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Jury Duty - Summons FAQs - Fergus Falls

1. Now that I received a summons for jury service, what do I have to do?

In response to the summons for jury service you received, you must complete the Jury Information Form. You can complete the paper form located at the bottom of the enclosed summons, or you can log onto our website ( to complete the form out on-line using eJuror.

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2. What should I do on my reporting day?

  • Please call the jury voicemail after 5:00 p.m. the night before you are scheduled to report to confirm your reporting schedule. Last minute schedule changes sometimes occur and cannot be predicted. If you fail to call the voice mailbox and you appear at an incorrect time, the court will not be able to reimburse you for your expenses.

    Jury Voicemail: 218-529-3506 or 1-800-240-7239

  • Report to the Jury Assembly Room at the courthouse on time. Please allow yourself plenty of time to find parking and the courthouse

  • Bring a photo I.D.
  • Bring your parking ticket for validation

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3. What attire is appropriate?

Please dress appropriately for court. Shorts, hats, halter or tank tops and jeans with tears are not acceptable courtroom attire. The courtrooms can be quite cool, so dress accordingly.

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4. What happens when I report for jury service?

During jury selection, the judge will ask you a series of questions to determine if you are appropriate to serve on that particular jury. If you are not selected to be on the jury, you will be permitted to leave after the selection process is finished. If you are chosen to be a juror, you will then receive instructions for how to report for jury service for that trial - trial hours are set by the Judge. On most occasions, the trial will begin as soon as the jury has been selected.

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5. What if I cannot serve as a juror or cannot serve as a juror on my reporting date?

You may request to be excused from jury service or you may request to have your jury service postponed. Requests for excusal or postponement are handled on a case by case basis.

The Jury Clerk may excuse upon written request the following occupational classes or groups of people from jury service:

  • Persons over 70 years of age.
  • Persons who served as a Grand or Petit Juror in the last two (2) years.
  • Persons having active care of a child or children under 10 years of age whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by the jury service or a person who is essential to the care of aged or infirm person(s).
  • Persons who serve without compensation as a volunteer firefighter or member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew for a federal, state or local government agency.

IMPORTANT: If you feel you need to be excused for a reason other than those listed above, you will need to report for service on your reporting date and ask the judge to be excused during the jury selection.

Upon written request, the Jury Clerk may grant postponement of jury service for the following:

  • Persons with a health problem. You may be asked to submit a letter from your doctor to support this request.
  • Persons who are enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Persons with other extenuating circumstances (e.g. planned vacations, business travel).

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6. How do I submit a request to be excused or to postpone my jury service?

To request to be excused from jury service or to have your jury service postponed, please follow these procedures:

  • Fill out the Jury Information Form, either in paper form, or on-line using eJuror.
  • Write a letter stating specifically why you need to be excused/postponed, or use the Excuse/Postpone/Partial Excuse option to submit your request on-line using eJuror. If you are asking to postpone your service, please include the date that you will be available. If you are requesting to be excused/postponed for medical reasons, you may be asked to submit a letter from your doctor.
  • You will receive a letter in the mail or an e-mail message to let you know if your request has been approved.

IMPORTANT: Requests for excusal or postponement may only be submitted by the person summoned (not your employer).

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7. Will I be paid for jury service?

All jurors receive $50.00 per day, and $0.58 per mile traveled to and from the courthouse. The court will calculate your mileage using your address that is on file with the court. If you live 60 miles or more from the courthouse, you may choose to stay overnight during your jury service and/or the night before selection. If you choose to stay at a hotel, you will be reimbursed the actual cost of your lodging (not to exceed the current government rate of $94 per night) to cover the cost of lodging and a flat per diem rate of $55 to cover meals and incidental expenses. If you choose to stay with a friend or relative, rather than a hotel, you will receive a flat per diem rate of $55 to cover the costs of meals and incidental expenses.

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8. What if my employer will not let me serve as a juror?

While you serve as a juror, your employment is protected under federal law, 28 U.S.C. § 1875. If you have questions or problems regarding your employment as a result of your being summoned to jury service, please notify the Jury Clerk. Most employers have a jury duty policy and we encourage you to check with your employer regarding its jury duty policy.

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9. What happens if I fail to report for jury service?

We try our very best to work with all prospective jurors so that they can timely report to jury service. In order for this to happen, we ask that you keep the Jury Clerk informed of any changes in your availability.

A juror who fails to report for jury service and was not excused from jury service by the Court may be ordered to appear before the Court and show cause for why he or she failed to comply with the summons for jury service. Failure to appear before the Court or failure to show good cause for failing to report for jury service may result in a $1000 fine, up to three days imprisonment, order to perform community service or any combination thereof. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1864(b), 1866(g).

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10. How do I contact the Jury Clerk?

The Jury Clerks may be contacted by mail, phone or e-mail at:

Mandy - Duluth  Lynnette - Fergus Falls 
Gerald W. Heaney Federal  U.S. Courthouse 
Building and Courthouse and Customhouse  118 South Mill Street, Suite 212 
515 West First Street, Suite 417  Fergus Falls, MN 56537 
Duluth, MN 55802  (218) 739-7911
(218) 529-3500;

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