Common Juror Questions

How Did I Get Selected to be a Juror?

The 8th Judicial District primarily uses the list of licensed drivers provided by the state. A computer randomly selects a pool of potential jurors for each trial. If your mailing address is incorrect on the summons, it is usually because the information is incorrect on the driver's license list received from the state.

What if I am not a County Resident?

If you are not a county resident you do not have to serve as a juror. Some people live near county borders and will receive an incorrect juror summons. Please indicate this information on your juror questionnaire and return it as requested.

What are the Legal Qualifications for Jury Service?

You must be at least 18 years of age, a United States citizen, and a resident of Dickinson County. You are excluded from jury service if you have been convicted of a felony within the preceding 10 years. You are also excluded if you are under a present adjudication of incompetency by a court. If you are uncertain whether you qualify for any of the reasons listed above, you should discuss your situation with the jury clerk. If you feel you do not qualify for jury service, return the questionnaire indicating the reason.

Do I Get Paid?

You will receive $10 a day when you are a juror. You will be paid mileage at the state rate. Reimbursement is made by the county the first of every month for jury service and mileage checks.

What if I Have a Disability?

The 8th Judicial District will accommodate anyone wishing to serve as a juror. Please indicate your needs when you return the questionnaire.

How Often Will I Have to Serve?

The 8th Judicial District will not require you to serve as a juror more than once in a 12-month period. However, you may be summoned to appear up to three times in a 12-month period if the trial you are summoned for is canceled.

Are Parents With Children at Home Excused From Jury Service?

No, there is no automatic exclusion. If we were to exclude all mothers and fathers with small children, a significant portion of the population base would be excluded from jury service. This would cause our jury pool to not truly be representative of our community. You are responsible for arranging for your own child care if you are called for jury duty. If you are a breast-feeding mother, please answer Yes to that question on the jury questionnaire, and the jury clerk will be contacting you.

Are College Students Required to Serve?

If you are a full time college student, living a considerable distance from the city where court is held, please indicate that on your juror questionnaire. Each student requesting excused status will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Can I Obtain a Jury Service Verification Letter for my Employer?

Please notify court personnel if you are in need of a letter verifying your jury service. The Clerk of District Court will provide these upon request.

What About Missing Work?

Jury service is the duty of all citizens, including employers and employees. Employers must not reprimand you for jury service. If needed, District Court will provide documentation of your attendance for your employer. See the previous question for details.

What Happens If I Have Been Summoned for Jury Duty but I Decide Not to Report for Service?

You may be held in contempt of court and you can be fined for failing to respond to a jury service summons. We hope that you will reconsider. The jury system is an important part of democracy in the United States. Rather than relying solely upon Judges to decide the facts in a dispute, whether civil or criminal, our judicial system relies upon a group of citizens chosen from the community to make those decisions. The jury system can only work well if jurors are chosen from a diverse cross-section of the population. We work hard to make sure that no qualified citizens of our community are excluded from jury duty, whether through self-selection (i.e., failing to show up) or otherwise.

What if the Summons is Incorrect or the Person is Deceased?

If the address is incorrect, please note your correct address and return to the jury clerk. We sincerely apologize if you have received a summons addressed to a family member who has died. Jury lists are compiled annually from Department of Motor Vehicle. If the summons is unopened, please write "deceased" on the outside and mark it "Return to Sender."

Jury Duty Scam

Identity thieves are tricking individuals into revealing their personal details by telling them that they failed to report for jury duty and warrants for their arrest are being issued.

Court workers in the 8th Judicial District will not telephone individuals to ask for personal information because you have supposedly missed jury duty. Also, they will not call because they are allegedly assembling juries and need to pre-screen those who might be selected to serve on them. The only time you would hear from Court workers by telephone (rather than by mail) about anything having to do with jury service would be after you have mailed back your completed questionnaire, and even then only rarely.

For more information on this jury duty scam, visit the Snopes website.