Jury Duty - Summons FAQs - St. Paul & Minneapolis
- 1. Now that I received a summons for jury service, what do I have to do?
- 2. How will I know when to report for jury service?
- 3. How long do I have to serve as a juror?
- 4. What can I do if I cannot serve as a juror or cannot serve as a juror at this time?
- 5. How do I submit a request to be excused or to postpone my jury service?
- 6. What if my employer will not let me serve as a juror?
- 7. What happens if I fail to report for jury service?
- 8. Will I be paid for jury service?
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 do the following:
- 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 (www.mnd.uscourts.gov) to complete the form out on-line using eJuror.
- If applicable, complete the Partial Excuse Form. You can indicate the dates during your term of service that you have scheduled vacations and/or appointments that cannot be rescheduled on the paper form provided or you can use the Partial Excuse option in eJuror to give vacation/appointment dates.
- Contact the Jury Clerk to update your availability if your schedule changes after you have submitted your Partial Excuse Form. The Jury Clerk must be notified at least two weeks prior to the date(s) you are not available. You may contact the Jury Clerk via mail, phone, or e-mail.
IMPORTANT: If you are called to serve on a day that you are unavailable but did not inform the Jury Clerk as to the change in your schedule, you will still need to report for jury service and ask the Judge to be excused.
2. How will I know when to report for jury service?
You will be notified as to when to report for jury service by receiving a Notice to Report in the mail. You should receive the Notice to Report approximately one week prior to the day you must report to the Court for jury service. The Notice to Report assigns you to a panel and provides you with specific instructions regarding the date, time, and location (including a map) of your service.
IMPORTANT: You do not need to call or report for jury duty until you receive either a Notice to Report in the mail or a telephone call from the Jury Clerk.
3. How long do I have to serve as a juror?
Jurors with the United States District Court - District of Minnesota are generally on call for one month. This does not mean that you will be reporting every day for the whole month, but that you may be called at any time during the on call period to serve as a juror.
If you report for jury duty and are not selected to be on the jury, you will remain on call for the rest of your on call period and may receive another Notice to Report. You will not need to report again unless you receive another Notice to Report in the mail. In the event that you are selected to serve on a jury, your service will be complete at the conclusion of the trial in most all circumstances. The average jury trial in federal court is less than two weeks; however, some trials last longer.
4. What can I do if I cannot serve as a juror or cannot serve as a juror at this time?
You may request to be excused from jury service or you may request to have your jury service postponed. This request must be submitted before you receive a Notice to Report. Requests for excuse or postponement are handled on a case by case basis.
The Jury Clerk may excuse upon 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 report for service on your reporting date and ask the judge to be excused during the jury selection.
Upon 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.
5. 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/postponement may only be submitted by the person summoned (not your employer). Requests for excusal/postponement must be submitted before you receive a Notice to Report; the Jury Clerk cannot grant you an excusal or postponement once you have been issued a Notice to Report.
6. 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.
7. 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).
8. Will I be paid for jury service?
All jurors receive $40.00 per day, and $0.575 per mile traveled to and from the courthouse. 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 $140) to cover the costs of lodging and a flat per diem rate of $64 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 $64 to cover the costs of meals and incidental expenses.