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Jury Duty Frequently Asked Questions





General



1. What is the difference between State and Federal court?

Federal courts hear cases involving violations of federal statutes, crimes committed on federal property or disputes between residents of different states. State courts hear cases involving violations of state laws or disputes between two or more residents of that state. The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota is a Federal Court. This Court is completely separate from State Courts.

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2. Can I volunteer for jury service?

No, the pool of jurors is randomly selected by computer and accepting volunteers would compromise the random selection

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3. Will I be sequestered (spend the night away from home)?

It is extremely rare for jurors in this Court to be sequestered. If this should occur, your hotel and meal costs will be paid by Court funds.

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Questionnaire


1. Who is required to complete the questionnaire?

EVERYONE who receives a Jury Qualification Questionnaire is REQUIRED to complete the form. The questionnaire may be completed online or the paper form. If the Jury Qualification Questionnaire is not completed online, a paper copy will be AUTOMATICALLY mailed to the recipient in approximately 8-10 weeks.

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2. What if I am unable to log into eJuror?

  • Make sure you have accessed the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota’s “eJuror” site as other courts also use eJuror. The best way to do this is to navigate directly to our website at: www.mnd.uscourts.gov and then select the Jury/eJuror tab.
  • If you have been locked out, close your web browser completely, reopen, and re-enter your login information.

If you are still unable to log into eJuror, please send an email to jury_questionnaire@mnd.uscourts.gov. In your email, be sure to include your 9-digit Juror Participant Number, which can be found on the front of the postcard or paper questionnaire. Please note that due to high email volume, your email may not be immediately returned.


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3. How can I request to be excused?

To request an excuse using eJuror please select the appropriate option under “Grounds for Requesting an Excuse.” On the paper form, to request an excuse mark the appropriate circle under number 14 on the questionnaire and explain your excuse in the remarks section. EXCUSE REQUESTS ARE NOT ACCEPTED BY PHONE.

At this point in the process, you may only be excused for the four reasons listed. No other excuses will be considered. If you feel you need to be excused for any other reason, you may notify us at the time you are summonsed.

Please note that the paper form has 10 boxes under question number 14, but we only have four excuse options. PLEASE DO NOT MARK BOXES 5-10.

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4. What if I have a medical excuse request?

Please note excuse requests are not accepted by phone. If you answered “Yes” to the “Medical” question in eJuror, you must also submit a doctor’s note that explains your long-term or permanent medical condition. You may either print the medical form from eJuror or request a letter from your physician. If you send a letter from your physician, please include your 9-digit participant number.

If you answered “Yes” to question number 8 on the paper form, you must also submit a doctor’s note that explains your long-term or permanent medical condition. Please enclose a letter from your physician that includes your 9-digit participant number.

Doctor’s notes are accepted by U.S. mail or email only. To submit by mail, please send to: United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Attention Jury Clerk at 300 South 4th Street, Suite 202, Minneapolis, MN 55415. To submit by email please send to: jury_questionnaire@mnd.uscourts.gov

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5. What if I am over 70 and requesting to be excused?

If you are 70 years of age or older, you may ask to be excused. If you complete the questionnaire online, you must select option “Excused over 70.”

If you complete the paper form, please fill in circle 1, under question 14 “Over 70 years of age.” Please note Unsigned questionnaire forms will be returned for signature.

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6. What if the questionnaire recipient is a student?

Please note that students must complete the questionnaire. If the student is unavailable to complete the questionnaire, someone else may complete the online or paper questionnaire on the student’s behalf.

To complete the questionnaire on the student's behalf in eJuror, you will need the student's 9-digit Juror Participant Number, which can be found on the front of the postcard or the paper questionnaire, the first three letters of the student's last name, and the student’s date of birth. Please follow the specific instructions on the first page of the eJuror questionnaire or the instructions noted to the left of the "Remarks" section located on the front of the paper questionnaire. The person filling out the questionnaire must provide his or her name, address, and the reason why the student is unable to complete the form.

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7. What if I have a name or address change?

If you use eJuror to complete your form, update your name or address on the appropriate screen.

You must wait for the Jury Office to process your changes before you will be able to complete the questionnaire online if you receive the following message:

"The changes you’ve made to your record are currently being reviewed by an administrator. You will not be able to access eJuror until those changes are approved. Thanks for using eJuror."

Please note that it may take up to five business days to process a name or address change. After submitting a name or address change, log into eJuror after 5 business days and complete the remainder of your questionnaire online.

If you have moved to another state, please select “None of the above” for your county and new state abbreviation. Please note that the option for “None of the above” is located under counties beginning with the letter “N.”

If you complete the paper form, cross off your old name or address on the top left-hand-corner of the questionnaire and write in your new name or address.

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8. What if the questionnaire recipient is deceased?

If the questionnaire recipient is deceased, someone else may complete the online or paper questionnaire on the deceased’s behalf. If you complete the questionnaire online, you will need the recipient’s 9 digit participant number, which can be found on the front of the postcard or the paper questionnaire, the first three letters of the deceased’s last name and date of birth. In eJuror, please answer “No” to the question “Are you the recipient filing out the form?” and then “Yes” when asked “Is the addressee deceased?” If you complete the paper form, please write “deceased” on the front of the questionnaire and return the questionnaire in the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope. You do not need to use a stamp for the return.

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9. What if the recipient does not speak English?

The recipient must complete the questionnaire. Someone can either help the recipient complete the questionnaire or complete the questionnaire on the recipient´s behalf. Please provide an explanation in eJuror or follow the instructions on the paper form.

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10. What if the recipient is not a United States Citizen?

The recipient must complete the questionnaire. In eJuror, please answer “No” to the question “Are you a citizen of the United States.” On the paper form, please answer “No” to question number 1.

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11. What if I have a prior conviction and I do not know if my civil rights have been restored?

It is your responsibility to determine whether your right to serve on a jury has been restored. If your right to serve on a jury has been restored, please send documentation to prove your status. Unfortunately, without documentation showing that your right to serve on a jury has been restored, we will be unable to call you for jury service.

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12. What if I receive a questionnaire for someone who does not live at this address?

Draw a line through the address printed on the postcard or the paper questionnaire, write “undeliverable” and put it back in the mail using the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope. You do not need to use a stamp for the return.

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13. What if the questionnaire recipient is unable to fill out the form?

If the questionnaire recipient is unable to complete the questionnaire, someone else may complete the online or paper form on the recipient's behalf.

To complete the questionnaire on another’s behalf in eJuror, you will need the recipient's 9-digit Juror Participant Number, which can be found on the front of the postcard or the paper questionnaire, the first three letters of the recipient's last name and the recipient’s date of birth. Please follow the specific instructions on the first page of the eJuror questionnaire or the instructions noted to the left of the "Remarks" section located on front of the paper questionnaire. The person filling out the questionnaire must provide his or her name, address, and the reason why the recipient is unable to complete the form.

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14. What if I have previously served on a jury?

If you have served on a jury in either state or federal court in the past two years, you may ask to be excused.  In eJuror, please select “Jury Service W/N 2 years” from the “Grounds for Requesting an Excuse” question. On the paper form, please fill in circle number 2 under question 14.

To make this excuse request, you must also provide the name of the court and exact dates that you served in the remarks section. If you do not know the exact dates, it is your responsibility to call the court you served with and ask them for the information. You will not be excused unless this information is provided.

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15. Additional Information

A. How was I selected?

Every two years the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota creates a Master Jury Wheel by random selection using an electronic data processing system. The names are randomly selected from a non-repeating list of registered voters, driver’s license holders, and state identification card holders obtained from the State of Minnesota and are proportionally selected from each county.

B. Will I be on-call for the entire time my name is in the Master Jury Wheel? What if I have vacation plans?

You will not be on-call for the entire period of time. You may live your life and make plans as you normally do. If you qualify, you will be part of our qualified jury wheel and could possibly receive a summons for a specific time in the future. We summons jurors by means of random selection. If you are summonsed, you will receive paperwork from us approximately one month before your jury service begins. At that time, you can let us know about any vacations/appointments you may have.

C. Why am I being asked to report to a county in which I do not live?

The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota is a federal court. We are completely separate from the state courts located in each of the counties. We are required to have a fair representation of our entire district; therefore, we call jurors from the entire state of Minnesota.

D. To which courthouse will I report?

The District of Minnesota calls two different kinds of juries each year – grand juries and petit juries. Grand jury names are selected from the entire state of Minnesota. Grand jurors report to either the Minneapolis courthouse or the St. Paul courthouse. Petit jury, names are generally selected from the geographic location in which the jury trial is held. This typically means that if a jury trial will be held in St. Paul or Minneapolis, petit jurors from the entire southern half of the state will be asked to report to either the St. Paul or Minneapolis courthouse. Petit jurors in the northern half of the state will report to either the Fergus Falls or Duluth courthouse. 

E. How will I know the status of my request for excuse?

Unfortunately, we are unable to individually contact each person regarding their status at this stage of the process. However, if you completed the questionnaire and meet the exempted from service categories under question nine or meet one of the four grounds for requesting an excuse under question 14, you may generally assume you are excused from jury service at this time.

**Please note that in order to be excused under question 14, you must provide all requested information in the “Remarks” section of the questionnaire.

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