionnaire for the new date.  It is not necessary to return the questionnaire for the original date.

Can a parent complete a questionnaire for a son or daughter who is away at college?

If you received a questionnaire for your son or daughter who is a college student, and the student is not available, you may complete the form for them.  If your son or daughter is not available on the date scheduled, the student should contact the automated system by calling 248-858-0029 and follow the prompts to select a date, either during breaks between semesters or the summer months that best suits their schedule.  Only one postponement will be granted.  Only Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday dates may be selected.  If there are extenuating circumstances and the juror will not be available for a longer period than three months, the student must call the above number and speak directly to a clerk.
If your jury service is postponed, you will receive a new Juror Summons/Questionnaire for the new date.  It is not necessary to return the questionnaire for the original date.

What if I have a medical condition that would prevent me from serving jury duty?

In order to be excused for medical reasons you must complete question number six (6) of the questionnaire and return it to the Jury Office with a doctor's note. Your request for excusal will not be considered without a doctor's note.  You may verify your status through our automated juror information system, by calling 248-858-0029, and following the prompts.  You will need your nine-digit participant number; which is located in the upper right hand corner of your summons.

What if I am a nursing mother?

If you are requesting excusal because you are a nursing mother, you must provide documentation from a doctor, lactation consultant, or certified nurse midwife.

How will I know if I am to report for jury service?

You must call 248-858-0029 after 5:00 p.m. the day before your appearance date. You may call after 5:00 p.m. on Friday and through the weekend for a Monday appearance date. A recorded message will instruct you by participant number and confirm your reporting date and time.

Where do we report for jury service?

Jurors must report to the Jury Office, located on the first floor of the Oakland County Courthouse, 1200 North Telegraph Road, Pontiac, Michigan. Juror hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Friday unless otherwise informed by court personnel.

How long am I on call for jury service?

The term of service is one trial. If you are not selected to serve as a juror by the end of the first day and you are not ordered to return for the second day of jury selection, your service is complete.  If you are seated on a case you will serve as long as the case lasts.  The average criminal case lasts 3 days.  The average civil case lasts 4 days.  However, some cases start and finish in one day.  And others may last several days.