- 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 separate from State Courts.
- 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 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.
- Can I volunteer for jury service?
No, the pool of jurors is randomly selected by computer and accepting volunteers would compromise the random selection.
- 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 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 $1,000 fine, up to three days imprisonment, order to perform community service or any combination thereof. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1864(b), 1866(g).
- 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.
- Will I be paid for jury service?
All jurors receive $50.00 per day, and $0.67 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) to cover the costs of lodging and a flat per diem rate 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 to cover the costs of meals and incidental expenses.
- If I am selected, when will the trial start?
Generally, the trial begins the same day or the following day, that you report for jury selection.
- 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.
- Juror Attire
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.
The U.S. District Court strives to make your time as comfortable as possible. Light refreshments and wireless internet access are provided. Phones, a refrigerator and microwave are also available for your use. Reading materials, cell phones and laptops are allowed in the Jury Assembly Room. Food and beverages are not allowed in the courtroom. Computers, reading materials, and cell phones may not be used once you are in the courtroom.
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 and questionnaires. You must complete the paper form located at the bottom of your summons, fill out the questionnaires, and mail them back in the envelope provided. You may also complete your Juror Information Form and questionnaire(s) by visiting our website at www.mnd.uscourts.gov.
What should I do on my reporting day?
- Bring a photo I.D.
- Bring your parking ticket for validation
- Bring your hotel receipt if you stayed the previous night
Please call the jury information line after 5:00 p.m. the night before you are scheduled to report to confirm your reporting schedule. If you are reporting on a Monday, call the jury information line over the weekend. Last minute schedule changes sometimes occur and cannot be predicted. If you fail to call the information line and you appear at an incorrect time, the court will not be able to reimburse you for your expenses.
Jury Information Line: 612-664-5100 or 1-800-569-7653