- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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).
- 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 $0.575 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) plus a flat per diem rate for your meals and incidental expenses. You must submit your original hotel bill to the Jury Clerk to claim this reimbursement. 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 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 in the Jury Assembly Room as comfortable as possible. Light refreshments, magazines 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.
Minneapolis and St. Paul
- 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 your summons, or you can log onto our website (www.mnd.uscourts.gov) to complete the form on-line through 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.
- 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 still need to report for jury service and ask the Judge to be excused.
- 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 Courthouse. The Notice to Report assigns you to a panel and provides you with specific instructions regarding the date, time, and location of your service.
IMPORTANT: You do not need to call in or report for jury duty until you receive either a Notice to Report in the mail or a telephone call from the Jury Clerk.
- 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 two months. This does not mean that you will be reporting every day for the whole service period, 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.
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.
Duluth and Fergus Falls
- 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 your summons, or you can log onto our website (www.mnd.uscourts.gov) to complete the form out on-line using eJuror.
- 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