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Juror Information - Frequently Asked Questions


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Q: What is the difference between a qualification questionnaire and a summons?
A qualification questionnaire is a form designed to provide the court with information to determine if you are legally qualified to be a juror, as well as statistical information. If you are legally qualified for federal jury duty, at some point you may be sent a Summons and Notice of Jury Duty letter, which is an order from the court calling you to jury service.

Q: How was I selected?
Your name was randomly selected from the Indiana voter registration list.

Q: Where will I serve on jury duty?
For petit jury service, you will serve in the division based on the county in which you live. For a list of counties please go to: http://www.innd.uscourts.gov/divisional.shtml . Grand jurors, however, may have a broader scope of service.

Q: What is grand jury service?
The federal grand jury hears evidence presented by an attorney of the government which tends to show the commission of a crime and whether someone should be tried for that crime. The grand jury then votes to indict or not to indict that person or persons.

Q: What is petit jury service?
Petit (trial) jurors are "on call" for a three month period. Although you are on call, you may only be called to report for jury selection a couple times during your term of service. The number of times may vary depending on the needs of the court. Once you appear, you will not be called again. You will appear only on days when requested during the period of service. Please note that if you are called to serve on a trial that begins at the end of your term of service or if you are selected for a trial that exceeds your service period, you will be required to serve until the completion of the trial.

Q: May I bring my cell phone, pager or laptop computer into the Courthouse?
No, new security requirements prohibit carrying such devices in the Courthouse. Please do not bring them into the Courthouse.

Q: What is eJuror?
eJuror is an automated jury system on the court's website. Jury candidates can log into eJuror from home to complete forms such as the Qualification Questionnaire and the Summons and Notice of Jury Duty electronically. For more information about eJuror, please see the eJuror FAQ page.

Q: How long will I be on call for?
You will be on call for a period of three months. You may be called to appear more than once, but once you appear you will not be called again. You will be advised of the trial schedule by the judge at the beginning of the trial.

Q: What time will I be able to go home each evening if I am selected to serve?
Most of our trials follow business hours when possible, however, on the day of deliberation, you may be required to stay later in order to render a verdict.

Q: What if I cannot go to jury duty?
You need to write a letter to the Jury Clerk at the Lafayette address that is located on your Summons and Notice of Jury Duty letter and request to be excused. NOTE: The court DOES NOT accept excuses from the employer.

Q: What if I get sick at the last minute?
If you get sick at the last minute please call the Jury Clerk at the toll free number 1-877-377-1219. If you call before working hours please leave a message.

Q: What types of cases do you hear in this court?
We hear civil and criminal cases in this court. A civil matter is a court proceeding in which one party seeks to recover money damages or other relief from another party. A criminal matter is one in which the government seeks to enforce a criminal law.

Q: What is the difference between a judge and a magistrate judge?
A district court judge is nominated by the President and confirmed by the US Senate. These judicial officers are appointed for a life term. District court judges hear criminal and civil cases. A U.S. magistrate judge is a judicial officer of the district court and is appointed by majority vote of the active district judges of the court to exercise jurisdiction over matters assigned by statute as well as those delegated by the district judges. A full-time magistrate judge serves a term of eight years. Duties assigned to magistrate judges by district court judges may vary considerably from court to court, however, magistrate judges usually hear civil cases and criminal misdemeanor cases.

Q: How many trials take place every week?
Normally there are one or two trials a week.

Q: How much and when will I get paid?
Currently, jurors are paid $40 for each day they appear, plus round trip mileage. Checks for jury service will be mailed to your home approximately three weeks from the first day of service. Contact the Jury Clerk at the Lafayette office if you have not received compensation or have questions.

Q: If I don't get my excuse letter there by the due date, can I still be considered for an excuse?
Yes. All excuses will be considered when received in the clerk's office. NOTE: The court DOES NOT accept excuses from the employer.

Q: Do I need to attach a note from my doctor for a medical excuse?
No.

Q: What should I wear?
Proper attire showing respect for the court ie: slacks, jeans, shirts, dresses, etc. without holes; no shorts or tank tops.

Q: What if I do not read, speak or understand English?
If you cannot understand English, contact the jury office in Lafayette at 877-377-1219. If you need assistance, a friend or a family member who can speak English can make the phone call for you.

Q: Do I have to cancel my vacation if I receive a notice to appear and the date is while I'm on vacation?
You can go on vacation, but need to send a letter asking to be excused for that reason.

Q: Why do I always get summoned but other people don't?
All people selected for jury service are selected at random from the voters registration list.

Q: Why do I have to wait around so much as a juror?
The judge and court staff work hard to reduce the time you spend waiting as a juror. However, waiting time cannot be completely eliminated. A trial is very important to the people involved and it is very important that things happen correctly. The law is also complex and many steps have to happen before, during, and after the trial. Try to be patient while waiting. Court staff will try to explain delays when possible. Be assured everyone is working to avoid delays.

Q: What if I get discharged from my job because I served on jury duty?
Federal Statute Title 28, US Code, Section 1875 states that no employers shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee's jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States. This statute also advises the employer of the consequences for violating the provisions of this section.

Q: What if there is bad weather on the day I'm asked to appear?
If bad weather prohibits your travel for jury duty, call 877-377-1219, to leave a message with the Jury Clerk. Those people who have been selected and are sitting as jurors will be notified via telephone if the trial is canceled due to weather.

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