Answers to frequently asked questions related to jury duty service.
Why is Jury Service Important?
The United States 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
- Not be under sentence for a felony at the time of jury selection.
- A person 70 years of age or older may claim exemption from jury service and shall be exempt upon making the request.
How was I selected for jury service?
Potential jurors are selected randomly from the State of Michigan Drivers 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 order. If you do not respond, you could be held in contempt of court!
What if I no longer live in Oakland County?
If you no longer live in the County of Oakland, you must submit a copy of the front and back of your driver's license showing your new address. You may submit through US mail or by fax at 248-305-6118.
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.
How long am I on call for jury service?
Under normal circumstances, your term for service is only for the two days noted on your summons. However, you should be prepared for additional days of service if needed.
Can jury service be rescheduled?
Jurors may be allowed a postponement of their jury service for good cause. To request a postponement, contact the Jury Clerk immediately at 248-305-6131. You may also submit a written request stating the specific reasons for your request. You will be contacted as soon as a decision is made.
What about my job?
Your employer can't fire, demote, or otherwise penalize you for missing work while performing jury service. Many employers will continue to pay your salary while you are in jury service. Contact your employer to find out what the policy is at your place of employment.
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 submit a letter from you doctor stating why you are unable to serve, for what period of time you are unable to serve or stating that you should be fully exempt from service.
Where do we report for jury service?
Jurors must report to the Jury Check-in counter, inside our building at 48150 Grand River Avenue.
What is the average length of a trial in the 52-1 District Court?
The average trial lasts approximately one day. However, some cases start and finish in two days.
What hours will I serve?
On the first day of your jury service you should report to the court at 8:30a.m. At that time, you will be told the procedure for reporting for the rest of the term. If seated on a jury you will receive instructions from the Judge ,who will be hearing the case, as to the hours he or she conducts court.
Is it possible that I might report for jury service but not sit on a jury?
Yes. The parties in a case generally seek to settle their differences and avoid the time and expense of a trial. Sometimes the case is settled just moments before it is scheduled to begin. So, even though several cases are scheduled for a day, the court doesn't know until that morning how many will actually go to trial. Your time spent waiting is not wasted -- your very presence in the courthouse encourages settlement.
How am I compensated?
You will be paid $15.00 per day for each day you must report to the courthouse, plus $.10 per mile. This amount is set by the state legislature and is considered reimbursement for your travel and other expenses.
Will I receive proof of my jury service for my employer?
Proof of jury service is prepared upon request. You will be given the opportunity to make your request on you first day of service.
What Is the Dress Code?
Your appearance as a juror reflects the seriousness of the proceedings. The dress code is appropriate business attire.
How will I know what to expect and what to do during my jury service?
The court will provide verbal orientation to inform and educate you about jury service and the trial process. You will also learn about your role as a juror and what you should and should not do while in the courthouse and serving on a jury.
What if an unexpected emergency keeps me from coming to the courthouse while I'm on a jury?
It is very important that all jurors report each day they are told to report and that they be on time. Your absence may delay a trial. If you have an emergency (such as a sudden illness or a death in the family), call the court immediately.
Is there anything I can do to make my jury service more comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable?
Certainly! While efforts are made to reduce delay and avoid waiting time, you may have to wait awhile at the courthouse before you find out whether you have been chosen to actually sit on a jury. So bring a book or other quiet activity or get to know your fellow jurors. Televisions, pay phones and vending machines are located in the jury assembly room. Electrical outlets are also available for laptop computers. Remember that as a juror, you are a vital part of the Court system. Part of the job of many court employees is to help make your jury service comfortable and convenient. Don't be afraid to ask them for help.